05
Jun
unnamed

Is that OEM keyboard getting you down? Can't seem to get the hang of Samsung's aggressive autocorrect, or just had it with HTC's Sense themes? Google has just the thing. The stock Android keyboard has been released in Google Play as a standard app. Go grab the official Google Keyboard right now.

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The stock keyboard includes all the features introduced up through Android 4.2, and it can be installed on any Android device running 4.0 or higher. That's a lot of devices that can now get access to Google's version of gesture typing, voice dictation, and auto-completion.

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This version of the Android keyboard can also be installed on stock device like the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7. Presumably it updates the existing experience so Google can push out new features without waiting on OS updates. There are plenty of alternative keyboards in Google Play, but this is free and really solid. What more can you ask for? Oh, and notice the time in the screenshots – 4:30. The clock in Google's screenshots often points to the current or upcoming Android version number. Google, you're such a tease.

Update: Google has confirmed the keyboard app is for English-speaking countries only at first. More languages coming soon. The APK is mirrored below.

[Thanks, Will and Felipe!]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • AndroidTuts

    I've tried to use this but It just doesn't compare to Swiftkey, for me at least.

  • Filip Žužić

    Waiting for the APK...

    • TheWhiteLotus

      Why? It's on the Play Store and free.

      • quiro91

        because it seems to be US only

      • Marcell Lévai

        It's country restricted, that's why.

        • TheWhiteLotus

          Didn't know that. Why would they restrict it?

          • Marcell Lévai

            Dunno. It seems this staged releasing is the new standard :/

          • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael

            The dictionary/servers for the other languages mightn't be ready yet.

        • NemaCystX

          Region Locked

    • Pritam
  • Eduardo Soares

    Country restricted :(

    • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

      Yupp. Can't download it from Mexico. Good job, Google!

      • Polyg0n

        Same here

      • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

        I updated my current version without any issue. Perhaps it's only restricted if it's not installed on your system?

        • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

          From Mexico? (Or any other non-USA country?)
          That still wouldn't make much sense. The idea behind the play store is that it would make the keyboard availbale to everyone, not just AOSPers.

    • Viktor Å

      +1 for Sweden.

    • Barton82

      Yup, Poland is a no go.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/thedeusexmakina [J. B. cyruz]

      Same for Germany. Come on, Google.

      • rsyasrnga

        Doesn't seem like they have word prediction working in German yet. That might be why it's delayed in Germany.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/thedeusexmakina [J. B. cyruz]

          Yes, I realized that shortly after I posted the reply. I write half the words I write on my phone in English and the other half in German - I doubt I'll be able to properly do that with this keyboard without switching the language in the options (if that's even possible). It's not a problem at all with SwiftKey. I still think I'll try this when it's available in Germany.

    • Kh5

      G+ post said it first comes to English locales and the other ones would follow later.

    • http://www.deadware.org/blog rickdesantis

      This is quite funny: I can download it on both my Nexus S and Nexus 4, but not on my Galaxy Tab 2 7", because apparently the tab is in the wrong country. Needless to say, all the devices are here in Italy lol.

      • http://www.deadware.org/blog rickdesantis

        Wow, now it's installing on my tab too… Some love for us Italians, finally :D

        • Mobile Phones Fan

          Just curious, but regardless of where you're located now where did you buy those devices? And what's the default language on each?
          .

          • http://www.deadware.org/blog rickdesantis

            I've bought the nexuses on two online stores and the GTab in a shop. If you're interested I can link you the website for the Nexus 4 ;) I've had no problem at all, and they've got the classic European warranty, that is good enough (but it lasts only 1 year, while the Italian ones have to last 2). I might add that they're starting to sell the Nexus 4 in shops here now, but they cost at least 100€ more than the play store price (469€ the last time I've checked).

            Anyway, all of them came with all the languages that you can imagine lol (it asks you at the beginning what's your lang of choice). There's no problem at all with that! The nexuses are everywhere the same.

    • Huton Gergö

      Interestung on play.google.com at MyApps the keybord is listed as system APP and i can click install for update.
      But i can't search the keybord from phone :)

  • Lupe Fiasco

    I have a feeling that Google Apps that come pre-installed on Stock Android and are system apps are now making it's way to the Play Store. I have a feeling Google's plan is to start making system apps like the Keyboard a Play Store app so that it can be updated without needing a whole new Android Version.

    • nsnsmj

      Yep. It makes perfect sense, and they've been doing it with other apps already. It's better this way, too, since it allows things to be updated and improved without the need for an OS update.

      • http://thomashunsaker.com Thomas Hunsaker

        Also allows for experimentation, if it doesn't work well, just pull it or replace it within a few hours/days.

        • Justin Swanson

          Or use the new beta release system... since a lot of people like getting the beta... because newer is better?

      • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

        I hope they do it with the Contacts App, sometimes they forget to add December to it andit would be a quick PlayStore dump to get it fixed =P

        • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

          "...sometimes they forget to add December to it..."
          Aaand the golden thumb trophy goes to...

    • http://thomashunsaker.com Thomas Hunsaker

      They've been at this a while now, when Gmail was first released as a play store app, it was a bit odd. Now it makes perfect sense, this and Google Talk (Hangouts) are the last few. This is great news for consumers!

    • Yorick Reuvekamp

      Google has been doing this since Froyo (2.2).

      • Lupe Fiasco

        Yes, but not as frequent. With Hangouts, Keyboard, and whatever other apps that are not in the Play Store yet, it gives a better idea of the direction Google is heading with Android and their apps.

        • Mobile Phones Fan

          >> Yes, but not as frequent.

          I think you'll find its not that the team slowed their pace of standalone apps so much as it was decided to hold off on nearly *all* such releases, until just recently...likely while preparing the new Google Play Services framework.
          .

    • JonJJon

      Hopefully stock email app gets the new guidelines update (with resizing of emails like in the gmail app) and possibly released onto the Play Store as well, it's one of the few apps left I use a lot that I want updated with Android 4.3 or separately through the Play Store. Well there is the Maps app but we know that update is coming this summer sometimes "In a staged roll out".

    • Mobile Phones Fan

      Sure, but they've been heading in this direction for 3 years. We just couldn't see all the preparation that's been going on, behind the scenes...proprietary stuff to unwind from FOSS components, expanding Google Play Services, etc.
      .

      • didibus

        I love that separation. It makes for a true modular OS, one that ties components together, but allow you to change each one individually. I love it.

    • pappu

      what about android 2.3 user

  • Dominic Powell

    I personally like to be teased before ... ( . )( . )

    • Mr.Flibbles

      If you like half life then your opinion would be changed.

  • pepoker1

    why 4:30 that confuse me

    • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

      Android 4.3.

      • pepoker1

        yeah android 4.3 but realese it now!!

        • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

          Actually, there's no need for Android 4.3
          The features that it might have had can be sent via Play Store updates for individual parts such as the "google keyboard" and even the contacts app and the camera could be updated via the Store in the near future, thus bringing Android 4.3 to everyone in one fell swoop.

          We can dream.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            That's not really true for everything. They can't do that to BT Smart support, or OpenGL ES 3.0, and other core functionality. They can do it to some things, but not everything by far. We still need OS updates.

          • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

            Well yeah, kernel optimizations and other 'core functionality' still need updates, but if the entire Android Framework were decopled from Android and uploaded into the Android Market, we'd be close to having the dream of day 0 updates

          • Mobile Phones Fan

            >> [...] we'd be close to having the dream of day 0 updates

            I'd say that's exactly where we're headed. OHA and other 'industry leaders' had a chance to stay relevant with that '18 months' pledge.:

            http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/android-momentum-mobile-and-more-at.html

            ::ahem::

            Now, its Google's move. Obviously, where X = 'timely updates', solving for X requires that everybody else be removed from the equation. :-)
            .

          • pepoker1

            new version of OS is not only apps its about kernel and some problems
            and of course a new things too

  • Kevin Kraft

    slide for caps and punctuation is new, no?

    • ac75

      Yes. There are a few new bits under a whole new Advanced Settings option.

      The slide for caps only seems to be for individual capital letters, can't seem to slide a whole word in caps or with capitalised initial.

    • http://www.deadware.org/blog rickdesantis

      Yep, and there's an option to block "offensive" suggestions that wasn't there before, if I'm not wrong.

      • Dani

        Before it was blocking by default, glad to know it's possible to disable it now.

    • RyanWhitwam

      The Android keyboard has done this forever, but the animation is new in this version.

      • Kevin Kraft

        oh man I'm glad they put that there because i had no idea haha.

  • Edward Germanotta

    BYE third party keyboards

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      I'm downloading it just to know what it feels like, but it's very unlikely I'm letting go of SwiftKey...

  • Guest

    I browsed to it on the Play Store from my Galaxy Nexus and it showed an update was available – guess they’ve changed a few things in addition to making it widely available?

    • Mobile Phones Fan

      Can't be sure about any underhood improvements (I suspect they are _constantly_ tweaking autocorrect), but at very least you'll see a revised Settings menu.

      Nothing too fancy, but some of the changes are interesting -- like a new adjustment for key-press delay, plus the option of adding a dedicated launcher icon.
      .

  • jamma

    They've added a few new settings too, like changing the long keypress delay. Finally means I can try it out properly without wanting to go back to swiftkey!

    • basteagow

      HOLY SHIT. Hell yes.

  • olliexz

    How does the country restriction work? Is there a way around it (without custom ROMs or unlocked bootloaders) Will it come to the rest of the world?

    • Polyg0n

      Get the APK somewhere else (maybe XDA forums)

      • olliexz

        On it. Thank you :)

      • olliexz

        Much easier than expected. Loving it already.

  • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

    So they sell the Nexus 4 to Germany straight through the Play Store but I'm not allowed to separately download the keyboard app? Sad times.
    http://i.imgur.com/3Rq4pVl.png

    That said, I prefer the CyanogenMod 10.1 keyboard anyway.

    • spacekobra

      The CM 10.1 keyboard IS this keyboard.
      Unless they made changes, what changes did they make?

      • Nick

        As far as I'm aware the CM keyboard is literally just the AOSP keyboard, which is what this is, although this has long press delay which the AOSP doesn't.
        So this new keyboard is actually better than the one included in CM.

        • spacekobra

          That's what I thought too. So yeah, this keyboard would be better.
          I guess I could test.

        • Kie

          I believe this keyboard also adds a visual clue for when you swipe from the shift or the symbols key. Don't recall that as part of the AOSP keyboard

      • http://about.me/d.bennett Dan Bennett

        On stock only the top row of keys have long-press actions (numbers) whereas in CM all keys do, offering loads of punctuation and symbols.

        I find the suggestions and autocorrect more accurate, too, but I don't know of that's just because of a different default for some settings.

        I'd really like to know why my comment has two down-votes, though.

  • Marcell Lévai

    If anyone was so nice to upload the apk... They would get so many virtual hugs!

  • Leo Kanellopoulos

    fun fact! it says i can download this on my nexus 10 (4.2.2 uk) but i cant on my htc one x(4.1.1 German). I am currently located in Greece.

    • Filip Žužić

      Because it is available only for english-speaking countries.

      • Leo Kanellopoulos

        i thought it was a local restriction anyway thats why i love androidpolice! apk downloading :D

  • Guest

    Why doesn't it support the note 2?!! ARGH!!

    • Matt

      I've got it working - in the UK here!

  • David

    Here the APK (forced download from web Play Store).

    Nexus 4 from Spain

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/8g776fl2qh5j4jd/com.google.android.inputmethod.latin-1.apk

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Found your tip as well and had Ryan update the post. Thanks, Felipe.

    • Felipe Pimenta

      Haha. Didn't needed to do that, but thanks :)

  • Jiggy

    I wonder when will they introduce sync of personal dictionaries between multiple devices...

  • Carlos

    Not available in Estonia and in Finland. F@#? Google. They are so racists. -_-
    I'm glad that I have galaxy nexus. :)

    • Carlos

      I don't care about the APK because I have Google's keyboard because on my Nexus!!!!
      I just wanted to say what I think about Google devs..

      Google ears, Play Music (the great features), Movies, Magazines, Books, Chrome to Phone, etc. are blocked here!
      At least Google Navigation is now available in Estonia..
      And Google Ears stays unfrozen on my Nexus because I've recompiled resigned it.

  • Daniel McKenzie J.

    I assume this has been put on the Google Play Store so Google can update it without having to update the Android OS? I DO think the Keyboard needs a very big UI update tho. It's chunky, takes up half the screen and no real HOLO design!! SwiftKey and Swype Keyboards visually look much better!

    • Matt

      Really? Part of the reason I don't like the Swype and Swiftkey keyboards is because I find the themes fairly ugly, even the Holo theme. I also stick to stock because I just prefer the layout, but I find the stock keyboard far better looking than either of those.

      • Daniel McKenzie J.

        Oh god know it's so big and chunky!! It literally takes half of my Nexus 4 screen up!!

        • Matt

          I switched back and forth between Switfkey and Stock in portrait on my Nexus 4 and, if there's a size difference, I'm sure not noticing it.

          • Tim Swanborough

            Change the height of the portrait keys in swiftkey settings. trust me. Once you do it you'll wonder how you ever worked with such a large keyboard.

          • Matt

            I tried it, it's still not my thing. I really dislike the alternate symbol keyboard configuration (numbers, punctuation, etc.) and I also find I have to delete words far more often on SwiftKey than stock. I only swipe occasionally so maybe that's why, but I just have always liked stock and I've given SwiftKey plenty of chances. It's just not for me.

  • Marcell Lévai

    Testing it now. It works perfectly not only with English, but with other languages too. New features: set longpress duration, show/hide app icon, double press space now optional, swipe from shift to letter to make it capital.

  • evertjr

    They should release the launcher too

    • Bleakvision

      And let's not forget the stock windowshade while they are at it.

  • Dude

    Singapore's main language is English. Why isn't it available?

  • joser116

    Best news I've heard in a while.

  • Mastermind26

    Goodbye idiotic swype?
    It seems to do just a good a job and none of that jumping through hoops for installs. :)

  • joser116

    All I need now is the Google launcher. Nexus experience for the world!!!!

  • Vlad Staicu

    At first I was disappointed that I couldn't really profit from this keyboard since I use a Nexus device already, but then I remembered I use a Nexus device already. Which is just awesome.

    • Mobile Phones Fan

      Actually, this release of Android Keyboard will likely appear as an update to all but the most recent Nexus-builds. Check the Play Store page from your Nexus.
      .

      • firethorn

        I installed it on my Nexus 4 just for kicks, but it wasn't an update but installed another keyboard.

        • Mobile Phones Fan

          So, if you check the Language & Input menu (in Settings) you now find *two* Android keyboards?
          .

          • firethorn

            Not quite. The pre-installed one is called "Android Keyboard" but the new one goes under "Google Keyboard" like in the Play store.

          • Mobile Phones Fan

            Thanks for checking.
            .

          • mechapathy

            Odd. In the Play Store it showed as an update for me, and replaced "Android Keyboard" with "Google Keyboard" on my Nexus 4.

          • mechapathy

            FWIW, I had a different experience. It was listed as an update on my stock Nexus 4, and installed on top of "Android Keyboard." So my Language & Input settings show "Google Keyboard" instead.

  • leeroy j.

    Last time I checked Ireland was english speaking. But no download here -.-

  • IncCo

    way worse than SwiftKey, but thanks for posting it.

  • firethorn

    It didn't update the regular keyboard on my Nexus 4, so now I have both Android Keyboard and Google Keyboard. Didn't expect that.

    • Matt

      The same thing happened when Google Calendar entered the Play Store. I just disabled AOSP Keyboard in the app settings and there is no longer a double instance.

      • firethorn

        Yeah, you're right. In fact, I did exactly the same with the pre-installed Calendar app so I didn't have duplicate icons in the app drawer. Time to get used to this move, I guess. (even though the Android Keyboard doesn't have an app icon)

        • Matt

          Yeah...I'm hoping the next gapps version considers leaving them out, but I'm not sure if that would work.

  • http://tech.gtaero.net/ Navarr Barnier

    This makes me happy. Can we just get ALL the stock android apps on the play store? Then I can buy ANY phone and *MAKE IT* the "Google Experience"!

  • Andy Stetson

    Would love to see them put the stock camera on there so that it can get updates.

  • Justin Swanson

    I haven't seen a comment on this, thought I'd mention it.

    You can install it in addition to the default android keyboard (wasn't sure if you'd be able to on a Nexus device). I think I will be doing this because as a I like to flash several ROMs, I always need to reset the keyboard (I am always nervous about restoring system app when switching sources). This will hopefully remove that necessity.

  • sourabh

    Hey guys, I can recall that there was some app that removes country restriction but I cant seem to remember it's name. This keyboard isn't yet available on India. I hope you can help me out on this one because good search doesn't give me the desired results

    • Dani

      Same issue here.
      Bought my N4 from Play Store in Spain and I'm looking for a way to unlocalize the recommendations I get from the Play Store.

  • Finaldeath

    This is my first time using swipe typing as i thought it would be a pain to use but it is surprisingly accurate and easy. It is so much better than the stock keyboard on my sony tablet s.

  • Joey Hain

    Is it just me or is this a lot more accurate at predictions than the stock 4.2 keyboard? I'm finding myself making significantly less errors with both gesture typing and otherwise.

  • Alexei Watson

    Heads up: just updated on GNex and this version fixes the old annoying behaviour of saving words to the dictionary.. it now behaves as it should. No more multiple confirmations and keyboard hiding/popping up

  • oesjmr

    Being stuck on Gingerbread on my OG EVO is starting to suck. Yeah, I know there are ICS/JB ROMs out there, but I don't want to lose 4G. I've been holding on to my upgrade for a year now because my EVO has been awesome with Deck's ROM, but I'm definitely starting to feel the 4.0+ requirement blues. I'm holding off for whatever Motorola has up their sleeve and if it doesn't impress, then it's a HTC One for me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/seangt Sean Thomas

    now just give me phone, camera, launcher, lock screen, messaging, gallery, clock, and people and we'll be all set. and calculator...and news& weather...there are more apps than I thought.

  • N7100kid

    Playstore says it's not compatible with my Note 2... anyone else having this problem?

  • Sean Watkins

    South Africa is an English speaking country...the app is not available for us yet...sigh.

  • Andrew

    My Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 show this like an "update". Should I update, or there is nothing new, compared to stock 4.2.2 app?

  • Fellwalker

    Why does it need so many new permissions? Because they're so intrusive I'm not trying it. Apparently according to one reviewer it even remembers your credit card number.

  • Alm0s

    Why the hell would they make it country restricted? What's the point?

  • Ruben

    I got it :D The Netherlands is supported!

  • anzensepp1987

    Downloading it on my N4 in Germany without a problem. So there should be no US-restriction ore something like that.

  • Roh_Mish

    So now as this is an google app, it will probably get closed sourced and not included in aosp source code

  • fewesttwo

    So this goes along with what JBQ Tweeted yesterday

  • Leo Kanellopoulos

    Something interesting is that on my nexus 10 i can use Greek with the dictionary and tracing. However, on this one on my hox it says that greek has not been developed yet!

  • aviran

    what abot lower android version?

  • Shivanand Pattanshetti

    In what all regions is it supported? I can say for sure that it is not supported in India though we use English almost always in written communication. Does anyone know why google decided to restrict this app by region?

  • prycem

    I live in an English speaking country...Jamaica..and its not available for me in the Play store.

  • KRS_Won

    Emoji

  • Pritam
  • arturodelac

    Did aanyone realized that the time its 4:30 android 4.3?

  • Adam

    Installed it, selected it, tried to write a simple word with the swipe thing and it failed spectacularly three times in a row. Think I'll stick with thumb keyboard.

  • ahiredgeek

    You say that the keyboard doesn't require a particular version of android when you clearly state that it requires 4.0+.

  • LFB

    Google update the app on june 21. Some bug fix:
    Tuned keypress-vibration strength on some devices.
    Fixed bugs in settings, language switching, and elsewhere.

    Download credit Android Pure.

    New Update: 1.0.1870.703320
    Dowload: d-h.st/rj5

  • Romdude

    Installed on HTC One, works great, predicts better than the HTC keyboard and i like the floating preview of the word. So far so good.