iOS keyboard

According to reports, Google is in the process of making a feature for iOS used by millions of people every day.

The search giant is apparently crafting a keyboard for iOS with gesture-based input and built-in Web search functionality. Of course, this would be a third-party keyboard and is likely to be one which the company hopes will sway iOS users away from their stock iOS keyboard option.

The company is said to have been testing the iOS keyboard app with Google HQ employees for months. However, there is no information currently as to when the keyboard will become available or launched.

The keyboard is specially designed to help increase search traffic on iOS devices. While the company still holds a dominant position in the global search market, there’s corroboration that mobile search is proving much less remunerative than the desktop.

According to a report, the new keyboard incorporates a variety of search options meant to distinguish it from the stock keyboard. The keyboard will come arrayed with some of the key features that have become standard in the Android world.

Similar to SwiftKey and Swipe which are already available for iOS, the new keyboard is also said to be gesture-based. Users can slide their finger from one letter to the next and allow Google to guess the intended word. Other features include tapping the company logo to access traditional web search.

Additionally, it also seems to have distinct buttons for pictures and GIF searches, probably powered by Google image search. The report further states that the keyboard is visually disparate from the standard Android keyboard, which integrates voice search but no text or image-based searching.

The search giant’s motive to launch an iOS keyboard is pretty evident. Replacing the default keyboard on iOS devices would most certainly drive searches performed through its built-in quick search button on the keyboard. Search is where the Mountain View company showcases most of its expensive ads, so expanding its search business is very crucial for them.

Third-party keyboards are nothing new and have mostly been a disappointment on iPhones and iPads. Support for third-party keyboards was included in iOS 8, but most users chose to stick with the default keyboard from Apple. Many such keyboards have experienced dawdling and other performance issues. With Google being a powerful brand, it remains to be seen whether they can lure users or not.