An interesting report coming out today notes that Google is in the process of readying a new keyboard for owners of the iPhone. This would be of course a third-party keyboard and is likely to be one which Google hopes will sway iOS users away from their stock iOS keyboard option and it looks like Google is counting on its additional features being the motivation to switch.
According to the details from The Verge, the Google iOS keyboard will come equipped with some of the staple features that have become standard within the Android world. So the keyboard will be able to make use a number of features including gesture-based typing. It also seems that the keyboard will come with a greater ability to search as well, as it will house a dedicated search button, as well as the ability to search by image or GIF files. Of course, the underlying motive here does seem to be one which is designed to drive iOS traffic back to Google's main profit spinning service, Google Search. The inclusion of the Google Search button, as well as what is presumed to be Google Search underlying the ability to perform image and GIF searches, will all be with a view to ensuring traffic heads through Search first and foremost.
Beyond the detailed features, the rest of the details surrounding the iPhone keyboard remain largely unknown. As such the report explains that there is currently no information on when, or even if, the keyboard will become available or announced by Google. However, the report does detail that this is a project the company has been working on "for months" and even notes that over the last few months the keyboard has been in use by Google employees. So it would be fair to assume that Google would like to push their iOS keyboard out sooner rather than later. Irrespective of when it does launch, it does remain unclear as to how a Google keyboard will be received by iPhone users. In spite of this keyboard expected to offer iPhone owners non-stock features, it is unlikely to offer many features which cannot be found on iOS through other third-party keyboard apps.