Posted 06/07/2013 at 9:59 PM
Posted 4 years ago
Gesture-based keyboards on Android are certainly nothing new, and apps such as Swype and Shiftkey have each developed strong user-bases with their swiping-between-letters keyboard setups. Now there is a new kid on the block and it’s likely to prove stiff competition for those already on the market.
Google 4.2 Keyboard has been around for a while on Android 4.2, but has only been available to those running stock Android smartphones and tablets. Now, it is coming to the Google Play Store so that anyone with a device running 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or above can take advantage of the easy typing features.
Like ShiftKey and Swype, Google 4.2 Keyboard allows users to swipe between letters to write words, rather than having to tap one key at a time. Naturally, this makes typing much faster and it’s pretty accurate too, thanks to automatic error correction and next word predictor. If typing isn’t your thing, then the keyboards microphone icon will allow you dictate messages so you can send texts and search Google without the effort of moving your fingers.
The keyboard supports 26 languages, although there is a lack of emoticons, which means you’ll have to go back to using punctuations marks for those smiley faces and frowns.
The news of Google 4.2 Keyboard’s release is hardly likely to be welcomed by the third-party gesture-based keyboard providers, who are sure to see their apps crushed under the weight of the Google juggernaut. As great as they are, third-party apps cannot compare to the real thing and Google apps will always be the first choice for Android users. Given Google’s timing in releasing this app, we could well see 4.2 Keyboard become the stock option for all Android phones on the upcoming Key Lime Pie 5.0 OS – piling even more misery on Swype and the others.
Google Keyboard is available to download free from the Google Play Store now.