Google is working on creating its own third-party keyboard for the iPhone, according to a new report. As reported by The Verge, the keyboard has been under development for some time, and includes features like gesture-based typing, GIF search and more. From The Verge:
Like its Android counterpart, the Google keyboard for iOS employs gesture-based typing, so you can slide your finger from one letter to the next and let Google guess your intended word. Tap the Google logo and you can access traditional web search. It also appears to have distinct buttons for pictures and GIF searches, both presumably powered by Google image search. The keyboard is visually distinct from the standard Android keyboard, which incorporates voice search but no text or image-based searching.
If the rumors prove to be true, it wouldn't be hard to imagine Google's motivation for releasing its own third-party app for iOS. One-tap access to web searches right from the keyboard would ostensibly drive more users to Google's bread and butter.
Apple first launched third-party keyboard support with iOS 8, and we've since seen a number of well-known names like SwiftKey and Fleksy launch on the platform. However, third-party options haven't enjoyed much popularity on iOS since launch, so Google will have some work to do to lure users to its offering.