Google launched its Gboard virtual keyboard only a couple of years ago. The team behind it has constantly been improving it by adding support for more languages. The company haw announced that Gboard now has support for an impressive 500 languages. This, Google says, allows almost 90 percent of the Earth’s population to communicate on their mobile devices by typing in their native language.
Google first launched Gboard for Android in December 2016. It initially had support for about 100 language varieties. It has added several hundred languages to the keyboard over the past couple of years with the most recent additions being Pontic Greek, Balinese, and Nigerian Pidgin.
It currently supports more than 40 writing systems across the globe. This includes alphabets that are used across different languages such as Cyrillic and Roman to even scripts that are used for just one language like Ol Chiki.
To make sure that users can communicate effortlessly by typing in their native languages, Gboard tunes the keyboard layout for each language variety and even the autocorrect and predictive text features are personalized.
Once the team builds support for a language, it brings in a group of native speakers to test and fill out a survey to gain insights from their typing experience which goes into further improving support for that language.