For a while now, we've been aware of an unreleased keyboard theme, shown off in screenshots of Google Chrome on the Play Store. Today, the Android 5.0 Lollipop developer preview brought us Google Keyboard 4.0 that carries both the Material Light and Dark themes. There's really not much to say about the themes that can't be communicated in images - they are similar to the keyboard included in the original dev preview, but now there's a light theme.

Additionally, the keyboard now supports more layouts, including QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY, Dvorak, Colemak, and PC.

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Thanks, Chad Gauthier!

Just like with the new Google Search, you'll need to be rooted to get the keyboard working (until the official update is ready, anyway). If you don't want to wait for that material goodness, just check out the instructions below.

Screenshot_2014-10-17-12-06-12 Screenshot_2014-10-17-12-06-27 Screenshot_2014-10-17-12-06-37

Download / Instructions

This APK, just like Google Search 4.0, will require you to replace a .so file that the keyboard relies on, which isn't packaged with the keyboard itself. Here's how you do it.

  • Download the Keyboard APK and below.
  • Install the Keyboard APK. At this point the keyboard will likely crash if you try to use it.
  • Back up your current file (found in /system/lib) and replace it with the one you just downloaded, using the file explorer of your choice. Be sure permissions are set to rw-r--r--.

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.