The iOS audience is a lucrative bunch. It’s why Google, with its web search business, has been aggressively going after it by offering its suite of apps for free to iPhone. So, as Apple opens up more of its App Store to third-party replacements for UI elements, why wouldn’t Google take advantage of it?

That’s what The Verge is reporting Google may plan on doing, based on its sources. Google’s keyboard for iOS — in the works for months — will hold a special Google button for web search as well as buttons to find GIFs and pictures (Google Keyboard on Android does not currently have these features). Gesture typing will also be included so users can swipe a continuous path across keys to form words.

The search giant is trying to spike search queries on iOS. The biggest revenue generators for Google are the featured results, but with 50 billion searches a month and 1.8 billion potential mobile users, the case could be made that people use the search engine less than once a day. Desktop searches for web services like “Facebook” or “Maps” are obviated by mobile apps. By implanting its services onto a branded iOS keyboard, the company may be able to redirect users away from Apple own services.

There’s no determination on if or when the keyboard will be released. Let’s just hope Google doesn’t forget to update its Android keyboard soon.

Source: The Verge

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