As the title of this article might suggest, Google are currently working on a third-party keyboard for the iOS operating system on iPhones. There has been a Google keyboard available on Android devices for a while now, but they’re now setting their sights on the Apple market too.
In addition to including Android’s gesture-based typing (allowing you to slide from one letter to the next), Google intend to implement search features within the keyboard itself, according to The Verge.
We’re told that the search functionality will be split into three parts, standard search, images, and gifs. Gifs have gained increased popularity in messaging apps such as iMessage and Facebook Messenger, so we can see why Google are approaching this. With keyboards such as Giphy being available already within the Messenger app, Google will be looking to gain the monopoly on this part of our internet culture. Rather than taking gifs from Giphy’s wide back catalogue, we can assume they’ll be using Google’s own image search to find gifs from a wide variety of sources.
What Does This Mean?
In addition to easier typing (apparently the gesture-based typing is really easy once you get used to it), it means you’ll be able to conduct Google searches without ever leaving your messaging app. We know it only requires a couple of extra clicks to do so, but companies are always looking for ways to make our lives that little bit easier.
It’ll also allow you to drop images and gifs straight into your messages with ease, meaning your photo library will no longer become filled with all those memes you’ve downloaded. Yes, we have Giphy to share gifs already, but Google’s proposed keyboard would mean you could have it all in one place.
We’re genuinely excited about how this could shape up.
So, What’s The Downside?
It’s a third-party keyboard, which are notorious for having a variety of performance issues. We don’t think this sort of thing would plague Google’s developers (let’s face it, they’re some of the best around), but it does cause concern.
Also, when you have another keyboard installed on an iOS device, you constantly need to switch between them in order to use each one. This isn’t something that Google would be able to get around, as it is a restriction applied by Apple.