Google has been developing its own third-party keyboard for iOS that would incorporate the company’s search engine, The Verge reports. Sources said the keyboard has been in circulation among employees for months and is designed to boost the search traffic from Apple devices by providing one-button access to picture, GIF and traditional web searches.
Like its Android counterpart, Google’s iOS keyboard also employs gesture-based typing, allowing users to drag their finger from one letter to the next and have Google guess their intended word.
Several alternate and novelty third-party keyboards are available in the app store, including options for adding GIFs to conversations, but none of the current options can boast the functionality that comes with being linked to Google’s powerful search engine. The Android version is rated four out of five stars in the Google Play store, with common user complaints including the lack of a separate numeric keyboard and emojis.
There’s no official word on when Google plans to release its iOS keyboard to the public..