Google is building a keyboard for iPhones and iPads according to this report by The Verge. The third party keyboard developed by the company will have a search-centric interface. The report says that it has been under development for several months.
The design of the Google keyboard for iOS will be different from their traditional keyboard for Android, although major features such as gesture-based typing will be inherited in the product. Apart from that, there will be dedicated buttons for pictures and GIFs search on the keyboard.
Third-party keyboards have been a big part of Android ecosystem, allowing users to install keyboards with features they are comfortable with. Before iOS 8, Apple's phones and tablets only had the proprietary keyboard. After adding support for third-party keyboards, a lot of companies such as Swiftkey and Flesky have made their keyboards for iOS but none of them have been as efficient as they are on Android.
Google is planning to make users search more on their phones as it is their core business. A study from the journalist Charles Arthur says that 50% of mobile users perform zero searches every day compared to an average of 1.23 searches on desktop. Search giant Google, of course, wants to change this. The keyboard app will also add to the tally of 64 apps by Google has made for iOS including Google search, maps, YouTube, Gmail and Chrome.
Making cross-platform apps has become standard practice in recent years. Apple debuted their first app on Android in the form of Apple Music. Microsoft has been making several apps for both iOS and Android platforms including a keyboard for Android. Reportedly Apple has signed a deal with Google to run parts of the iCloud on Google server. Apple launched their new 4-inch iPhone SE on Monday, which will be available in India from 8 April at ₹39000.