Microsoft adds a cursor control gesture to SwiftKey on Android

Microsoft adds a cursor control gesture to SwiftKey on Android

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Update 1 (09/14/2020 @ 02:57 PM ET): Microsoft SwiftKey’s new cursor control feature is now available in the latest stable release. Scroll to the bottom for more information. The article as published on August 17, 2020, is preserved below.

The Microsoft-owned SwiftKey keyboard app for Android has served users well with its fast, accurate typing experience, emoji predictions, and multiple language support. But one thing that’s always been missing is cursor control, which has finally appeared in the latest beta release.

First discovered by AndroidPolice’s Artem Russakovskii, the new feature makes it much easier to edit text in SwiftKey by letting you precisely move the position of the cursor. The new feature is first executed by tapping and holding on the space bar, as shown in the tweet below. Once the keyboard enters its cursor control mode (which happens when the keys are grayed out and the “Drag finger to move cursor” text appears in the text suggestion area), you can drag anywhere and in any direction on the keyboard to move the cursor. According to Russakovskii, the new feature works well with SwiftKey’s language selector.

This is the type of quality of life improvement that makes using SwiftKey on Android that much better. While the gesture is new to SwiftKey, a similar gesture has been available in Google’s Gboard app for a while. Although, Gboard’s implementation is more limiting as users can only swipe horizontally on the keyboard’s spacebar to move the cursor left or right.

As of now, cursor support is only available in the latest SwiftKey beta for Android, but considering it’s something users have been requesting for a while, chances are it’ll roll out more widely sooner rather than later. You can download the latest beta release from the Google Play Store listing embedded below. There’s no need to enroll in a beta program or wait for a server-side update as the feature seems to be available for anyone downloading the app. It’s also available to users of the iOS app since January, apparently.

Microsoft SwiftKey Beta
Microsoft SwiftKey Beta
Developer: SwiftKey
Price: Free

Update: Available in Stable

The incredibly useful cursor control gesture is now available for all users of Microsoft Swiftkey (via AndroidPolice).

Here’s the changelog for version 7.6.3.4 available now on Google Play:

  • We’ve added cursor control to your Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard🖱Try it out by tapping & holding the spacebar to move the cursor. If you use multiple languages, cursor control will need to be turned on first; this setting can be found in your ‘Typing’ menu.
  • You can now type in Saint Lucian Creole. Visit the ‘Languages’ menu to download the new pack.
  • We’ve made some improvements to Arabic key size when using larger layouts.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented switching to Hong Kong handwriting.
Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard
Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard
Developer: SwiftKey
Price: Free