Google’s stock Android keyboard hits the Play Store for all

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Google Keyboard on Android with a HTC One

Hate your Samsung Galaxy’s keyboard? Now you’ve got a better option from Google.

With Google Keyboard, launching today on the Google Play Store, anyone with an Android 4.0-powered device can use the company’s excellent stock keyboard (previously only available on Nexus devices).

The keyboard comes with gesture-typing functionality similar to Swype’s, voice dictation, and some helpful autocompletion. It’s a great free alternative to the hellish keyboards from plenty of Android skins (I’m looking at you, Samsung TouchWiz). It’s also a good option if you don’t want to shell out the $4 for SwiftKey, which I consider the best touchscreen keyboard out now.

Android’s open nature has led to plenty of manufacturers retooling it for their own needs, but that also means Google can easily make its own stock apps available to replace crummy Android interfaces. I just wonder why it took Google so long to offer a simple keyboard to the Android community.

Photo: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

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