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Microsoft lets new Word Flow keyboard loose on the App Store with one-handed mode

Those who have a fondness for customizing their iPhone keyboard can now do so in a Microsoft-approved fashion with the Redmond software giant's new Word Flow keyboard for iOS.

Word Flow is an adaptation — importantly, not a straight port — of Windows Phone's own keyboard of the same name. Like its Metro-styled counterpart, Word Flow for iOS sports gesture-based text entry and predictive text.

The Apple-sanctioned version takes its own path with a new Arc mode, designed to be used with one hand. This layout fans the keyboard out in a quarter circle pattern pinned to the edge of the iPhone, which Microsoft envisions users reaching entirely with their thumb.

Microsoft has also baked in special customization options for iPhone owners. The keyboard ships with several distinct visual themes to choose from, and users can specify their own background images if Microsoft's set don't make the cut.

Word Flow is available only in U.S. English for now, and there is no word on when — or even if — additional languages might ship. The keyboard is a free, 70.7-megabyte download from the App Store.