Google Develops Keyboard for iPhone Waiting for More Mobile Searches

Google Develops Keyboard for iPhone Waiting for More Mobile Searches pixelwork

Google Develops Keyboard for iPhone Waiting for More Mobile Searches

Google Develops Keyboard for iPhone

According to a report yesterday from The Verge, Google is about to launch its own keyboard for the iPhone. The report says that the keyboard will feature motion gestures and predictive text.

Google's goal is apparently to increase the number of searches coming from iOS devices, the iPhone in particular. With the release of iOS 8, Apple allowed third-party apps to replace its own keyboard.

While there are numerous options today, the two most popular replacement keyboards for the iPhone are Swype and SwiftKey. Swype was acquired by Nuance in 2011, and SwiftKey was just purchased this year by Microsoft. Apple doesn't provide numbers of installed apps, but SwiftKey, for example, It has more than 50 million installations on Android.

This Insights, cited by The Verge, maintains that most smartphone users do less than one mobile search per day. However, there are levels of users, some of whom do a lot of mobile search, and others who do less.

In 2012, a US-based survey was conducted (n = 1,500 smartphone owners) and it was found that almost half of the audience did not use Google on their phones, while 14 percent of respondents conducted more than 30 searches per month. If they were to do that survey today, I suspect the number of mobile searchers would be larger.

As has been discussed exhaustively in recent years, apps have diverted large volumes of searches away from Google and away from mobile devices. Having said that, Google indicated last year that more searches in the US came from mobile devices than from PCs. And Google's mobile revenue has been steadily growing.

Google has done a lot to try to put itself back at the center of the mobile user experience. AMP, app indexing, conversational search, predictive search and other innovations are aimed at improving the mobile user experience and attracting users to more frequently app with Google. Google's mobile strategy is multifaceted, and this keyboard should be considered in this broad context.

Some court documents also showed that Google paid approximately $1 billion in 2014 to remain the default search engine on the iPhone. Google dominates mobile searches by a much larger margin than on desktop compared to rivals such as Yahoo and Bing. Search itself simply doesn't work the same for mobile users as it does for PC users.