Google Keyboard 2.0 begins rolling out to Google Play

by: Andrew GrushNovember 7, 2013


In Android 4.4 KitKat, the keyboard sees a substantial update that includes a new gray theme, the ability to quickly bring up emoji, and so much more. The good news is that you don’t have to own a Nexus 5 or wait until KitKat to get your hands on the new keyboard, as Google Keyboard 2.0 has now begun rolling out to Google Play.

Google’s Keyboard update comes right after both SwiftKey and Swype announced their own keyboard updates, making this a good week for those that have been looking to change up their Android keyboard experience.

While the Keyboard 2.0 update will work with any Android 4.0+ device, it’s important to note that this will be staged rollout and so it may take a few days to officially reach your device. The good news is that we already have an APK link for those that don’t want to wait.

Although a keyboard might not be the most “exciting” Android feature, it is certainly one of the most used. What do you think of Google’s latest keyboard update, like it or not?

  • Vostok

    Where is the Emoji?

    • MasterMuffin

      Font needs to support it for you to see it?

      • Vostok

        Thought it’d be enabled and have color unlike the old black and white?

        • MasterMuffin

          Only in 4.4

          • Vostok

            AH, thank you.

    • companyemails

      bottom right hand corner.

      • Paul Taylor

        Not on mine they’re not. Just a bunch of stupid symbols.

        • Kyle Schultz

          You need 4.4 for Emoji to display correctly

          • Paul Taylor

            Ah cool thanks, I was getting annoyed as I could see it on other screenshots! At the moment I long-press the spacebar to switch to the iWnn keyboard for emoji. It’ll be great to finally leave that behind.

      • Paul Taylor

        All I get is junk like this. These are not emoji.

  • companyemails

    I like the swiping features of the Google feature. The trace is kind of ugly, but it is the most accurate swiping keyboard I’ve used to date (and it learns quickly). If I could have one change it would be Swype’s ability to long press on every key to trigger the underlying alternate key, as well as an option for a number only keyboard on demand.

  • MY

    I love the google keyboard and swipe feature but I much love Swiftkey features, remembering what you type without having to always Press to remember the word, love the fact you can change the keyboard color, ability to learn & save your most used words and if you’re re-installing your phone, you can export or import them back etc.. Will give it another try but Google can do better always & bring cool features like Swiftkey do.

    • EventHorizon

      Googe Keyboard is new and I have full confidence in the due course, it will dominate the competition. Swiftkey, Swype and others have been around for years and have had plenty of time to perfect their keyboards. Google is only just starting out. v2.0 Google Keyboard is a significant update. And I’m sure their next one will be even better. Google will ultimately win.


    I want better prediction tools in these keyboards. SwiftKey and Swipe offer truly excellent word-prediction. I want to see other keyboards use much greater effort into that. Having a gorgeous keyboard is great and all, but if I still have to type every character of every word into a text, then I switch keyboards (yes, I’m very lazy).

    • AntzBaker

      You don’t have to type every character you can swipe. The swipe feature of the Google keyboard is better than the other keyboards imo.

      • dextersgenius

        Except, swiping is a pain, especially if you have small fingers and a large screen..

        • MadCowOnAStick

          What? That should be easier lol

      • Niranjan Dandekar

        I think what SSDROID is saying is next word prediction.. It is good in Swiftkey.. I have used it. May be next google update will incorporate it.

        Security is only concern as it reads your SMS and email, if im nt wrong..

        • APai

          what you type in will be registered for its prediction, but i think you can avoid it by not allowing it to read your existing email/ sms.

    • Paul Taylor

      Thank Google for the swappable keyboard feature! Apparently a few people use a different kind of phone, which doesn’t allow this…

  • Terry West

    Got “can’t open file” on HTC One when I downloaded file.on 4.3.

    • PL

      Do you even try to insall it or you just click on it?

      • Terry West

        Just like every APK that I’ve downloaded, I click on it. Never had a problem before.

        • PL

          That sucks. I have nexus 7 (2013) and it works.

        • Nate

          download es file explorer and then you should be able to open the app

          • Terry West

            Tried that, it said problem parsing package

          • Nate

            huh idk what your problem is then, it worked fine on my nexus 7 and gs3

          • Terry West

            Sorry, I downloaded ES File Explorer, then tried using that to open package… that’s when it said problem parsing package.

          • EventHorizon

            ES File explorer sometimes plays up. SOLUTION: instead of opening the compressed file then selecting the apk manually to extract (this gives the parsing error), try this:
            Find the folder inside ES File Explorer where the compressed rar/zip file is. Press and Hold to select it, then at the bottom right click the “…”/”more” options and select extract. This will work :)

  • Marcus Nailor

    Is this update newer than the keyboard already on the nexus 5?

    • MadCowOnAStick

      should probably be in the nexus 5

  • beboo

    believe it or not it’s not available to My country ” EGYPT ” !!!!!!!
    Why ?

    • Joachim Nilsson

      It’s not available for my new Fairphone in Sweden either … “Not available in your device’s country”. What’s up with that?!

  • Julian Essex-Spurrier

    The trail is obstructive on this keyboard and you can’t import predictions from Facebook. Swype is still the king.

  • Jean Cédric Huet

    Why are they always staging the launch ?

    • dextersgenius

      Server load balancing. Also, if there are any last minute critical bugs, they can hold out on the release if needed and reduce the damage.

  • dextersgenius

    Just tried out the APK – it’s still pretty poor compared to SwiftKey, particularly in auto-correction and word prediction. Went immediately back to my beloved SwiftKey. You’d think that Google, with all its brains and money can come up with something better..

    • szewc

      If they did they would remove the incentive for developers to create gorgous apps for Play Store. That’s why Keep doesn’t directly compete with Evernote, Google Keyboard isn’t as good as it could be, there is no Google Camera app, etc.

  • mrjayviper

    recently moved to this app from swype and I haven’t missed the latter at all!

  • Paul Taylor

    Mine upgraded this evening, but I don’t see this reputed ‘quickly bring up emoji’ feature.

  • Oli72

    thx u t-mo. i just got mine. awesome.

  • [A]dri[A]n

    If the Google keyboard had an option to long press for the symbols like Swiftkey, I would have it as my default keyboard.

  • Mr T

    The tablet update is a f’ing disaster. For some reason Google decided nobody should use the hyphen and the apostrophe.

    On the other hand, we get some useless (not to mention ugly) emojis. Gee, thanks ! Way to fix and break what’s wasn’t broken in the first place.

    • TVippy

      That new keyboard fucking sucks in every way possible. Total fail from Google.

  • Seth Forbus

    The new keyboard annoys me so much. I make lots of emoticons like ” >_> ” or ” ^_^” and they are much harder to get to with the new layout.

  • Randy Simon

    Is it just me, or on the Google keyboard update, they changed some button locations (comma was specifically replaced with underscore). I now always click underscore when I mean to click comma, why would they change any button? Isn’t everyone used to the original format?

  • Todd Parsons

    The fact they’ve made apostrophes less accessible in favour of emojis is a sad reflection on society as a whole

    • TVippy

      TRUE that, brother!

      • Papa Roux

        Yep. I only stumbled on this page trying to find out WHY IN THE WORLD THEY MOVED THE EXCLAMATION MARK!!!!

    • Jesus

      I thumbed up, and I’m Jesus, so yeah that means a lot.

  • Sean Sheridan

    Not too happy that my keyboard layout suddenly changed. No tab key, it’s harder to switch from letters to numbers, the apostrophe requires that switch now, so does the hyphen, and the letter keys have all shifted so the hand placement I got used to doesn’t work anymore. This has seriously slowed down my work and makes using this device a pain. This keyboard sucks.

  • Mark Williams

    Since upgrading to Kitkat 4.4 the keyboard is causing my device to stay awake. It just won’t sleep and it’s draining my battery! Anybody else encountered this problem? How do I go about removing or updating the keyboard because I tried everything and nothing is working. I have enclosed a screenshot. This sucks! It’s draining at 5% battery per 30 minutes!

  • Peri Hartman

    Anyone know how to get the old keyboard – with the hyphen and apostrophe? I dearly miss having those two keys in the primary mode. More value in them than any new features added!

  • GOD