Google Keyboard

The stock 'Nexus' keyboard app, complete with gesture typing, is now available to all Android users through the Google Play Store

Google continues the movement of its core Android apps onto the Google Play app marketplace with today's standalone launch of Google Keyboard. That's the new name for the vanilla Android keyboard app included on Google experience (stock Android) devices such as Nexus phones and tablets. The Google Keyboard app includes the full range of typing features found on current Android 4.2 Nexus phones, only now you can install it on any Android device through Google Play -- assuming you're running OS version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher.

When you first install it you'll get a short introductory guide showing you how to enable the app and use its gesture typing features. Besides that, it's almost identical to the stock keyboard experience -- fast, fairly accurate and styled after Android's 'Holo' design language. The only changes we're seeing from the old Android keyboard to the new Google offering can be found in the settings panel. The new app has a few more options, including varying levels of auto-correction, personal dictionary maintenance and a new advanced settings area. This is home to settings including vibration timing, double-tap space bar options and extra keyboard layouts like AZERTY.

The move to Google Play will allow Google to update its own keyboard experience without pushing out an OS update, something it's been doing ever since it made core apps like Maps and Gmail stand-alone. Google's also been expanding its abilities to update Android phones without changing the underlying OS, with initiatives like Google Play Services -- all part of the same push to make the platform less reliant on OS updates.

Hit the Google Play link above to grab the new Google Keyboard app, and let us know what you think of it down in the comments. If you're rocking a Nexus device, you should receive an update notification in the 'My apps' area of the Play Store app.

 
There are 137 comments

Ry says:

Fragmentation!

jmartinbsu says:

Troll!

MERCDROID says:

Country Virtuoso Roy Clark!

Adam8756 says:

You win.

kelton says:

"Country Virtuoso Roy Clark!"
Now, I do not understand this... but it made me laugh and shared it with my girlfriend. She laughed, too.
(Roy Clark is actually a cool dude, too)

Ry says:

Fragmentation!

eric.atx says:

Still just a troll.

Ry says:

Fragmentation!

DWR_31 says:

I'm keeping SwiftKey fort the themes, but this Google one slides better than Swype. And I love the floating words.
Dang Google, I'm all man... and I want to have your baby. Just for the child support I mean. :-)

yankeesusa says:

How is this fragmentation? Its just an app that you can install. Please do a little research before presenting your thoughts. Thank you.

radgatt says:

This is great. This is only bad for the people that put the stock keyboard on Google play for download. Its nice to now have something official.

dchawk81 says:

You mean the ones who put an ad in it then charge you to remove it? Bastages.

Roy G Biv says:

Google solving fragmentation late and poorly.

Ry says:

How are they poorly solving "fragmentation"?

dchawk81 says:

I think they're doing it quite well there, Rainbow.

blackbyrd says:

I see what you did there. Hilarious.

JRKegley says:

Its about time. Its obvious Google is taking back control of any updates they can without having to wait on the carriers anymore. Almost everything outside of actual Android updates (like 4.1 to 4.2) they can control themselves now and push them out as soon as they are ready. I welcome the change.

Ry says:

But but but.. It's not 4.2.2! FRAGMENTATION!

briankurtz79 says:

Now the next thing we need to do is make all of the Google Apps & services marketable on Google Play. Meaning they should have some type of graphic right when you open the front page of Google Play explaining to normal customers the advantages of using Google services and apps over OEM's

msnight04 says:

The problem with this is it could be seen as anti-competitive due to Google promoting its own services over competitors'. The regulators in the US and EU would probably have a field day demanding Google to change this behavior, demand fines, or both.

HalfwayJames says:

This. I think Google is handling this very well. Don't push their apps on people, let word of mouth and great experiences with quality applications do the work for you.

yankeesusa says:

Really? your continuing your pointless comments? Good for you.

Ry says:

Get over yourself.

crxssi says:

Now *THIS* is a great move, Google! Bravo.

acidreams says:

This item cannot be installed in your device's country. (Norway)

Geofragmentation anyone?

Hiberny says:

Other languages will be coming soon (let's hope).

Not available for Indonesia too.
*sigh

Omar Ortega says:

Not available in Mexico

15israellai says:

As always. I love this term though.

Tiwenty says:

Same here in France.

fedesimio says:

Neither we can in Italy

LGiusti84 says:

not available on Argentina either.

mosley04 says:

It looks like you can update the keyboard app on Nexus phones though I don't notice a difference.

Nice move, even though swype and SwiftKey are way better.

DJCUEBALL says:

Agreed. I haven't seen anything better than Swiftkey and can't seem to use other third party or stock keyboards.

d1g1n1xy says:

Am I the only one who hates Swiftkey? I mean it's the only keyboard I will ever use, but every time I type, it's nothing but errors, and jumbled words.

ScottJ says:

I had the same problem with it. I gave it a good go but I went back to Swype when they released a Play store version and it's much much better for me.

No, I can't stand it and would rather type with my toes than use Swiftkey. But choice is good.

dmw_4814 says:

I feel your pain! I, for some unknown reason, love SwiftKey, even though it CONSTANTLY types words COMPLETELY different than the one I'm trying to type (as if it's telling me, "No, that's not what you really meant!"), and when I backspace ONE, SINGLE character, the word I intended to type appears as a suggested word(?!!)!

I get the biggest chuckle when I sometimes get a notification from SwiftKey that they've "saved me 50,000 keystrokes" - obviously, they're NOT counting the 100,000 ADDITIONAL keystrokes I made because of backspacing & correcting! :-)

tylerb2002 says:

I would check the settings, maybe something is screwed up. My typos dropped to almost nothing once I got it set up properly and gave it time to learn my habits. And I just figured out that you can delete words by long pressing them, because if you make a typo a few times then it will think you want it in the dictionary.

HalfwayJames says:

I only use Swiftkey on my Nexus 10, as the landscape stock keyboard is just a hassle for me. Everything else, stock Google keyboard. They've come a long way since the days of Cupcake.

For me, Swiftkey was the LEAST evil of the options out there until now. But I don't need all the bells and whistles it offers and it actually caused as many errors as it corrected. This is a cleaner, simpler experience; I love my phone again.

MarkSeven says:

It's been acting crazy on my phone lately and just recently it forgot all my words smh..

MERCDROID says:

Swiftkey FTW!!! Seriously, though, I'm glad that they are putting the official stock keyboard on the Play Store. More choice is always good.

MC_A_DOT says:

+2013

willizen says:

I like how Google is trying to address the fragmentation issues.

Why does everyone mention fragmentation as if it's something new? Isn't that the entire downside of open source methods? Thanks to those of you who stated the obvious for the rest of us.

Ry says:

lol!

Small_law says:

Good lord, how many hours have I spent tracking down and installing stock keyboard apk's on Sense and Touchwiz phones these past few years? Too many. This is awesome.

It's great to see Google doing this. Remember when updates to Gapps came only with new versions of Android? I'm kind of shocked Apple hasn't followed suit. These updates plus Google Play Services make version updates seem kind of old fashioned (although please 4.3 soon).

Chachiz Ruiz says:

Any apk uploader? It's not available worldwide

carraser891 says:

good for Google. gunna stick with SwiftKey though

erwaso says:

right after i paid $.99 for swype haha. What benefits over Swype does this have?

Reciprocal says:

Uh.... The line trail is a different color?....

erwaso says:

Nope. Swype has different themes to change the trail. Typing with Google keyboard on my work gs3. Looks like a version 1.0 of swype lol

ScottJ says:

Nothing. Swype is better. You made a wise investment.

Blessen John says:

I have a Nexus 4. I still paid the dollar and got swype. I guess it's nice that Google is giving you more options.

clenfesty says:

I can't find it in the store...... Maybe because I'm in Canada, and it'snot here yet?

Walkop says:

I'm in Canada, and I got the update pushed to my Nexus 10 and Galaxy Nexus. Probably one of those staged rollouts.

hairball45 says:

I was interested until I saw only ICS and up. Oh well.

So you still using gingerbread or honeycomb :O

MrJedi says:

You mean the one (GB) that is still the most widely used?

http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html

Kiserai says:

I'm glad more people get to use this keyboard. I paid for Swiftkey back when it was on sale and used it for quite some time. Despite everybody telling me how much better Swiftkey is at everything I still prefer the feel and responsiveness of the stock 4.2 keyboard.

I think a lot of people who say this keyboard isn't as good as others haven't used it in a while. I'm not saying that personal preference doesn't play a huge part in it, but the stock keyboard has improved immensely with the last few iterations and you might enjoy it if you give it another try.

Reciprocal says:

I think SwiftKey is better at completing sentences while the Google keyboard has a better feel when swiping and just typing. I do agree that the Google keyboard does feel better.

The Nexus 4 keyboard is the first one I've found swiping actually useful on. In fact, I think it does a better job of correcting your typing in swiping mode than in normal typing. I guess swiping requires a more intense prediction algorithm, but either way, it does a great job of 'spell correcting' whereas autocorrect tends to fight me.

olorin says:

I wish swype or Google would utilize a way of swyping multiple words in one continuous motion, like flow does. This is especially handy with the spen. Otherwise, the swype and Google keyboards are more accurate when using a swyping action. I still love the way predictive text works on Swiftkey, though. When plain typing, I've found nothing that beats swiftkey. Can someone just create a keyboard that does everything?! (Maybe even one that cooks breakfast)

stvo says:

Cosign. Google did a really good job with it. SwiftKey lost me when introduced Flow- It sucks

olorin says:

You can turn flow off.

olorin says:

.

freeborock says:

What system app is next? I want to say the messages app if it its not integrated with hangouts soon.

user7618 says:

That would not surprise me one bit if they rolled the SMS app into Hangouts and called it a day.

GarDeady says:

Not available in Ireland :(

Scotty Olsen says:

Key long press delay setting!

Statusnone says:

Omfg finally. Thank you Google. Better late then never.

hellomiggy says:

It seems to update over the stock version of Google Keyboard on my Nexus 4. I don't know if there is any benefits to that... So I uninstalled it.

Eerth says:

Wut, why?

hellomiggy says:

Well.. I'm really not sure, but when I got home. I checked the play store, and it showed up as an update... So I installed.

jeno27 says:

Un expected but... its not still available in Europe ...Google photosphere camera also needed in Google play. .coz Samsung users have Samsung camera. We would like to use Google camera.......

Sachmojo says:

Nice move by Google, would've killed for this in my pre-Nexus days.

Have to say though I've gone Swype-exclusive lately. The standard Google keyboard got me into swiping, then when Swype hit the Play Store I bought it and realised how much better their gesture support is compared to Google's version.

tompro53 says:

All they need to do now is release a camera app.

MERCDROID says:

This would be ideal lol

HalfwayJames says:

I have a feeling that we'll see a better camera (and app) with the Motorola Xphone. With all of the hype and the pressure on Google and Motorola to actually put out a good camera and app this would be the phone to showcase it.

ddemase says:

Started with Swype several years ago. Couldn't cope with the constant "beta program" for non-OEM phones. Went to SlideIT for a while, until I got a new phone that had a built-in sliding feature (HTC). After a couple of other attempts at sliding keyboards I pined for Swype. When they showed up on the Play store for $.99 I couldn't resist. It is better than ever, and I have no desire to try anything else including this new Gboard. It would have to be some kind of accident that would make we want to change again. Never say never, but I'm not moved to move.

elvee68 says:

My Dinc4g loves it:-)

So basically, while Microsoft and Linux try to cram everything but the kitchen sink into the OS itself, Google is trying to separate features OUT of the core OS to make updates easier.

Makes sense.

Jay Soto says:

It's not available internationally. This is retarded.

dchawk81 says:

Next up...email?

still1 says:

gmail is already on the play store ;-)

dchawk81 says:

Not gmail. Email.

HalfwayJames says:

I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. For my non-GMail e-mail accounts, I usually just download the dedicated app for it. Usually provides a bunch better experience than the stock e-mail app.

dchawk81 says:

I have non-Exchange self-hosted domain emails. IMAP (or POP...ick) only unfortunately.

Since Google Apps basic is no longer free, I can't/won't move them over. I'm far too cheap.

Kenny P Lee says:

Awesome app! This is so made for drunk people

XChrisX says:

Since moving to Android a year ago away from the iPhone, my biggest gripe has been that for the most part the keyboards. I have felt that most if not all of them just simply aren't up to par. After moving to the Nexus 4, I realized that the stock Android keyboard is where it's at! Glad to see it's now official!

chronophilos says:

I wish Swiftkey had the fluidity of the stock keyboard. Or that stock allowed for easy addition of new words and more than one language simultaneously

Eerth says:

Wow, they improved the add to dictionary function as well (touch to save). Now you don't have to click OK again and have the whole keyboard jumping around.

Beside that, adding more languages was already possible.

Eerth says:

ow, simultaneous you mean, never mind

joemd60 says:

I agree the typing on Google keyboard feels better than SwiftKey. Although, I find there are more steps to insert symbols.
This is a good step though for Android. The stock keyboard on my Stellar was frustrating to type accurately.
And unfortunately, my N2 is no better. I will give the Google keyboard a whirl for awhile.

sequoia462 says:

I wish I could download it on gingerbread :(

pitchersduel says:

i'm confused so this update just updated the stock keyboard? its not a separate app right?

eahinrichsen says:

If you have a Nexus device, the change is minimal. But this makes the stock Android keyboard available to people using devices that come with proprietary keyboards (TouchWiz, Sense, etc) as their defaults.

splash112 says:

Is it possible to change the haptic feedback on this keyboard? It's a little too strong for my liking

Walkop says:

Yeppers,in advanced settings.

splash112 says:

Thankyou! :)

Sweet baby Jesus. Goodbye Swiftkey!

Hiberny says:

This is much better than the keyboard HTC included on the Amaze 4G. Between Nova Launcher and the new keyboard, I almost feel like my phone is running Jellybean!

robk84 says:

Let's have the launcher next.

Metro1088 says:

Not available on Peru either.

rawpower87 says:

Awesome that's my favorite keyboard

shambains says:

Not available in India

USCTrojan4JC says:

I really like how quick and fluid the keyboard is, but it makes it harder to type symbols/punctuation. :(

jscarano says:

Now they need to release photosphere !

zackmack7 says:

emoji's are easier to use now!

Not available in India , seems like many countries have been left out ;(

Next app should be the photosphere camera !

valmorel says:

I so wish key heights were settable. I don't need a keyboard to take 40% of my N7 screen.

vladislavg says:

All right now why there is a country restrictions for A Keyboard???
Free of charge Keyboard??

CraftedCrows says:

This is just Perfect! I was looking the other day on the play store for something like the nexus keyboard because i don't like the keyboard on my s4 and BAM there you have it! Thaks Google!

Shott3r says:

There is a bug where if you use the Search bar, or address bar in the Browser, it does not show suggested words in the space above the keyboard. So if you are swiping out a word, and it picks one you don't want, you have to keep backspacing until you swipe in such a way that it gets the word you want. eg while v whole.

The suggestion bar is there when composing a text though. Very odd.

olorin says:

Yeah... Swiftkey has similar bugs.

zhecht says:

That's not a bug, that's by design. Both the search bar and address bar have their own suggestion/autocomplete features, and if the keyboard didn't disable suggestions the two would fight and you get things like the doubledouble bug that used to plague swiftkey.

Shott3r says:

I don't have two, or one. I have none. So I have to tap words out. Swiping only works if i get the word right. Maybe I'm missing something?

jenskristian says:

I like how Google is making more and more of the stock apps available in the Play Store. I still prefer SwiftKey to the Google Keyboard since it supports multiple languages at the same time.

arjen82 says:

Totally agree, I hate having to manually switch languages when typing. I just want to type and have SwiftKey figure out which language the word I am typing is.

gauravbanka says:

Not available in India :-(

Michael Kerr says:

I love it. I use the stock keyboard on my Nexus 7 and now thanks to Google I can use it on my Galaxy S3.

yankeesusa says:

Ive been using swype since the touch pro. I have tried swiftkey, the samsung keyboard which uses swiftkey technology, slide it and others and I always come back to swype within a day but for over 24hrs I have stuck with the google keyboard. I actually like it a alot. There are still a couple things that I have to see if I get used to but so far its a good keyboard.

bsharitt says:

Next up, the stock launcher in the store? Please?

marktrott says:

I haven’t tried it.. seems handy apps from Google

ACADM says:

I have a fully up to date Nexus 4 and this appeared as an update, so why do I need to install it as I already have this keyboard? Should I just delete the update?

mzanette says:

It's an update to the keyboard so you can install it on the Nexus 4, I did and it's fine, perhaps a bit better on word correction although I can't say for certain.

mzanette says:

They keep putting all the default apps in the playstore, is this a move to do away with the Nexus line eventually? Once all the default stuff is there, what's a reason to get a Nexus when you can Nexusify your Android by installing all Google's apps. All they need is the nexus launcher now and you can pretty much have a nexus with any phone.

ACADM says:

It does feel as if they're diluting the Nexus brand a bit, especially with all 'Nexus Edition' phones they're doing for their competitors.

How do you use emoji on this keyboard

IMjBI says:

There isn't a dedicated page to pick as other keyboards have. You have to type out the keyword itself like: Smile ☺, Star ★, etc. Lame, I know!

http://www.cultofandroid.com/19734/android-4-1-tip-how-to-activate-and-u...

etnpnys says:

Swype to SwiftKey to this. I like them all for slightly different reasons, but you know what I like best about Google doing this? THE SCREENSHOTS IN THE PLAY STORE FINALLY TOLD ME HOW TO USE THE KEYBOARD PROPERLY!!! Seriously, there seems to be no documentation on gesture trail shortcuts (like for punctuation and stuff) but now that I know all of this it is *SOOO* much easier to use. I really like the layout... I'll give it a good test drive and see where I end up.

zackmack7 says:

I wish they would add better emoji support so we could actually TYPE the emojis themselves instead of having to spell out the word. Very impractical IMO. What's the point of having an emoji dictionary if they are so hard to access?

artlu629 says:

The Nexus 4 is my very first Android phone and I always thought gesture typing was standard.

etnpnys says:

Anybody else notice how the keyboard layout is different for tablets and phones? Nexus 7 and GS3 here. Specifically, on my Nexus 7 the numbers are not overlaid onto the alpha characters and the exclamation mark is moved all the way over to the right by the question mark.

Kinda makes it hard to get used to a keyboard to be efficient with it... Might go back to SwiftKey simply for this reason.

extremenet says:

I wish all developers (including, and sometimes especially, Google) would list why permissions are needed for apps. I'm not putting on the tinfoil hat, but I'm cautious about what I install, and it seems like lots of devs just throw in permissions that really don't seem necessary for their app to function. I think Google has even admitted to this in the past. Their apps request all kinds of stuff.

Why does the keyboard need access to read my contacts or download files without notification? I assume that it reads contacts so that it can predict names that you type often, and I assume that it downloads files without notification so that it can update the dictionary, or something like that. But just tell me that in the description. Then I can make an informed decision whether I trust the dev or not.

Having said that, I really like the keyboard on my N7, so it's great that I can install it on other devices now.