19
Mar
kb

Google's official Android keyboard has just been updated in the Play Store without a new changelog, and you know what that means. Yes, time to go hunting. Although, the keyboard makes you painfully aware of at least one new feature when you first try to type something.

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What's New

That popup you see above is opened after the update when you tap the notice about personalization Google has helpfully tucked into the suggestion bar. It reads, "Personalization is on. Touch for info." The Google Keyboard now pulls from all the data Google has on your typing to improve suggestions. You can shut it off if you don't want it doing that, though. Here are the relevant strings in the APK.

<string name="prefs_key_popup_show_up_duration_settings">Key popup show up duration</string>

    <string name="prefs_key_popup_dismiss_duration_settings">Key popup dismiss duration</string>

    <string name="prefs_key_popup_show_up_start_scale_settings">Key popup show up start scale</string>

    <string name="prefs_key_popup_dismiss_end_scale_settings">Key popup dismiss end scale</string>

    <string name="use_personalized_dicts_summary">Learn from Google apps and services and your typed data to improve suggestions</string>

    <string name="use_personalized_dicts">Personalized suggestions</string>

    <string name="important_notice_title">Personalization is on. Touch for info.</string>

    <string name="important_notice_contents">"The Google Keyboard uses data from Google apps and services to improve suggestions and corrections. The keyboard stores this data on your device.
To erase this data, or to turn off this feature, go to keyboard settings and uncheck Personalized Suggestions."</string>

    <string name="prefs_dump_contacts_dict">Dump contacts dictionary</string>

    <string name="prefs_dump_user_dict">Dump personal dictionary</string>

    <string name="prefs_dump_user_history_dict">Dump user history dictionary</string>

    <string name="prefs_dump_personalization_dict">Dump personalization dictionary</string>

The special debug menu (accessible with a little workaround) also includes an option to dump the personalized suggestions, as well as some options for key popup behavior. One more tiny change is found in the Advanced menu where you have a key popup dismiss delay (default or none).

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

File name: com.google.android.inputmethod.latin-3.0.19373.1072412a.apk.

Version: 3.0.19373.1072412a (Android 4.0+).

MD5: 75d80e16b5963d52fe8f0f030877eb35.

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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

  • LjHe80

    I wish they could add the option to put a number row at the top of the keyboard. Samsung has spoiled me with that on their keyboards.

    • hp420

      I know what you mean. I have to use the 4.2 AOSP keyboard on my phone running 4.4.2 just because of the number row and the secondary keys.

    • bhake

      Swiftkey Beta also has the number row on top feature (option in settings). Definitely useful.

    • silver_arrow

      You can!

      Settings -> Advanced Options -> Custom input styles -> English PC

      and you get a PC keyboard, you get a number row up top and the keys like [];',./

      • SSDROiD

        Thank you! Finally a solution to my frustration!

      • LjHe80

        Thanks, didn't know that. You learn something new everyday. I prefer Samsung's and LG's implementation of it though.

      • supremekizzle

        No tab

  • http://www.corbindavenport.com/ Corbin Davenport

    Loving these frequent minor updates.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Sorry for offtopic, but is anybody else experiencing sudden force closes in YouTube app v5.5.27? It went crazy today, so I had to downgrade to 5.2.27 until this is resolved. Anybody knows what the hell happened?

    • Lackmann

      Me too, went to the PC to watch videos :D

    • Laurențiu Selei

      Me too

    • Tomáš Petrík

      Not here. What device?

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10. All on 4.4.2

        • Tomáš Petrík

          I've got Nexus 5 on 4.4.2 and all good. However, I haven't watched many videos today...

    • Tomáš Petrík
      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Yup, works now! Woohoo!

    • cam

      do you have xposed with adaway youtube module installed? my youtube had the same trouble but after update the adway module the problem gone.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        No, I don't. I actually uninstalled Xposed completely, and after rolling YouTube back and updating it again - same issue. I never had the AdAway module.

    • Roh_Mish

      xposed with adaway. Remove it. I now have same problem in Google+ since it updated day before yesterday.

  • miri

    Does that mean it'll actually learn over time? If so, FINALLY. I've never once used the word 'asp' yet it comes up EVERY SINGLE TIME I try to gesture type 'app', a word I use very frequently.

  • hp420

    There still aren't any secondary keys unless you hit the character button....why did they stop doing this in the 4.3 AOSP keyboard? I have to flash the 4.2 AOSP keyboard to have it....it's so dumb!!

  • Simon Belmont

    Apparently there's a new command in Google Now that opens the camera or video recorder with a voice command (which doesn't seem THAT useful). "Take a picture, or take a video."

    I wonder if that means there's other new commands we haven't seen yet? I really wish Google Now could turn on/off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, Airplane mode, etc with a voice command.

  • Jure Šuklje

    Is it learning from Hangouts as well, then?

  • Tony

    I do love google but anyone else not like the idea of basically an official keylogger in the keyboard app? (I know you can disable it but still don't like it being on by default)

  • http://www.paolinoalessandro.com/ Alessandro Paolino

    Here an app for user dictionary personalization, 100% compatible with Google Keyboard (and others)
    It has also WhatsApp Personalization (and obviously Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, SMS)

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.paolinoalessandro.userdictionaryplusfree

  • SetiroN

    Will remain unusable to me until they add special characters on long press.

    • Marcus

      What kind of special characters are you referring too?

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        That they successfully wiped out from long press on letters and put them all in the symbols for whatever the reason

        • Jeff Hanson

          I suspect they did this to improve swipe performance. Doesn't have to wait/check for long presses now.

      • SetiroN

        @#=*)/;:£+*#_&... You know, special characters.

        • Yamado

          Yea. Simply retarded and inexplicable that Google hasn't included these. Theyve never included them. Swipe or not. It's got nothing to do with swipe. Its easy to include 'if swiping then dont popup special keys'. Same as with the numbers in the qwerty row. I've just learned to live with having to press the shift key. Multiling is a decent alternative, but too many strange implementations.

  • mustafa

    Anyone else want a white themed Google keyboard?

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      It's in the options already

      • mustafa

        I mean the entire keyboard to be white, not just the trail and highlights

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          Oh, then no. It wouldn't look that pretty IMO and iOS7 already shown how to not make keyboard

  • http://nexworx.com/ Dries

    Something that I'm still missing is the ability to activate autocorrect and suggestions in 2 languages at the same time. I want to be able to type in Dutch and English without switching the language setting myself. HTC offered this feature on the Sensation and I've missed it ever since I moved on from that phone.

    • http://www.mscha.nl/ Michael Schaap

      You can try SwiftKey, which does exactly that. Not free, but well worth the price, IMO.

      • http://nexworx.com/ Dries

        I do indeed hear a lot of good things about SwiftKey. I'll give it a shot, thanks!

        • r0xp0x

          I'm in the same boat as you, and SwiftKey is great for that reason!

        • Henrique Persechini

          I'm a happy Swype user, prefer it over swiftkey since swype went out of beta

      • Eduardo

        +1 for swiftkey

  • http://www.About.me/PHADE PHADE

    For the Google Keyboard, is there a way to get 10 Key Style number?

  • usaff22

    Pretty sure the Keyboard Settings icon has changed to the new 4.4 style icon. Before, it was the old Jelly Bean / 4.1 Notification Bar style.

    • Jewel C. Muller

      It's weird that the app isn't in the list of my apps, and it doesn't show up when I search for it,

  • anon

    md5 is 75d80e16b5963d52fe8f0f030877eb35

    • zedoss

      Yes, why is it not like in the article ???

    • RyanWhitwam

      Yeah, that's the right one. We had a small mix up with the app we use for checksums. Should be fixed now.

  • AbbyZFresh

    Swift Keyboard works far more accurately and smooth for me than Google Keyboard. They need to step their game up.

    • SSDROiD

      What if I told you, Google is happy that other keyboard developers improve upon their keyboards because that means people will still use Android, and that they provide the Google Keyboard for those who are not particularly interested in downloading keyboard apps from the Play Store and are satisfied as long as the Google Keyboard works? There exists such people too. I'm not one of them, but I know for a fact that my mother is :P and I bet she's not the only one in the Android world :)

    • http://tsurufoto.com/ Aaron Tsuru

      Sorry, no backspace to undo, no more Swiftkey.

  • NOT RahmEmanuel

    Haven't used Google Keyboard for awhile, but I see it now includes a very nice animated set-up routine for new installs. When was that added?
    .

  • duse

    Really wish they would do a split keyboard for two-handed typing in landscape on a tablet.

  • Nathan Bryant

    They need to improve the gesture on the keyboard as well. An easier way to capitalize like Samsung does by going above the keyboard.

  • acey_zero

    And still "always show correction suggestions" does not work... Wow

  • SSDROiD

    I miss seeing Google Keyboard as an actual app listed in the Play Store. Having certain Google apps integrated directly into the OS and some listed in the Play Store confuses me when I'm trying to find it :(

    • esper256
      • SSDROiD

        Thank you for the link! It's weird that the app isn't in the list of my apps, and it doesn't show up when I search for it, but the link definitely confirms it is on the Play Store...

      • Android Developer

        How come it's not available for my device (SGS3) ?

      • Dmitri Smirnov

        "This item cannot be installed in your device's country."
        Oh, come on, Google, are you kidding me? Keyboard is country-restricted?

        • primalxconvoy

          That's what sideloading is for (links at the end of the article, above).

          • Dmitri Smirnov

            Yeah, I know how to get around it. Doesn't make it any less moronic. I can understand legal reasons blocking Google Music/Video and Wallet availability, but Keyboard?

        • Teodor Axel Johan Jönsson

          Works to install in with a Swedish Google Account

          • Dmitri Smirnov

            Guess Estonia is not so much of a European country as we wish to be.

    • BozzyB

      Found out that it is listed in the "All" app tab when you go to your installed apps. It should update by itself or you can update it from there manually

      • SSDROiD

        The thing is, for me, it's not listed under My apps, it's not listed in All apps, and when I search specifically "Google Keyboard", it doesn't appear. But when I pressed the link provided by esper256, it directed me to the keyboard, and it clearly said it was installed. I +1'd it so I can find it in when I press on my picture in the left-hand navigation in the Play Store where my +1 and app review history can be found, but I'd still prefer to have it in the My apps list.

  • BozzyB

    I always wondered why the Google Keyboard is not in the Playstore App list of my Nexus 5? How does it update?

    • Sabin Bajracharya

      On your mobile browser search for Google keyboard and click the play store link and it will ask you to choose an app to open that link, choose play store and then update it. Now it will show in your installed app and it can be updated. That's what I did for Google Keyboard and Google Play Music.

    • BozzyB

      Found out that it is listed in the "All" app tab when you go to your installed apps. It should update by itself or you can update it from there manually.

    • Henrique Persechini

      There are a couple of apps that only show up in the all apps tab, don't know why, I kinda hate it

      Google keyboard, voice tts, and group policy (which for some weird reason comes preinstaled in my nexus 7) are a few I've identified

  • mqmoon

    Have they readded the ability to take the mic button off the primary keyboard (replace with comma), but keep it on your secondary/symbols keyboard? I hate that they took that option away. Want the option to use my voice, but am more likely to use a comma in day-to-day usage.

    • Jeff Hanson

      mic is next to settings when you hold comma

  • Lalit Mali

    But SwiftKey automatically removes whitespace from before ?., and puts a whitespace ahead of it.
    It is resizable.
    It supports Hinglish and can support 3 languages at once.
    Google I want to use ur keyboard but SwiftKey won't let me go!

    P.S.: People with paid app arguments, SwiftKey beta is free.

    • Android4Life22

      I bought SwiftKey. I don't really care for their themes.

  • Sahil Chaturvedi

    Is it just me, or is the autocorrect really, really bad?

    • Roh_Mish

      Works great for me. try enabling the import contacts thing and changing aggressiveness.

      • Sahil Chaturvedi

        The normal typing is still acceptable, I guess. The swipe inaccuracy is just unbearable though.

        • Roh_Mish

          The swipe works best on Google keyboard for me

        • Jeff Hanson

          it's way better in the new version, hardly ever have to redo a word as long as I swipe properly

    • Teodor Axel Johan Jönsson

      I think it is good for me. I have not had any problems

  • http://www.emuparadise.me/roms-isos-games.php Apple is a patent troll

    Its amazing how when google does something everyone else has been doing for years its news but when it's a small developer doing the same it doesn't make the news.

  • ACM

    Ah! Even more of your data being "stored" by Google.

  • saad

    Still no Arabic gesture typing :(

  • Uncle_Rico

    the English PC KB layout is nice.. but REALLY tight in portrait mode... landscape not so bad.. just REALLY busy in portrait..

  • Space!

    how's this different for GS4 keyboard ? anyone cares to explain ? Thanks

  • Space!

    how's this different for GS4 keyboard ? anyone cares to explain ? Thanks

  • Space!

    how's this different for GS4 keyboard ? anyone cares to explain ? Thanks

  • someone755

    Google needs to buy Swiftkey.
    Not for the design but for all the code magic that makes Swiftkey so darn good at typo correction etc.
    If it wasn't for that, I'd still be using the AOSP keyboard.

    • Jeff Hanson

      I tried Swiftkey when I got sick of redoing words, hated the layout.

  • my name is…

    Unstable thing, but it can predict very well. Although I like Swiftkey looks better.

  • The_Chlero

    Key Popup Dismiss Delay has been there since V1.1

  • young key

    Here's a nice add-on library to the Google keyboard to make emoji autocorrect work better. http://www.autoemoji.com

  • LindaP

    Wish the 'apostrophe' was on front / first keyboard....and 'comma ' on right side . Still working out 'numbers' 1st pg Thx