June 6, 2013 report
Google rolls its own keyboard app for Android 4.0 and up
Google's own keyboard replacement will be competing with other Android keyboard solutions intended as replacements for vendor smartphone keyboards. The more popular replacements have similar features and their own loyal users who have become accustomed to respective brands.
Swype from Nuance Communications, for example, has gained recognition as a fast and easy way to input text on phone and tablet screens. According to the company Swype has been pre-installed on devices for Android, and other systems. The same concept of offering continuous motions and predictive text so that users can enter words faster is applied. Also, there is SwiftKey for Android, another on-screen keyboard for Android users that has become popular, also having features that allow fast and easy entry.
Google's keyboard announcement in turn took care to recognize there are other Android replacements out there than just its own. "Android is an open platform, so you can customize your device to your liking; choosing your own keyboard is just one example of what's possible – and there are a lot of great keyboards to choose from on Google Play."
Google Keyboard is rolling out to Google Play for devices running Android 4.0 and above initially in English-speaking locales but more countries will be added in the future, according to the Google announcement.
Google Keyboard key features include gesture typing (where you glide through letters); just lifting the finger to complete a word without having to press a space bar; when circumstances make hands-on composing difficult, one can use Voice Typing; next-word prediction; and dictionaries covering 26 languages
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