One of the things we take most for granted in our smartphones is the virtual keyboard, even though it’s probably one of our most-used apps/elements. We’re seeing third-party and even built-in keyboards try to become even more relevant by integrating features into the app. SwiftKey, which if you didn’t know yet is owned by Microsoft, is now bringing to its stable version a feature they’ve been testing in beta for about a month now: Bing Search.
“Wait, what’s Bing” some of you might say. Well, Google isn’t the only search engine around of course and Microsoft uses Bing. So now your SwiftKey will also have search integrated in its virtual keyboard and results will be brought to you by their own search engine of course. Your keyboard toolbar will now have a search button so that wherever you are, whether you’re chatting on Viber or posting on Facebook, you can access search easily without having to switch apps.
Once you’ve done a search and you see the results, you can either screenshot and crop the image or part of the site and then share it immediately to whatever app you’re using. If it’s the whole site, you can just share the link, again without having to go away from the current app you’re in, shaving off precious seconds from whatever you’re doing. If you type a search term, you’ll get rich content (images, description, etc) and if you type a url, you’ll be taken to the website itself.
The searching and sharing feature is currently available in 11 countries only: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the US, and UK. They will probably be expanding it to more countries soon as SwiftKey gives importance to making features available globally.
This is just the latest in a series of new features that SwiftKey has been introducing. You can also now add stickers to your messages, share your Calendar events, share your location details, it can translate to more than 60 details, etc. Expect even more features over the next few months.