Gboard's split keyboard is now on Android tablets

Kerem Gülen
May 15, 2023
Google Android

Gboard, a highly acclaimed Android keyboard, has established itself as a top choice among users seeking seamless typing experiences across various devices such as smartphones, foldables, and even Wear OS watches. In a significant development that took place in June 2022, Google started testing a split layout feature specifically tailored for foldable devices, aiming to enhance the overall typing experience. After nearly a year of meticulous refinement and optimization, the tech giant has now introduced a similar split layout feature for tablet keyboards, ensuring consistent user satisfaction across a wider range of devices.

According to a 9to5Google report, Gboard has introduced a revamped design for tablet users, effectively splitting the keyboard into two distinct sections. This strategic modification aims to facilitate effortless accessibility to the keys situated near the edges of the tablet's display. By implementing this innovative layout, Gboard endeavors to enhance the user experience by minimizing any potential challenges related to typing on larger tablet screens.

In their latest update, Google has ingeniously duplicated the central "G" and "V" keys on the keyboard layout for tablets. This thoughtful design decision enables users to conveniently access these keys from either side of the keyboard, ensuring improved typing accuracy and efficiency. Recognizing that personal preferences may vary, Google has also provided users with the flexibility to disable this duplication feature.

Those who may not favor the duplicated keys can easily navigate to the "Settings" menu, specifically under "Preferences" and "Layout," where they will find the option to deactivate this functionality. By offering such customization, Google caters to the diverse needs and preferences of its users, allowing them to tailor their typing experience according to their individual preferences.

How to disable split keyboard on Gboard?

When users choose to disable the duplicated keys option, Google's inventive approach ensures that the available space on the right side of the keyboard is effectively utilized. In this configuration, the backspace key and the enter/search key expand to occupy the additional area.

Image source: 9to5google

Conveniently, Gboard offers users a seamless transition between the normal and split layout options through its toolbar. As of now, the new split design is accessible to Gboard beta v12.9.21 users specifically on select Android tablets. Notably, 9to5Google has confirmed the presence of the new split layout on their Galaxy Tab S8 device.

Gboard's latest layout innovation proves particularly advantageous when utilizing a tablet in landscape mode for text input. With the split layout, users no longer need to perform intricate finger movements to accurately press the intended keys. This feature proves especially handy when utilizing large tablets, such as the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, in portrait orientation, providing a more comfortable and efficient typing experience across various device orientations.

Image source: 9to5google

Shortly following the official unveiling of the Pixel Tablet, Google has swiftly introduced the beta version of Gboard's split layout for tablets. This development aligns closely with the imminent release of Google's inaugural Pixel-branded tablet, scheduled to enter the market in June 2023.


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