Google has been improving the Android experience for foldable and tablet devices. The company also released Android 12, where “L” stands for large screen. With Android 13, app optimization has become an integral part of the ttooid experience. During Google I/the O 2023 keynote, the company shared that they have it has more than 50 Google apps for foldable and tablet smartphones. One of the apps is the Google Keyboard app, which received similar optimization that is beneficial for tablets and foldable smartphones.

We have seen how popular foldable smartphones have become and how they have improved in recent years. Samsung’sSome examples of foldable smartphones are Fold, Oppo Find Flip, and even Google’s Pixel Fold, are somewhat released an upgraded version of GBoard for foldable and tablets. The update is being rolled out and will soon be available to all foldable and tablet devices.

GBoard for Foldable Smartphones with Split Keyboard Functionality

This new layout, Split Keyboard, is designed for larger-screen Android devices. Last year, Google introduced the beta version of GBoard for foldable smartphones, and it is expected to be rolled out in stable form by the end of this year to all Android tablets that support Gboard. There are two different Split Keyboard layouts, one with the same amount of keys on either side and one where it splits at the cutoff without any repeated keys. Users can toggle to enable/disable the Split Layout to include Duplicated Key option from the GBoard Settings > Preferences > Layout.

Gboard now has a split keyboard layout with two options for Android tablets and foldable devices.

After enabling the Split Keyboard on your device, the keyboard will be divided into two halves with an equal number of keys on the left and right side, making it easier to use on larger screens with one hand. This is currently in beta, which you can download from the Google Play Store, and will be rolled out to stable release in the future. To enable Split Keyboard on GBoard, follow these instructions:

  • Open GBoard Beta on your device and then tap on Settings.
  • From there, tap on Preferences and then tap on layout.
  • Toggle to enable the “Split layout to include duplicated key” option.

To join the beta, open the Google Play Store and search for GBoard. Scroll down to find the Beta option from the Gboard tab on Google Play Store. Once you find the Beta button, tap on it and then tap on Join. Joining the beta might take some time. However, you can also install the beta APK for the GBoard to test this feature.

Gboard now has a split keyboard layout with two options for Android tablets and foldable devices.
[Courtesy: 9to5google.com]

However, the quality is only available for some. It is rolling out to some users gradually, so it might take some time before reaching is also one more notable thing: the keyboard will have a G icon where the blue G appears if you are using the standard keyboard layout and a white G if you are using the Split Keyboard layout. The redesigned toolbar is still not yet widely rolled out, which first appeared in February for some users. The toolbar tile allows users to switch between standard and Split Keyboard options.

You can switch back to the normal keyboard layout if you don’t prefer the Split Keyboard. However, some keys are duplicated by default, such as V and G between the left and right sides, making it easier to reach them with your thumb when typing with one hand. This is a great way to improve typing on larger devices with one hand while ensuring the keys are easily reachable from the edges of the display. This is such a major productivity improvement.

Gboard - the Google Keyboard
Gboard - the Google Keyboard
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free