Tip o’ the Week #240 – Word Flow on Windows Phone 8.1

clip_image002Another week, another Windows Phone 8.1 (aka Nokia Lumia “Cyan”) tip.

Still no word from HTC about when 8.1 will roll out to 8X and 8S users, though there has been some news regarding the release of the already-in-testing “GDR 1” update for WP8.1, in relation to HTC handsets.

A developer/test build of the GDR 1 update is now available (if you have a kosher Windows Phone 8.1 phone and you install the Preview for Developers app, having first registered as a developer – just start a new project, sign in, accept the Ts&Cs and boom, you’re a developer – then you’ll get updated to the GDR1 build, which also means Cortana is available outside of the US).


Lumia 1020 owners are now getting WP8.1 in droves; UK toters of 920s are getting it via O2 and Vodafone, but sadly not yet on “Country Variant” or EE.

However you receive it, one of the smartest updates to Windows Phone 8.1 is surely a feature called Word Flow. It is an uncannily-accurate way of drawing a shape on the keyboard which covers (more or less) the letters you’d otherwise be typing by tapping – see here for a back-to-back comparison.

Using Word Flow is likely to be both more accurate but also quicker than hunt’n’peck typing – it’s even been put to use in setting a world record

There’s no need to switch anything on – if you have WP8.1, just start swiping whenever the keyboard appears. The software will automatically add a space to every word you keep, and if you want to add further punctuation then try:

  • capitalising the first letter of the next word you swipe, by first tapping the ? key
  • add a period to the end of the previous word, then a space, then capitalise the next word’s first letter, by quickly double-tapping the space bar
  • Adding commas/colons/etc by tapping the appropriate key (eg &123). NB: Word Flow doesn’t do anything on the numbers/symbols key page…

So, if you’ve got 8.1 already, now is the time to fully embrace Word Flow. Type no more.

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