Skip to main content

Google remembers Wear OS long enough to add a new keyboard

Google remembers Wear OS long enough to add a new keyboard


Gboard comes to the beleaguered smart watch platform

Share this story

Photo by Avery White for The Verge

In what feels like an increasingly rare occurrence, Google announced that it’s updating Wear OS with a new feature today — but don’t get too excited, it’s just a keyboard. In this case, Google is porting over Gboard, the swipeable, predictive text-powered keyboard that it offers for Android, iOS, and Android TV, as spotted by 9to5Google.

Like the larger phone version, Gboard for Wear OS supports multiple input methods on a keyboard that’s slightly more finger-friendly than the old version the operating system used. You can type by tapping, swiping, or speaking. The keyboard also has easier access to emoji and “enhanced suggestions” above the keyboard.

Along with the new keyboard, Google says it’s also introducing multi-language support for all of the languages offered on Wear OS. To switch languages, Gboard for Wear OS has a language shortcut at the bottom of the keyboard that will pull up a menu with options.

The update is minor, but Google is at least paying attention to an operating system that’s mainly received minor updates for a while. Google opened up Tiles on the OS to third-party developers earlier this year, and before that, promised to improve to CPU performance in August 2020. With Google I/O 2021 — the company’s developer conference — on the horizon, there’s a possibility Google has more improvements to share for Wear OS, but until then, be happy you can at least swipe to type on your wrist.