Google was good enough to release the stock Android keyboard in Google Play a few months back, and now it's getting a nice update to version 1.1. It's not going to rock your world, but it might take care of some annoyances.

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Here's the changelog, just for your information:

  • Added long-press numbers to the top row of tablet layouts.
  • Tuned keyboard layouts for some languages.
  • Bugfixes and stability improvements.

Bug fixes and better layouts are nice, but that long-press number row is going to be awesome. It never made sense that phones had easy access to numbers, but tablets required you to open up the alt keyboard. Well, that annoyance is gone now. If you just can't wait, we've got the APK mirrored below.

Android Keyboard downloads:

[APK via Ron Amadeo]

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

  • remister

    The number press was long needed. I am glad they added it.

    • Adam Truelove

      The long press was number needed.

      • Herman

        This ain't no 9gag, my friend.

    • Justin W

      I agree - it never made sense that they didn't have it.

  • Thomas’

    Hopefully long-pressed "u" now shows "ü" on the German keyboard (some for o/ö).

  • louched1

    Fingers crossed for being able to do 's in one swipe like you can in Swype. I really miss that.

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      Yeah. Being more of a swipe guy, things like that have kept me on Swype despite SwiftKey and Google's keyboard being great overall. Can't swipe words like third-party, or 's, etc, really wish we could.

      • Nathan Borup

        touchpal used to be way awesome and has some nice features like sliding up on the top key to type the number and swipe down on bottom keys for punctuation, but they're prediction methods are screwy now

      • Josh Legoza

        There are a lot of things that annoy me about the play store version of Swype (taking 2-5 seconds to open the keyboard on Nexus 4 for example), but every time I try to quit it, the 's and punctuation followed by space shortcuts keep me coming back for more. I just can't quit Swype!

        • Abhijeet Mishra

          Haha, that initial load time and also the issue of the keyboard hanging sometimes and reloading are the only things that trouble me, but yeah, 's, option to bring up keypad with Swype key + 5, etc keep me on it as well. Swype really is built for swiping, on SwiftKey and others it's an afterthought so there's not that much integration (again, words like third-party or user-friendly or anything with a - in between are good examples, Swype is nice with those).
          Now, if only standard typing was good on Swype, good thing I don't use that much.

          • Lynxy

            Just checked it out, "third-party" and "user-friendly" appeared just fine with SwiftKey Flow,

      • louched1

        Swype removed their voice-to-text button from their keyboard and that killed it for me. I'd still be using it if it weren't for that.

  • JT3

    Now how about letting us change the colors, so that we can actually SEE the numbers on the keyboard?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Install something that will let you launch activities (like say, Nova Launcher)

      Go to shortcuts-> activities -> Google Keyboard -> Android keyboard Debug settings

      Pick Themes.

      You're welcome. =)

      • Jamin

        Thank you, forgot about that function. Not a big deal since I don't like the themes at all - okay the Gingerbread one is already classic :)

  • Roberto Giunta

    WTF is wrong with Google with not being able to release an effing keyboard for German? I STILL can't normally download it.

    • anzensepp1987

      Sorry, but it is of course available in Germany...

      • Roberto Giunta

        Well, I'm in Austria and I can't download it. And you can't tell me that a Galaxy S2 is too old to download an effing keyboard.

        • anzensepp1987

          Okay that's bullshit, indeed.

      • Druidika

        Only for tablets. I cannot download it with my S4.

        • anzensepp1987

          I can, with my N4 and also with an old GNex.

          • Druidika

            See below. How do you bypass the region lock?

          • anzensepp1987

            I do not bypass anything. And as the keyboard seems to be available to your Transformer I can only guess that it is only not available to your devices. All I can confirm is the fact that it is definitely available from Germany and has been so since it launched.

          • Druidika

            If it wasn't available on my devices, the message would read "This item is not compatible with your device".

            However, it clearly says "This item cannot be installed in your device's country" in the above picture.

    • Eric Goh

      Sigh, even Malaysia doesn't get it.

  • Will P

    freakin finally

  • http://gplus.to/rjv Roger V

    The long-press for numbers, as simple as it seems, is a huge feature addition. Its absence has been a major annoyance on my tablet vs my phone. The phone keyboard still has many more useful shortcuts that I hope tablets will get.

  • brkshr

    Long press symbols on every key should be standard by now!

  • xnifex

    Haha still getting stuff from Ron. love it!

  • xnifex

    I wish swype would go back to their phone layout for tablets - i like these smaller ones instead of huge keyboards for tablets.

  • madmaglio

    Swype is still the only one that lets me swipe ".com". Both keyboards should offer a separate # row.

    • Greyhame

      Add ".com" into your personal dictionary. Presto!

    • Nomaan

      Or it will be McCook

  • acey_zero

    Bummer, they didn't fix the bug where correction suggestions don't show up in certain apps even when they are set to "Always show" in the settings.

    Does this happen to anyone else? For me it makes the keyboard not worth using...

  • MrRageQuit

    Awesome. Having no long press for numbers was annoying when I got my Nexus 7. It was the reason I bought SwiftKey tablet keyboard.

  • Krisztián Dávid Kovács

    Any idea why the swype feature is not working in languages other than English? Is it fixed in this version? Or am I missing somethiing?

    • PhilNelwyn

      It's worked in French since it was introduced.

  • Tyler

    The stock keyboard still needs a split feature similar to how it is on the iPad or Switfkey Tablet. I still don't see any reason to go back to the stock keyboard yet from Swiftkey.

  • Paul_Werner

    Not sure why (on a tablet that is) anyone would keep the default keyboard layout for the Google keyboard when they can just set this up:


    That one has numbers on the top row all the time

    • Alexei Watson

      Ah - just wrote a comment about exactly this. Great feature. So Hidden.. I find it a tad tight in portrait on 7" tabs though.

  • Simon Belmont

    Speaking of longpresses for keyboards. I wish SwiftKey would make the percentage symbol a long press on the main keyboard.

    I actually use the percentage symbol pretty often, so having to switch to the numerical keyboard and THEN longpress there is a bit tedious. Nice to see Google updating their stock keyboard, though.

  • taz89

    Still want long press for symbols etc or at least an option to turn it on and off..use symbols quite often and it's annoying having to change

  • jonathan3579

    Still no emoji like on the Nexus 4? :/

  • http://www.twitter.com/joshuaworth Joshua Worth

    No dice on my Nexus 7 (2013) also the update that was supposed to fix touch responsiveness for some has completely borked touch responsiveness which is highly annoying..

  • Alexei Watson

    On my tablet with google keyboard, I've switched to the custom style "English (US)(PC)"

    It's a 5 row qwerty with all symbols in the exact same location as a desktop keyboard.

    It's buried so deep in the advanced google keyboard settings that very few know that it exist. It's so good for typing in passwords with symbols, where muscle memory often serves better than the actual characters.

    • Taco Monster

      Sweet! This is awesome.

    • vyledust

      Thank you for this. Thank you so much. So much awesome in one little tweak.

  • mrjayviper

    how does this keyboard compare to swype? thanks

  • Cory Wilson

    Never got googles "tablet" mode that took away features that were convenient, about time they realized their mistake

  • Chronus719

    I'm still waiting for Google to merge the Japanese IME on the Play Store with the stock keyboard. I'm tired of constant switching between the crappy layout of the Japanese IME and the good layout of the stock keyboard. Plus it would make changing back and forth much easier. The Japanese IME doesn't support long press on the keyboard for input methods, so I always have to reach up for the notification bar if I'm switching between English and Japanese.

  • anywherehome

    1) poor non ENG dictionaries
    2) poor swyping
    3) dictating is a pain

    swype is 5 years ahead

  • Ken

    Long press numbers not working on my N7-1, either.

  • Mobile Phones Fan


    The official Play Store update for Google keyboard (finally) reached me, today, five days after installing the APK mentioned on this page.

    On one of my devices, allowing it to auto-update caused several problems with the app, including complete loss of 'swipe' functionality.

    Worse, after uninstalling and then reinstalling it from Play Store, I found that the Google Keyboard icon no longer appeared in my app-drawer.

    Bottom line: Seems to be some conflict between the two APKs. :-) If it helps, the phone in question is a Galaxy Nexus 'toro' (Verizon).