The new Google Keyboard app (version 3.1.19633) was released by Google last week on July 11. Post the update the app will provide support for India English and four other languages – Basque, Galician, Swiss Italian and Latin American Spanish.
Spoken emoji support has also been added, though currently only a few work. Users will able to use hotwords, like “Smiley Face” and “Sad Face”, to select and add emojis. The placements of the microphone and comma keys have been changed to improve accessibility. The microphone key is now placed on the top right. The long-press delay menu item, a major irritant, has also been removed. These are the most noticeable changes, though there could be other hidden features and bug fixes underneath.
The bad news is that the support for Indian English isn’t yet available in the updated app on the Google Play Store. It is a known fact that Google likes to rollout updates in batches. So, just like the spoken emoji feature, support for only a few new languages has been made available at this initial stage. Indian users might have to wait some time before support for Indian English is available on the Play Store. The more eager ones can download the APK here and install it manually.
Earlier this month Google was forced to remove the Android L Keyboard from the Play Store due to certain violations of developer agreement.
Last year, at the time of launching Indic language support for Gmail on feature phone browsers, Google had mentioned on its blog that they believe by 2015 500 million new users will join the internet and it is likely that for a significant number of these new users their first web experience will be on a mobile device. It is safe to assume that a large number of them will be from India, so it’s no surprise that Google has added support for Indian English to Google Keyboard.
Google introduced native Hindi support in Android Jelly Bean, at the time of its release last year.