Microsoft's SwiftKey keyboard for iOS has been sitting without updates for more than a year, stirring conspiracy theories about the app turning into abandonware. These theories are now official: Microsoft will remove SwiftKey for iOS from the App Store as soon as October 5.
ZDNet has reached out to Microsoft and asked about the keyboard Microsoft acquired in 2016 for a quarter of a billion dollars. A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed that the company would delist SwiftKey from the App Store early next month, although the keyboard will continue working for those currently using it:
As of October 5, support for SwiftKey iOS will end and it will be delisted from the Apple App Store. Microsoft will continue support for SwiftKey Android as well as the underlying technology that powers the Windows touch keyboard. For those customers who have SwiftKey installed on iOS, it will continue to work until it is manually uninstalled or a user gets a new device. Please visit Support.SwiftKey.com for more information.
The official SwiftKey support website also confirms the statement, saying that Microsoft is about to end support for SwiftKey on iOS and remove it from the App Store on October 5, 2022. Microsoft has not provided any comments on why it decided to ditch its AI-based keyboard on iOS.
ZDNet speculates that the decision might be related to Apple's unwillingness to give developers access to specific parts of iOS, similar to how Apple refuses to help Microsoft befriend the Phone Link app with iPhones. Many users agree that third-party keyboards on iOS have been a so-so experience since the very beginning in 2014, so it is not surprising that Microsoft does not want to continue investing in SwiftKey for iOS.