In addition to a brief stint with Nokia-branded phones and its now problematic Surface Duo, Microsoft’s presence on Android has been mostly on the software side. However, she tried to bridge the gap between cellphone and desktop, mainly through exclusive features born out of her partnership with Samsung. Samsung is not the only Android phone maker, however, and Microsoft cannot risk alienating others for long. He may be slowly opening up some of these exclusive features to other Android phones, as long as they’re using Microsoft applications, of course.
One of the advantages that Samsung Galaxy phone owners enjoy is the ability to sync clipboard content to their Windows 10 computers. This happens through the Windows Your Phone app and Samsung’s Link to Windows service. Given the security and privacy issues involved, Microsoft said that such integration is only possible in cooperation with an OEM, but it appears that they have also found a way around this.
WinFuture reports that a beta version of the Swiftkey keyboard app for Android, which was acquired by Microsoft, shows a new cloud sync feature for the clipboard. As the keyboard is one of the applications authorized on Android to handle the contents of the clipboard, it is able to circumvent the technical and security limitations mentioned by Microsoft. And since Swiftkey is available on any Android phone, it also means that users of other phone brands will also be able to access the feature.
There will, of course, be some privacy issues, considering how this clipboard synchronization works. As with Samsung’s unique feature, clipboard data, which may include a password or sensitive information, must pass through the Microsoft cloud. Then again, those who use or desire these features may already have some confidence in Microsoft anyway.
It is not yet known when this feature will arrive in the stable version of Swiftkey and whether it also needs an update on the Windows side to work. It is definitely encouraging that Microsoft is finding ways to make these exclusive Samsung features available, but it may take a while before the best features are available to everyone.