Google Developing iOS Keyboard with Gesture-Based Typing, GIF Search Support, and More


An employee answers phone calls at the switchboard of the Google office in Zurich

A report from The Verge claims that Google is developing a third-party keyboard for iOS. To better differentiate the keyboard from the stock iOS keyboard, Google is adding a number of new features to it. 

This includes a gesture-based typing mechanism, as seen on the company’s keyboard for Android. There will also be a Google logo on the keyboard, tapping on which will let you quickly do a Google search. Additionally, the keyboard also has buttons for pictures and GIF searches — something which even the stock Google keyboard for Android lacks.

If you have not already guessed it, Google’s primary aim with this keyboard is to make doing a Google search on iOS devices easier, which in turn should give its search traffic a boost. The keyboard has apparently been in testing since months, but it remains unclear as to when Google plans on launching it on the iOS App Store.

Google is not the only company working on a third-party keyboard for iOS. Microsoft is also working on bringing its Word Flow keyboard to iOS, though just like Google’s keyboard, it remains unclear when Microsoft plans on releasing its keyboard to consumers.

Third-party keyboards on iOS still leave a lot to be desired due to their clunky implementation and various other issues, so it is interesting to see both Google and Microsoft dedicate their resources into developing a keyboard for iOS. Here’s hoping that Apple further refines the third-party keyboard implementation in iOS 10 to allow keyboards from Google, Microsoft and SwiftKey to run better.

[Via The Verge]

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