Google is reportedly developing a keyboard for iOS devices that adds the functionality of a search engine, encouraging more users to take advantage of Google services through their mobile phones.
As evidence of Google’s unprecedented success, statistics show that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and something like three-quarters of the time, users choose “to Google” their searches. This is true for those accessing the Internet by computer; however, as tablets and mobile devices are becoming more popular, search engines are being used less frequently, as users find that apps are more convenient.
As more consumers are using mobile devices, consequently spending more time in apps, Google is seeing a decline in search engine input. A significant percentage of Google searches are for specific entities that now have their own app, such as Facebook and Twitter. Rather than searching for the site, users can access them straight from the mobile phone unassisted by Google.
As a result of this shift in Internet users’ behavior, Google is seeking to maintain its status as the top search engine, while securing their role and future relevancy in an increasingly mobile world.
Apple began to allow users to install third-party keyboards upon the introduction of iOS 8 in 2014.
Google’s keyboard will allow for “gesture typing,” which allows the user to swipe from letter to letter, leading Google to then guess the word. The search engine will also be integrating images and GIFs into the keyboard to add another layer of convenience to the user experience.
Google has not yet made an official announcement regarding when the keyboard will be released, or if it will be released at all, but sources say that Google employees have been testing the new keyboard for several months.