Now that iOS supports third party keyboards, Google is allegedly building their own. If this report holds up, Google Keyboard will join the likes of SwiftKey, Swype and Fleksy on iOS.
The Verge reports that the Google Keyboard has a number of popular features, such as Gesture typing, GIF search and image search. This means that you can slide your finger from letter to letter instead of pecking away at each letter. This is something offered by Swype, SwiftKey, Google Keyboard on Android, and even Microsoft on the Windows Phone keyboard.
The GIF and image search is where it gets interesting. Presumably, both are powered by Google’s powerful search services and they should theoretically work really well. GIF search is offered by some other keyboards such as Fleksy, though Image search appears to be a first.
The keyboard reportedly features a dedicated Search button, that is, the Google logo. The report states that tapping this brings up full web search, right from the keyboard. This is another great feature for power users.
This comes at a time when mobile search is declining. A lot of searches are often just “facebook” or “gmail,” where people find it easier to search than type out the full URL. This is quite unnecessary on mobile devices, since most of these services are available as dedicated apps. Charles Arthur, a journalist with The Guardian, reports that about half of all smartphone users perform zero searches in a day. Worrying indeed, considering Search ads are still Google’s primary source of revenue. And with Apple swinging towards Bing as its primary Search provider on iOS, this is one way for Google to grab its share.
Few Google products fail to get users on board and this will probably take off. How about you? Are you an iOS user? Will you be checking out the Google Keyboard when it eventually launches? Let us know, in the comments below, on Google+, on Facebook, and on Twitter.Source: The Verge