Say goodbye to the only easy way to get the Android L keyboard on a non-Android L device

Say goodbye to the only easy way to get the Android L keyboard on a non-Android L device
The latest Android update in L brought quite a few changes to the table, and more are expected to come before the software is shipped off to consumer devices. Among those is a new default keyboard layout and design -- or what we've come to referring to as simply the Android L keyboard.

Since Android L is in a very early beta, and the average user can't nor is advised to install it manually, the otherwise attractive keyboard was, at first, seemingly reserved for root users, who could snatch the .apk off xda-developers and simply install it on their rooted device. Thankfully, however, a certain developer made the L keyboard available as a third-party app on the Google Play Store, allowing even non-rooted handsets the privilege of messing around with it. Unfortunately, if you haven't taken advantage of this opportunity yet, you might be out of luck.

That's right, as some of us expected, Google apparently considers this to be infringing on somebody else's intellectual property (and in this case, their own), and have taken down the app, reports Shen Ye, the developer of the app. Ye is none too happy about it, and feels "Scroogled", though we'd be surprised if he wasn't aware of the risks when publishing the app, or at least later, when the app started trending (it was downloaded over 800,000 times, according to the dev). In any case, this leaves most of us with no easy option of getting the Android L keyboard, and unless you're willing to get your hands at least a little bit dirty, you may, indeed, be out of luck.

source: +Shen Ye

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29 Comments

1. WillieFDiaz

Posts: 127; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

So much for being "open" Google. You would think if the keyboard was all that fantastic, they would let the app stay up. Taking it down is admitting the product sucks. For a company that loves transparency, and open everything, pulling a keyboard makes me rethink Google and makes me look at Android L and its keyboard as unpolished, flawed, and buggy. Leaving me to really reconsider Android L as my next upgrade, or moving over to iOS which simply put just works from day one.

4. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I agree with your comment till the end.

28. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 960; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Between iOS keyboard and Swiftkey, I definitely prefer Swiftkey. The Android L keyboard isn't that great compared to Swiftkey.

9. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Except the keyboard isn't unpolished, flawed, or buggy. If it is, I haven't noticed it. And if it is, it's from a developer preview of an OS that releases in several months from now. Google has a right to protect its name. Apple's iOS 8 keyboard wasn't unleashed via the App Store, and no one's jumping on them.

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5601; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

The PlayStore has support for beta updates, where people can get beta updates earlier, many third party devs use it Unfortunately Google doesn't use beta it, hopefully they do soon, it would be much easier than flashing the zips or side loading apks

15. azalucel

Posts: 141; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

What do you call google chrome beta?

16. vincelongman

Posts: 5601; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

1 app out of Google 50+ (rough guess) They should have more IMO

12. Alex123

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

I have tried it on my G2 and it works perfectly like the one on my Nokia Lumia 925. I love it a lot

14. emmanuelgemini

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 13, 2014

Here's is another victim of "misconception".... if you don't know or haven't realized yet, the only "OPEN" thing that Google offers is AOSP (Android Open Source Project), the source code for latest versions of android.... everything else.... EVERYTHING.... is proprietary... Google Play, Google Music, Google Maps, Google Plus, Google Experience Launcher, Google Hangouts........Everything.... These are all propriety additions on top of AOSP and Google reserves that right to do anything and or restrict anything related to these...

19. TheGenius

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Dont consider it google .. consider it like just any other developer. Now if someone stole your app and posted it in their name.. what would be your reaction?

20. SellPhones82

Posts: 569; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

GAPPs have never been open, and never will be open. Only the source code to the OS itself is. Plus isn't this app nothing more than the regular KK keyboard but themed to look like the "L" version? You can also easily side load a modified apk that was pulled straight from the preview and will run on non-rooted devices. http://www.mediafire.com/download/os6yut0zuha166r/LatinImeGoogle_noroot.apk

21. Castro90

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I'm sensing you're a bit of a moron.

23. xfire99

Posts: 1204; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Since when did Android L officially released? Just move to iOS if u are so mad about a beta release and not even officially got a name yet. -.-

24. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Oh, come on! The keyboard is theirs, that guy took someone else's code and published it on the play store under his name. Google was right. I bet they'll publish it anyway, when it's ready. But it seems logical to me that they want to manage their code themselves. Android is open, yes. This means you can write your own keyboard and publish it, not that you can take someone else's work and do what you please with it.

25. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

You win the award for the most ignorant comment I have heard in a LONG time. +10 for jumping to wild conclusions. +10 for making conclusion as extreme as possible +10 for feeling butt-hurt that Google exercised their right to protect THEIR technology (keyboard).

29. tatail

Posts: 261; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

If they didn't take it down, it would actually encourage people to steal someone else's software/app and publish it as their own. Another reason would be that since this is a beta version a lot people might find it buggy and problematic, so people start complaining.

30. aahmed215

Posts: 169; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

Someone has their panties in a bunch over nothing. If Google doesn't want to release their keyboard to the general public yet, then they don't have to. It's still in beta (even though I haven't had any troubles using it so far). More importantly, you can't just rip a Google app and put it on the Play Store under your account. It has nothing to do with being "open".

2. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

There is no innocent parties. That why I just use the one with the leading market share for maximum first party and third parties support.

3. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

Give Google a break... That keyboard was still in BETA hence need more fine tuning. And releasing a half assed app (i.e. keyboard) that bears their name can screw their credibility. The app itself was meant to be published in the first place right? Google might prevent other people placing malwares with the app and may release them when the time is right. @WillieFDiaz, IOS works from day one? really? Ow kay....:-D

5. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

*not meant

6. zachattack

Posts: 621; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

welp i got it before they yanked it down hue hue hue

18. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

Same, I haven't noticed a single problem... I'm keeping it for now.

7. Hatshipuh

Posts: 163; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Wasn't the app a paid app? I don't expect anyone to allow others to make money by selling something they didn't make themselves. Besides the keyboard being an unfinished product.

10. vincelongman

Posts: 5601; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Nope it was free

8. saratew

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 15, 2012

That makes sense. It is not the final version of product. Google has no reason to take risk in allowing its product being in an experimental stage to deteriorate users' experience, I appreciate the developer's generousness though. There is no any perfect human-made product, I think.

17. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Word trace is fubarred on it, the graphic glitches out. Good on Google, it was still in beta anyways.

22. deathgod

Posts: 122; Member since: Nov 23, 2011

I'd bet Google pulled the app because they are planning to offer it as a seperate download themselves, just like they did with their android keyboard (and other apps lately).

26. Gvus2001

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

Good thing I go it when I did, it is my favorite keyboard (I'm using it to type this!).

27. Totse2k15

Posts: 475; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Google the APK, not that hard...

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