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Each key has a border, which improves typing accuracy.
Each key has a border, which improves typing accuracy.

Beauty of writing

Google has updated the keyboard app for Android with more features

Google Keyboard for Android smartphones has just got a major update, so it now has new functions as well as improved usability. The latest version is labelled 5.0, and will be available for download from the Google Play store.

One new feature is the fine cursor control, which allows a user to just drag his/her finger along the space bar to move the cursor between letters in a sentence. The cursor control also introduces a gesture to delete specific words in a sentence by dragging a finger from the backspace key to the left. As you cross over each word in the sentence, simply lift the finger to stop the cursor scroll and delete the last selected word.

There’s also a new one-hand mode which shrinks the keyboard to the left or right side of the smartphone’s screen—depending on whether you are left- or right-handed. This feature will be extremely useful for those who use big-screen smartphones, but don’t always have the other hand free to hold the phone as they type out a message or an email.

There has been some redesign of the key layout as well, and there is now a dedicated key to bring up the number pad. There’s also a new option to display borders around individual keys, so users can be more certain about which key they are pressing—this will result in greater typing accuracy. Words can be deleted from the dictionary as well—simply long-press a suggestion that shows up above the keyboard and drag it to the new trash-can icon.

The version 5.0 update also offers customization options, including the ability to define the height of the keyboard on the smartphone screen and to toggle key outlines. While the “Material Light" and “Material Dark" themes are available, some of the older themes from the Android KitKat generation have been removed.

While Google has had the cloud-based suggestion and personal directory sync feature for a while now, the latest version of Google Keyboard brings the opt-in setting for sharing data with Google’s cloud to the forefront. We are not sure if the way the feature works has changed in any way, but the user does not have to search through settings to find it.

The update is now rolling out via the Google Play store on Android devices. In case you haven’t received the update prompt, you might need to wait, for the roll-out is in batches.

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