Google’s new floating keyboard is so helpful, it’ll put you on cloud nine

google gboard floating keyboard news
Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

Google has added an interesting new feature to its Gboard Android keyboard app. It’s called floating keyboard, and it may just be the answer to your problems if your swanky new bezel-less smartphone almost slips out your hand as you furiously type on the keyboard. It’s also great for anyone who feels the keyboard is never quite where it needs to be, due to a big screen, small fingers, or a time-sapping combination of both.

Provided your app has been updated to version 7.6 or later, you should be able to find this handy feature right now. Exactly as the name suggests, it undocks the keyboard from the bottom edge of the screen and lets you move it around freely, putting it exactly where your fingers want to be.

Why would you want to use this over a one-handed keyboard, where the keys are edged over to one side of the screen? It’s particularly suited to the new generation of smartphones with very small chin bezels. These areas gave us something to grab onto and steady the phone in our hand when typing, but now they’re much smaller, it’s easier to fumble the phone when typing — a potentially expensive mistake. Place the floating keyboard higher up the screen, and the chances of this happening are reduced.

How to enable the floating keyboard

Want to give it a try? If you don’t already have Gboard installed on your Android phone, go and get it now, because it’s superior to most other keyboard apps out there. To find the floating keyboard mode, you have to go digging into some menus. Tap the Google “G” icon on the keyboard, then the three dots for further options, found on the far left of the top menu that appears. An icon for the floating keyboard should be one of the large buttons where the keyboard used to be. Tap it, and the keyboard will float on the screen.

To return the keyboard to its docked position, just reverse the instructions and tap the floating keyboard icon again. If you want to make access even quicker, tap and hold the floating keyboard icon and drag it on to the quick access row, where it replaces one of the other options already there.

If the keyboard on your phone screen always feels a little awkward to type on, or you’re worried about dropping your phone, give this feature a try — it may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Gaming

Get Corsair’s best mechanical keyboard at a decent discount

From March 17 to 23, you can get one of the best mechanical keyboards around at a great price. The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is normally $200, but this week you can pick one up from Amazon for $160.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Computing

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Home Theater

Apple’s new AirPods bring only minor updates to the much-loved originals

Apple has announced its new AirPods, the much-anticipated follow-up to Apple's wildly popular AirPods. With optional wireless charging and hands-free Siri, it's a minor update, but a welcome one.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Wearables

Spring is here, and Apple’s beautiful new Watch bands will help you celebrate

Apple knows that seasons matter in the fashion world, and has refreshed its most popular Apple Watch bands to celebrate the arrival of spring. See them all, including our new favorite teal versions, here.
Mobile

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.
Mobile

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.
Deals

Get your hands (and ears) on Apple’s new AirPods — here’s where to find them

Apple's new AirPods with wireless charging are the latest version of the much-loved wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, they aren't widely available yet. Here's where you can find them right now, and where they will show up soon.
Mobile

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Mobile

Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat may be coming soon

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Deals

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods might be new and improved, but they aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, with attractive features. These are the best AirPod alternatives on the market today.
Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…