When Google announced the Nexus 5, and of course Android 4.4 KitKat with it, there were a number of small changes that many users were understandably a little jealous of. One of those is the keyboard that’s included in Android 4.4 KitKat. It’s had a number of different tweaks applied to it, like the gray theme, the ability to trace out sentences when brushing the space bar and the quick hit button to bring up emoji, otherwise known as 101 different smiley faces. Now, these features are making their way to all other Android devices. Well, we say that but by “all” we’re referring to devices that are running Android 4.0 and above.
Google did a smart thing some time ago and put their own keyboard into the Play Store, making it easy for users to get new features and bug fixes without having to wait for an update from their carrier or device manufacturer. The same “Google Keyboard” listed in the Play Store is getting updated to version 2.0, bringing along with it all those KitKat touches that lucky Nexus 5 users have been enjoying already. As Droid-Life has noted however, the emoji don’t look anything like those included in Android 4.4, KitKat, which is both a real shame and a little bizarre.
While the update is pushing to the Play Store all over the place, it’s still not quite life in some parts, here in the UK for me it’s still showing version 1.6 but, you can always download the APK here, and just install it manually. While we’re a little disappointed not to see the emoji from Android 4.4 make an appearance, we’re glad to see that Google is at least updating the keyboard for everyone else.
With SwiftKey and Swype having been updated as well this week, Android users are spoiled for choice when it come to keyboard alternatives but, it’s not as if we never have been. Being able to choose from a wide-range of great keyboards is definitely something only Android can brag about.