Google is working on a third-party keyboard designed for iOS devices that would incorporate search functionality, reports The Verge. Citing people familiar with Google's plans, The Verge says the keyboard, which has been in development for several months, "incorporates a variety of search options" to attract more Google search users on iOS devices.
The keyboard is said to feature gesture-based typing like Swype, allowing users to slide their fingers across the keyboard to enter letters. Tapping on a built-in Google logo brings up a web search bar, and there are also options for searching for pictures and GIFs. Design elements are not clear, but it is apparently "visually distinct" from the standard keyboard available on Android devices.
News of Google's work on an iOS keyboard comes just a few months after images surfaced of a Word Flow Windows Phone-style keyboard Microsoft is developing for iOS devices. It is not known when Google might release its keyboard, and a release date for the Microsoft keyboard is also unavailable.
Google and Microsoft's effort to develop keyboards for Apple devices is curious, as third-party keyboards have not proven to be particularly popular with iOS users due to ongoing issues with slowness, crashing, and other bugs.