Android TV Users On Android O Can Now Download Gboard

Android TV users on Android O can now download Gboard, Google's dedicated keyboard that has been available on Android smartphones and tablets since the middle of December of last year. The app is officially in the Play Store for Android O users which, is a bit strange since it should be compatible for older non-Android O users of the platform. In addition to this, the version that's available on the Play Store is said to be compatible only with Android O users that have an x86 Android TV device, like the Nexus Player, which certainly limits the rest of the Android TV devices out there. If you have one of those devices and you're not currently seeing Gboard pop up, you can still grab the APK from the button down below to sideload it.

The changes between the new Gboard for Android TV and the previous Leanback keyboard are not major, but there are some visual differences that aren't too hard to pick up. For starters, the space bar is no longer at the bottom of the keyboard or present as a long bar-shaped button, and has now been moved to the side of the keyboard along with the delete button, search button, and arrow buttons. Speaking of search, the old Leanback keyboard previous had the search button listed as the actual word, and now it's simply a magnifying glass icon.

The backdrop color of the keyboard has also changed as it's now a bit darker than it used to be, and there are clear separators between the different sections of the keyboard, I.E. for the letters, numbers, and the right side buttons where the arrow keys are. All the way to the left of the keyboard you can also find the button for transitioning over to the numerical keyboard. Since this is said to only be compatible with x86 on Android O, it's unlikely that the APK will work for anyone using a device that isn't running an x86 version of Android, and right now it's unclear if Google plans to launch Gboard for non-Android O units, though there doesn't seem to be a logical reason as to why Google wouldn't make Gboard for Android TV more widely available.

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About the Author

Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.