Microsoft Details the Magic Behind Windows Phone’s Amazing Keyboard

| December 7, 2012 | 22 Replies

Although I have yet to use WP8 the one aspect I haven’t heard any complaints about is the keyboard (keep in mind we’ve heard some ridiculous complaints such as “I can’t hold the phone in my hand for too long”). Of course if the WP8 keyboard is anything like WP7’s then it’s obvious why no-ones complaining. In a BlogPost on the people behind WP’s keyboard went into details about the magic behind the great Keyboard.

First off WP8 brings a new feature called “Word Flow” which watches, learns and then predicts what you’re going to type next based on your typing history. With Microsoft boasting a 94% accurate autocorrect score, out of the box; not too shabby eh?


They also detailed the different key “target locations” which makes some keys have a virtual real estate larger than others, depending on how common they’re used:

All this is pretty amazing, but on the off chance that someone who can do something about it is reading, where is my haptic feedback!!??? Also why one earth can’t I edit my custom dictionary? I once accidentally added TRUE as a word, and now every-time I type true, it goes into full caps rage mode.


Category: Nokia

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Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • Sam

    you can delete TRUE by tapping on it and taping remove

  • Julius

    n9 of course has the best keyboard ever. It will be interesting to see if bb10 will use haptic feedback for its keyboard. When i borrowed a friends iphone to write an email i was stunned by how bad the keyboard was and how unintuitive the ui was in general. Maybe we will get haptic feedback on wp8.5…

    • suabesh

      I have both. You Sir, have absolutely no clue on what you are talking about.

      Apart from the haptic feedback, the WP8 keyboard destroys the one on the N9 with regard to speed and accuracy.

      • boris yerkov

        nah, the haptic keyboard on the n9 makes it a please to type on. wp keyboard just feels too sensitive and “flat”

    • nabkawe

      I agree N9’s keyboard was very good , (Still prefers WP8 keyboard now)

  • Marland

    Settings > System > Keyboard > Advanced > reset suggestions

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  • dss

    I don’t know why the fp2 keyboard looks so similar.. it even has similar suggestions

  • Banderpop

    Unless Windows Phone gets Swype, it’s still going to be a downgrade for me 🙁 I find Swype to be even faster than using a small physical keyboard.

    • Banderpop

      I like the suggestions in the screenshots though!

      ‘Do you want to go for (me)’

      ‘The quick brown fox (bums)’

      • Lloydo


  • JGrove303

    I noticed the hepatics were gone, but the XBox 360-like tone for key presses work great for me. No missing it. The sensitivity of the SS displays are that good. Where on my N8-00, I felt I needed to mash those virtual buttons until I got that feedback.

    WP8 really does have an awesome keyboard, in portrait and landscape, with fantastic auto correct.

    • Just Visiting

      +1. I just purchased a new Lumia 900 – the keyboard is heaven sent! The N8 keyboard was always a challenge, especially in portrait but also in landscape. But the WP keyboard is fantastic – the keys are spaced well and the key tones are awesome; my typing speed is 100% better and it seems like my fingers just glide over each key.

      Microsoft actually researched their audio tones before implementing them(for all aspects of the OS from the keys, to ringtones, etc. and it is on their Channel 9 blog) and I’d say it was research well done 🙂

  • Theo

    I tried the 920 and the 820. Both phones are great and a step in the right direction. Compared to the 800, I own one, is everything bigger, better and faster.

    Typing on the 920 is a pleasure. You can write emails with correct spelling and punctuation and it doesnt look like “mobile hurry”.

  • Jiipee

    A combination of WP8 and Maliit w haptics used in N9 would be perfect.

    I wish Jolla will be able to improve. Im afraid noy.

  • Dr.Smart

    This is nothing new. Swiftkey and bunch of others have done this kind of word prediction before for Android. The enlargement of likely next letters also done by Google and other. It’s simple application of what’s called Language model in NLP, old new really (maybe not for MS)

  • Janne

    Overall on the virtual keyboards, Symbian has a terrible one. For long its saving grace for me was the great hardware keyboard on the E7. Writing this message on the 808 would take minutes – and yes, I have tried many times. It just is so, so slow to write correctly on it compared to the competition. N9 has great haptic feedback, best I’ve seen on any device, and a good keyboard. But I must say, haptic aside, the Windows Phone keyboard is the best virtual keyboard I’ve ever used. It is so good even in portrait that I rarely turn to landscape, something that seems a must on most other keyboards to me. (I have iOS devices and Androids too.)

    • arts

      Are you using the 800 or the 900\920? For me thw lumia 800 is still too tiny for my hands to say ita perfect. For longer emails or taking notes I use the landscape keyboard.

      • Janne

        Good point, my most recent experiences are from the 900 (and now 920), but I have the distinct recollection that I felt this way even on the 800 and 710 I used last winter… Somehow the Windows Phone portrait keyboard is really, really good. I very rarely use it in landscape, unlike on pretty much all other platforms I have used.

        Side note: One good and unique thing about Symbian was the option to use old-style T9/numeric keypad in portrait, that was useful sometimes.

    • Dr.Smart

      Still going around flogging the dead horse called Symbian? 😉
      WP phone might be good, but does the platform support third party key-inputs?

      • Janne

        dss, JGrove303 and Just Visiting brought up Symbian above. Others brought up N9. I was merely commenting to all that with my experiences. My current active phones include the 808, so I am using the Symbian one quite often in addition to my daily Lumia.

        As for third-party keyboards, no WP doesn’t support them. Missing swype might be an issue for some, but I never got comfortable with it on previous devices (I did use it occasionally to get arrow keys on N9 though).

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