SwiftKey — the Microsoft-owned third-party mobile keyboard for iOS and Android — can now translate text to and from more than 60 languages, thanks to a new integration with Microsoft Translator.
Since it is embedded in the keyboard, the translation features work across a variety of messaging scenarios, from social apps like Facebook Messenger to business uses like email. The integration includes two-way translation, which means users can translate messages going out and coming in.
Users can find Microsoft Translator within the Toolbar, a recent addition to SwiftKey that allows access to frequently used features. Microsoft has been investing heavily in SwiftKey, unveiling a major update earlier this year.
SwiftKey, which Microsoft acquired for a reported $250 million in 2016, exemplifies the tech giant’s new mobile strategy. The company pulled back from producing its own phones and operating systems, and has instead focused on optimizing its existing tools for iOS and Android and creating new smartphone apps that build on fundamental features like the camera and keyboard.
SwiftKey leaders eventually want users to be able to execute complex conversations, such as planning a time and place to meet, all while not having to jump back and forth between messaging apps, calendars, maps and other things needed to make such a commitment. In that way, it’s easy to see parallels to other Microsoft products. Many of the new additions to Microsoft programs and services emphasize being able to do everything in one place, most prominently in the chat-based productivity tool Teams.