The default keyboard that comes packaged with Apple’s iOS is, at the very worst, usable. It generally looks nice and serves its purpose well, but Google believes it can up the iPhone’s keyboard game, and apparently has plans to do just that with its own custom iOS keyboard.
Third-party keyboards have been available on Apple devices since the release of iOS 8 in 2015, so Google is taking the opportunity to have a firmer grip over your phone. The Verge reports that the main feature of Google’s keyboard will be the ability to perform a Google search from anywhere you can use the keyboard on iOS.
Google’s keyboard also incorporates gesture-based typing, the kind where you slide your finger across the keyboard and allow Google to figure out what you’re trying to say. There will also be the option to perform image and GIF searches, both of which would presumably be powered by Google’s own image search.
This could be a strong move for Google, considering that mobile users perform web searches significantly less often than do desktop users. In fact, it was suggested in October that half of all mobile users perform 0 searches per day. Many mobile apps reduce users’ reliance on web searches, but making the option to perform a web search more front-and-center could convince iOS users to search more frequently.
Perhaps most importantly, as The Verge points out, search results pages are where Google earns most of its advertising money, so a decrease in traffic to those pages could spell bad news for Google and its parent company, Alphabet.
The keyboard has apparently been available to Google employees for a few months, but there’s no word yet about when or if the general public will get their hands on it. Would you give Google’s new iOS keyboard a shot? Let us know in the comments!
HT: The Verge
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