An updated version of Google Keyboard has made its way into the Play Store, taking most of the previously Nexus 5-exclusive features and expanding them out to other devices. We've covered the improvements in-depth before (and provided an APK), but in short, the swiping trail is now white, emoji are built-in, and users can swipe multiple words without having to lift up their finger. Unfortunately, some features still require KitKat, such as full-color emoji. Anyone running a prior version of Android will see an incomplete, black and white set instead.

Keyboard1 Keyboard2 Keyboard3

The new black and white look arguably helps Google's keyboard better integrate with Android interfaces that are decidedly less Holo, such as HTC Sense (above) and TouchWiz. This type of change won't matter to everyone, but there is bound to be something else on the changelog that appeals to users looking to make the upgrade.

What's new:

  • Rationalized punctuation across different sizes (4",7" and 10")
  • Inserted emoji entry point & layouts (KitKat or later)
  • Simplified mini-keyboard on full stop long press (revised long-press menus)
  • De-blued press states
  • Added space-aware gesture typing (you will not have to lift your finger while gesture typing - just go through the space bar)

The new version is 2.0.18933.905102a, which isn't that far off from what's on the Nexus 5 (2.0.19003.893803a). As is par for the course with Google apps, the keyboard is rolling out in stages. If it hasn't yet landed on your device, give it time.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Gabriel Bobon

    why isn't compatible with htc one?? (with android 4.3) is compatible only with devices with 4.4??

    • Jordan DeBarth

      It works on my One with 4.3.

    • Mike Waldon

      its compatible with my S4 with 4.3 on it

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      The screenshots I provided were taken on an HTC One running Android 4.3.

      • Gabriel Bobon

        Thnx for reply... Is unavailable in Poland :(

        • djakdekiel

          Download keyboard from nexus 5 ;)
          Pobierz apkę klawiatury nexus 5 z xda. Na nexus 4 działa ok, u kolegi na one tez chyba wszystko ok.

        • http://alabdulsalam.tumblr.com/ Abdulsalam Al-Abdulsalam

          I'm from Kuwait and having the same issue!! It's just a keyboard google!!

    • Gabriel Bobon

      Yeah, isn't available in Poland :(

    • Markus S.

      Doesn't install on my S3 with Android 4.1 either despite the claim on the Play entry to be compatible with 4.0 and up.

  • Adam B.

    Why are there only the worst emojis? I mean, where are the smiley faces, the flowers and food ???

    • Haunter

      There are different emoji menus, so there's a bunch. Every emoji from Hangouts is present.

      • Adam B.

        I only have the clock, the triangle and the ugly smiley face as tabs. Do you have more?

        • Haunter

          I may be mistaken, if it's just a Hangouts thing. Have you tried scrolling the top menu left or right (with the click and such)?

          • Adam B.

            Seriously I have no idea where the other emojis are.

          • Mike Boodoo

            You can't access them until 4.4

        • remister

          I have the same issues on my Nexus 7, I don't think they are enabled until the device obtains 4.4 maybe?

        • CoreRooted

          tl;dr? "Unfortunately, some features still require KitKat, such as full-color emoji." That includes the enitre Emoji library. The ones in Hangouts are baked into the Hangouts APK and not the keyboard APK.

          • Adam B.

            Did I mention full-color emojis? Smiley face emojis, objects and animal for example are included in Android 4.3, they should be there... But some tabs look missing.

    • Abhilash Bingi

      If you want all the emojis, you can long press on the space bar in the Google Keyboard and select emoji. On other keyboards, you've to access it from the notification bar.

  • Andrew Tseng

    Just installed on my Galaxy Nexus. I think the colors (or lack of colors) are to stay in line with 4.4. Didn't see any notes about it, but my keyboard seems to be much faster than before - loading and processing my strokes.

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      Same on the Motorola Xoom. This is the first time since Google began updating the keyboard on the Play Store that the keyboard has actually performed acceptably on the Xoom. I'm a happy camper.

    • Drew M

      I noticed the same. I don't think the performance mitigates the awful changes that they made to the layout though.

  • Haunter

    The punctuation being moved around from the previous keyboard is bugging the ever living shit out of me, personally.

    • Ygor Vaz

      I'm ashamed of myself for spending far too much time looking for the "underline" that was right under my nose.

      • Haunter

        Seriously though... why hide the underscore in a long press? It's gonna take getting used to before I get my flow back.

        • Trent Callahan

          That's why I haven't strayed from Kii since the beta in January/February. The button layout has stayed the same for me and every button is in the ideal position for me.

    • Tony

      On the Play Store I just wrote a scathing review saying the new punctuation sucks***** ...anyone typing on the keyboard will get that joke

      • Brayden Reesor

        This needs more likes. I've been doing that for a few days now on my Nexus 5....

        • Haunter

          Dude... me too. It's quite the inconvenience.

      • USSENTERNCC1701E


      • aj

        that single thing is literally the worst****

        • Riana Eiren

          I agree! They removed so much punctuation I use constantly from that menu (that and the letters popping up) that I reverted to the previous version so I could type again.

          • Scaro

            Hello, sorry to bother you but howdo you revert to the previous version?

          • Riana Eiren

            Under settings for the app I uninstalled the update. But that only worked before the kitkat update, which included a keyboard update I couldn't roll back from. For that I had to get a Jelly Bean keyboard app from the android market. I use this one now:
            Hope that helps.

      • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

        Haha! I've said "hey*" so many times...

    • varun

      Seriously. Annoying the crap out of me. In particular, the ampersand and asterisk swaperoo is causing no end of grief on SSH sessions.

      • Pål Nilsen

        Hacker's keyboard. That is all.

    • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      I was wondering why I screwed up everytime I typed an exclamation mark. That explains it.

    • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

      My thoughts EXACTLY

  • Dheeraj Chowdary Nekkanti

    This is not avaiable in India. I'm never one to complain about country restrictions, but why is a keyboard app country restricted? I'm asking because I don't know.

    • Gabriel Bobon

      For Poland is the same... Isn't available...

    • bondx99

      Coz google thinks US=World!!

      • NF

        That's certainly an oversimplification.

    • Mateusz Cichon

      Try going to "My apps" and "All" then scroll down and find it. It's not visible in search.

    • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

      I'm in India, and got it OTA. But I bought my N4 in the US. So, that might explain the difference

    • abhishek Pandey

      Dheeraj I just downloaded the keyboard from the store....try again..

      • Dheeraj Chowdary Nekkanti

        Nope :( Look at the screenshot.

  • Saboteur777

    Do you know how can someone create a dictionary for this? What format, how to import into it. My language is not listed in the dictionary list... :(

  • GreatNews

    here is the APK for who ever cant wait for the update!


    • Gabriel Bobon

      Thanks for share :) i can't download it from play caz is unavailable for poland

      • Mateusz Cichon

        It's available in Poland. Go to "My apps" and "All" section. Then scroll and find it :-) For some reasons i can't find it in search. Also you can try to manual update Google Play services by visiting this URL in mobile browser and selecting "Play store" as action. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.gms

        • akshay7394

          @gabrielbobon:disqus you can also search for the app on google, the play link that shows up lets you install it in any country :)

          • Gabriel Bobon

            now is available but yesterday wasn't...

          • Mateusz Cichon

            It was available for me everytime :D It's my second update using Google Play for this app.

        • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski
          • Mateusz Cichon
          • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

            And you are not using any proxies, VPNs, etc. to look like you are connecting from a different country?

          • Mateusz Cichon

            No, my county on Google Account is Poland and it's available for me from both TP and UPC Polska.

          • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

            Strange, It's not available for me via Orange 3G, TP (Neostrata) or local provider at my friends place.

  • beboo

    the keyboard is rolling out in stages. If it hasn't yet landed on your device, give it time. :D
    it doesn't even available to my country :(

  • Brayden Reesor

    Does this have the new bizarre key placements too? :/ not liking that. Was so used to the old way.

  • NF

    The sapience gestures sounded exciting but they don't work as well as I'd hoped in accuracy

    • The_Chlero

      yeah it really sucks, at least in Spanish, it sucks. But the prediction is pretty good in word by word basis.

  • gani

    Apk please

  • Matthew Fry

    So... how does this fit in with the apk that AP posted from the Nexus 5? Should I uninstall it and install this? Or is it the same?

    • Nathan

      Install this one. It's newer and things might have been fixed.

      Uninstall of the previous version might not be needed.

      • aziz

        is there a workaround for english speaking users in non english countries to get this version ? When i tried downloading, it said this app is not available in your country.

  • Jadephyre

    Incompatible with all my devices... yeah, that's rich xD

  • The_Chlero

    Galaxy Nexus running stock 4.3 in Mexico and my Google Keyboard version is still stuck in the stone age aka version 1.0.1800.776638 with no signs to be updated anytime soon.

  • clovervidia

    First things first, I really do miss the blue accents. Is there a specific reason they're switching to monochrome everything?

    And secondly, moving the apostrophe and punctuation keys was not cool. I don't even know where the underscore went to.

    • Lexster

      I hate that Google seems to be changing color schemes every year or so. We had green and then we had orange and then we have blue and now WHITE. I don't know about anyone else, but white is extremely boring, in my opinion. Just PICK ONE and stick with it, Google...

      • clovervidia

        Colors are fine by me so long as the color isn't white. Blue or green would be ideal, but I'm used to blue since my device shipped with jellybean.

        And I truly hate the new apostrophe placement. As much as the keyboard should correct you, sometimes you get type it yourself.

        • Lexster

          I actually really prefer the Samsung Keyboard on the Note 3. Having an independent number row is awesome and all of the letter keys have long-press symbols, so there's no need to go into the symbol menu for common-use symbols.

          • clovervidia

            I use the Hacker's Keyboard if it's number heavy.

          • Lexster

            I wouldn't say i usually have things number-heavy, but I didn't realize how much I liked having the number row there until I had it.

          • clovervidia

            That is true as well, although I like having the bigger keys at the cost of having to hold for numbers on the top row.

    • Riana Eiren

      I suspect they might be trying to mimic Apple. :(

      • clovervidia

        Well, that's just some shit. I removed all the updates, then installed 1.1 to get long press for numbers back. This layout is not being friendly with me.

  • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

    What is this?
    "Rationalized punctuation across different sizes (4",7" and 10")"

    Does that mean they are now all in the same place no matter what size screen your device has?

  • Michael Nguyen

    I would LOVE a feature that Swype had where you could Select All/Paste/Copy etc. by swyping from the logo to A/V/C.

    • David Hart

      And a number pad!

  • Eljazz

    I only miss a clipboard button where you have access to multiple textcopy's like Samsungs keyboard... But still I like it.

  • Android Developer

    I wish it had more characters shown, as done on galaxy note 2's keyboard.
    what i mean is single keys for digits above the letters, and more long click options for each key.
    I also prefer the suggestions on touchwiz, which show more than 3 suggested items, and it really remembers many things you type.
    it's too bad I can't find any good and free alternative keyboard like the one of touchwiz.

    • The_Chlero

      you seems happy with TouchWiz's. Why you wanna change?

      • Android Developer

        actually I am. I like their keyboard ,contacts , dialer (including what is shown during calls) , camera , toggles, and some tiny features.
        what i don't like about touchwiz is its speed and space being wasted.
        the speed is awful especially on the contacts&dialer app, which not only take a long time to load, but it also take a long time to call. i also don't like the way they made the tabs on it, and the new tabs on the settings screen.

        that's why i hope that by the day i will use a rom like the awesome CM, i will find alternatives to what samsung has to offer.

        i also hope that by the time i will want to switch a device, there will be one that has goodness of all directions, even with low radiation values.

  • ithehappy

    Swype is still the KING.

  • JR

    The keyboard changes layouts regardless of your active input language. E.g I'm Swedish, and although I've managed to get the keyboard to start with a Swedish layout. It'll revert to an English one after punctuation. And then switches back to Swedish after the first word is entered.

    True it isn't "officially" supported on a S4 at the moment. So I'm hoping it works better for the supported users. In the mean time I'm rolling back to the previous version.

  • Ross MacRae

    My issue is that the I prefer to have the Voice Input on the "Number key" not in place of the "comma", but in the new keyboard, you can only choose on or off, not its location. I use Voice dictation a lot, but not as much as the ,,,,,,,'s

  • h4m

    The language switch button is great, when I use only English and German. But for Japanese I need to switch to a whole different keyboard but still from Google. This one should support Japanese too!

  • Chris

    I love how they're splitting the OS up like this. I jumped on my 2013 N7 last night and noticed the keyboard suggestions were white instead of blue. I didn't think much of it until I realized that was the kitkat color. I checked to see, but of course I wasn't on kit kat, I just had a nice new updated keyboard.

    The actually looks much better than I thought from the pictures. I like it better than the blue. Didn't think I would.

  • Drew M

    It also sucks that they removed the Tab key from the tablet layout, with no option to restore it.

  • firesoul453

    I miss the blue :(

  • http://alabdulsalam.tumblr.com/ Abdulsalam Al-Abdulsalam

    I'm from kuwait, and in the play store it's telling me it's not available in your region!! It's just a keyboard!

  • Ahmed Haji

    They messed up the arabic layout .. Now I have to get used to it again ..

  • Sherman

    Did you guys read some (all) of the review's since Nov 7? Clearly, with the Nov. 7 update is greatly hated by the user base. Positive feedback seems to be coming from those who have not used an older version. I updated before reading - regretted updating. Finally located a September 2013 .apk of the Google Keyboard and am now back to using the 'older' version.

  • A person

    Not available in india...!!! why?

  • Timothy Lal

    alright list of problems with Google keyboard. 1 the delete or backspace key is not always functional 2 it needs to have a simpler keypad interface so that you don't have to toggle between keypad screens. When using talk typing for speech typing speech text whatever you call it there is a capability technologically for deeper voice recognition but it is not applied in this program. Second problem with speech typing is that when you select speech type it dominates the whole screen as if it were a keyboard but it does not supply you with any keys to make any corrections while you're speaking. It would be easy if you could just delete words as you're saying theminstead of having to switch back and forth between different toolbars. The Voice Recognition wants to extrapolate certain things that might be incorrect and it's very difficult to delete those things. Like for instance just simply trying to write out this quick review has taken me about half an hour of just trying to delete certain things that came up in error. Now on a positive note I did the majority of this with my voice and I did not have to touch a key except for when I had to try to delete or correct something. Which turned into a huge hassle. Great concepts im perfect execution but we are all in perfect creatures. I think that one thing that would benefit the program is better use of screen space by including buttons in blank areasthe fact that I'm unable to delete all of the crap that is after the sentence is really annoying.of the physical real estatein terms of speech typing horror screams