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It's not just you, Gboard's spell checker is broken

Gboard (Image credit: Android Central)

Google's software keyboard, aptly named Gboard, is a great product that a whole lot of people use every day. If you're one of them you might have noticed that you don't get a spelling suggestion when you're supposed to since the last update. If you haven't noticed and think your spelling really improved, I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you but it's just plain broken.

Image from the Google Issue Tracker.

Image from the Google Issue Tracker.

Since the tail end of January, folks have noticed the lack of suggestions or incorrect suggestions while using Gboard and devices from Samsung, Nokia, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Google's own Pixel line are well represented in the bug reports. We're seeing it ourselves, and some of us (OK, me in particular) really need help when it comes to typos.

An odd quirk is that you can connect a keyboard over Bluetooth or USB and things are back to normal but only while a keyboard is attached. This sounds like something Google is going to have to fix themselves, and let's hope they get on it — the problem's been around a while.

In the meantime, you can either roll back to an older version of Gboard — I uninstalled updates and the un-updated version in Android 8.1 for the Pixel 2 works fine — or try one of the many other great keyboards available in the Play Store.

The best keyboards for Android

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • BlackBerry Keyboard is the best!
  • Except it only works on a Blackberry so...your point?
  • You can load blackberry apps on an Android device.
  • You can't just load the Blackberry keyboard. You need to load a tonne of bloatware... Pssst... Blackberry.... Charge $2 for a stand alone keyboard app and make a mint.
  • You don't know what you're talking about. I loaded blackberry manager and the blackberry keyboard. I didn't have to load anything else. They did a tutorial on Android Central. Reading is fundamental.
  • +1 I also installed BlackBerry Manager and the BlackBerry keyboard, plus, I installed the Password Keeper.
  • I also am missing features that are supposed to be in the latest version, like the ability to have a space automatically entered after punctuation. It's just not there even though I'm completely up-to-date on the Note 8.
  • Mine stopped changing "i" to "I" a while ago and it's been driving me nuts . . Maybe this is why?
  • This!
  • Your speaking my language, it's so frustrating! Why would anyone want a lower case "i"? What's even worse is when it changes it to"u". So much angry.
  • Ummm... iPhone? 😁
  • Seems normal on Motorola using the Gboard with autocorrect working
  • Hmm no issues here and working fine for me.
  • Switched from Swiftkey 2 months ago, this explains why the autocorrect and prediction on Gboard are so horrible in comparison. Sometimes no predictions come up, one letter off in a word and it can't fix it or corrects it to another word. A lot of times it even replaces correct spellings for an entirely different word. It's been really frustrating, so far, trying to stick with it, though.
  • Running the Gboard beta and everything is working ok for spell check. Even have two languages and both works ok.
  • Hmmm.... no Gboard beta available in Canada Google Play Store. But the Samsung keyboard has significantly improved. I know... swiftkey is an option.
  • YES!!! This issue has been erking me for a few months now. I've reported it to google, has have other according to my online research. I wish they would hurry up and fix it.
  • Nthing to se heer. It workks perfctly!
  • Even my speel cheeking notzie frends thinks its workss phine
  • They are too worried about making a keyboard not work in a bunch of new languages than work in the ones it already had.
  • My biggest annoyance is when I am texting and I enter the word "were" and when I hit space, it changes it to "we're" and I'm going so fast I don't notice until after I send it. There are some other commonly used words this happens to as well. Tried turning off the feature that automatically corrects spelling errors when you press the space button, but holy lord that just brought all my texting mistakes to the forefront, I had to turn that back on immediately.
  • Ok I have been having these issues also. But some say that Gboard is better than SwiftKey, I don't think so. I use both Keyboards but have recently switched back to SwiftKey because of the issues.....
  • I kneeeeeew it!!! I wasn't that smart!!
  • This. So much this. Thank you for bringing attention to this Jerry.
  • Seems that they put out an update just now does not say whether the correct spelling is fixed or not or spell check is fixed but it seems to be fine for me I have not noticed and not predicting and give me words or the correct spelling.
  • Yeah. I noticed this months ago. I've also noticed there's sometimes a ghost swipe at the beginning of a swipe when the app is first used for the first time in an hour or so.
  • Not only this, but I have my autocorrect turned OFF and it still changes my sentences. I'll do voice dictation, it shows it as being correct then at the last second changes it to something completely different and unrelated, pisses me off.
  • I've been using SwiftKey for years and haven't had major issues.
  • Holy smokes.... This whole time I thought I was a great speller!
  • No problems in English (UK) here.
  • I switched to blackberry keyboard
  • Google has been very disappointing lately. Yes, Gboard is broken... my wife was getting increasingly frustrated with it until she got her new S9+, and kept Samsung's keyboard. Now she hates that again, and wants to go back to Gboard, but it is still terrible as of late. Multi-touch still an issue too. This had better all get sorted out in the next few months. I'm told the multi-touch will be fixed in June security update. Hopefully Gboard too. Otherwise I may be considering an iProduct... something I never, ever thought I would consider. This is actually quite typical of Google. They are unable to finish a single thing they start. Their ecosystem is a complete mess these days. It isn't fragmentation that is killing Google. It's the Googleplex and all the minions inside.