According to yesterday’s report, Google is developing a keyboard for iPhone’s in the hopes to boost search volumes. The report by the Verge states that the keyboard will include swiping/gesture based typing & predictive texts.
With Apple’s release of iOS 8 they now allow third party apps to replace its own keyboard. Currently, the two most popular replacement keyboards for iPhones are Swype and Swiftkey. Both keyboards are designed to allow for speedy swipe typing. Apple doesn’t provide app-install numbers but Swiftkey has more than 50 million installs on Android devices.With this keyboard, it is Google’s objective to increase the number of searches coming from iPhones.
Over the years, it has been discussed that apps have moved users away from search volumes and lead Google away from the center of content discovery on mobile devices. In fact, an analysis also cited by The Verge argues that most smartphone users do less than one mobile search per day. That being said, just last year Google reported that more searches in the US came from mobile devices than PC’s.
Google has done a wide range of things to push itself back into the center of the mobile user experience. From AMP, app indexing, conversational searches and now a Google keyboard. Google’s mobile strategy is many-sided and this keyboard will add to that strategy.