No doubt, the overall usability of a phone depends on a number of things, one of them being the keyboard. There are a few of them out there but if you like to stick to stock like me, you’ll probably use Google’s own keyboard (Google Keyboard). Recently there was a major update and I was thrilled, but my joy was short-lived for short period of time. You’ll know why I got really pissed after you see the features they added:
- One handed mode: If you’re someone that likes a pretty wide device(some dub it phablet), you would agree with me that once in a while, you’ll just want to type with one hand; mostly because the second is busy. Google got you covered with the one handed mode which you can activate by tapping and holding down the “enter” key.
- Better cursor control: Have you ever been in a situation where you type a word and need to edit just one letter but cant seem to get to it because of the size of your thumb? Google fixed that too! You can now move the cursor around by sliding over the spacebar. Pretty cool huh? I’m not done yet
- You can resize the keyboard: Many at times, the keyboard occupies a whole lot of the screen real estate and blocks the content you are trying to view. With this new update, you have the ability to increase or reduce the height of the keyboard.
- Better looking number mode: One thing I’ve liked alternatives like swift key for is the fact that they have a dedicated number mode; which Google has now implemented. Tell me why on earth I wouldn’t want to stick to stock and stick it to third party apps?!
Maybe now you can understand the frustration I felt when I joyfully went to the play store(because all these features were things I needed badly) and “updated” my keyboard only to find out that these features were not there!(I mentioned only a few). I read and re-read the post over and over again thinking there was some secret doorway to activate these features before I realized that the features were only available in version 5.0 and above (no not Android 5.0, I mean Google Keyboard 5.0 and above). Rushing to the Play Store again, I checked the current version and behold it was a 4-pointer. I had no choice but to get the app elsewhere.
One thing I do not understand is why others were able to update and I wasn’t. Does it have something to do with my Geographical area? Anyways, that’s a rant for another day. If you do find yourself in my shoes, you can get the APK here. If that version doesn’t work, you can try some more here.