Google's stock Android keyboard hits Play store as a free standalone app

Finding the right keyboard for Android can turn into a lengthy mission. There are few stock keyboards that cut the mustard and timesaving, gesture-friendly alternatives such as Swype and SwiftKey have gained a massive following in recent months. Not wanting to feel left out, Google is making its own stock Android keyboard available in the Play store.

Despite being a stock keyboard, Google Keyboard is surprisingly good -- Nexus users should not be surprised at this as this is the keyboard they are used to working with. Unlike many native keyboards, this one goes above and beyond being a basic onscreen input device for typing letter by letter. Well above and beyond.

Gesture typing is increasingly common and here it works very well indeed and the next-word predictions are usually surprisingly accurate. Google has long been keen to push voice recognition and this is apparent from the keyboard. Can't be bothered to type or need to have both hands free? Just talk to your phone or tablet and the app takes care of the rest -- again, with amazing speed and accuracy.

There is currently support for 26 languages, but more are promised. So, whether you fancy the idea of (sort of) transforming your Droid into a Nexus, or you just happen to be in the market for a decent free keyboard, hit Google Play to test out Google's offering. The only requirement is Android 4.0 or above.

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