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Worth Reading: Microsoft reveals the fascinating technology found in Windows Phone’s keyboard

Since Windows Phone 7′s launch in 2010, the operating system has been spoiled with a phenomenal software keyboard experience. Using every kind of size phone from 4.7-inches to 3.5-inches, typing on the keyboard and hearing that satisfying ‘click’ after each press has been an amazingly consistent experience. So, just how the heck does Microsoft do it?

In a feature every self-appointed Windows Phone fan should read, Microsoft’s Jason Grieves pulls the curtain back on “The secrets of the Windows Phone 8 keyboard”. Grieves highlights Windows Phone 8′s new Word Flow feature, pictured below, which predicts the next word you might input (and has also sparked a hilarious Twitter meme to go with it). Interestingly, in the piece it is revealed that of the 2.5 billion English words from dictionaries as well as the internet Microsoft Research analyzed for this feature just 600,000 of the most commonly used were included, due to the limited space available on phone storage. This equates to an impressive 94% accuracy rate in word prediction ‘out of the box’.

Beyond the clever innovation of Word Flow, there’s quite a bit of ingenuity involved with your run-of-the-mill auto-correct choices in the Windows Phone keyboard. Grieves explains that not only does Windows Phone use a standard dictionary to match to user input, but it also organizes the results based on how frequently the word is used. He uses the example of a user typing in ‘H-A-P-P’ and two potential results: happen or happy. Both have an even chance of being what the user is trying to type, but because ‘happy’ is typed more frequently it is chosen as the first auto-correction result. Neat.

For a further dive into the keyboard, including an awe-inducing look at the keyboard’s dynamic ‘hit targeting’ which enlarges keys you’re most likely to hit next, hit up the source link.

Source: Windows Phone Blog


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Saad Hashmi

Founder of Windows Phone Daily. Currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Information Systems. While procrastinating on that goal I write, play games a little too often, and watch exorbitant amounts of mediocre half-hour comedies because I lack the patience to watch hour-long dramas that are probably better. Follow me on Twitter: @Saad073