Microsoft debuts Hub Keyboard for iOS with Office 365 support

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Microsoft's Garage team on Friday released its expected Hub Keyboard for iOS, offering some special advantages for Office 365 users, but not two previously anticipated features.

Tapping a grid icon on the keyboard brings up a special menu allowing users to quickly share contact information, or links to Office 365 documents saved in OneDrive or SharePoint. The menu displays recently-used items by default, but a search bar can be used to track down other items.

For all users, the keyboard should make it easier to insert the last text copied to the iOS clipboard.

Notably missing a one-handed mode Microsoft was said to be porting from Windows Phone. Also absent is gesture-based typing that could've been added following Microsoft's SwiftKey takeover, though Hub may be using that company's predictive autocomplete technology. Microsoft could conceivably be planning to add features or release more keyboards in the near future.

Hub Keyboard is a free download, requiring an iPhone or iPod running iOS 9.1.

Third-party keyboards first became an option for iOS users with 2014's iOS 8. Since then many have launched, and indeed even Google is rumored to be working on one.