Gboard is Google's keyboard app and is available for both Android and iOS users. Complaints posted this week on the Android Help page, Reddit and Twitter (via 9to5Google) indicate that Android users are having a major issue with the app. A bug is causing the virtual QWERTY keyboard to crash and has locked some users out of their own devices since they cannot type a password or PIN. The culprit is an update that Google rolled out for Gboard a couple of days ago.
tweet sent by Motorola put the blame for the bug squarely on Google and said, "This issue was caused by an update on Gboard, which belongs to Google. If one cannot access their device because Gboard won't come up, then the only way to bypass the Screen Lock is by performing an external reset, unfortunately." Naturally, the thought of having to factory reset their device sent many Android users straight to the bathroom. Luckily, there is a workaround that doesn't require users to wipe their handset. Go to Settings > Apps > Gboard > Clear Data and Clear Cache.Reportedly, Android phones manufactured by Motorola have been affected the most. A
If you can unlock your phone, you might want to consider a third-party virtual QWERTY app like SwiftKey until Google disseminates an update (more on that below). You can install SwiftKey from the Google Play Store. Another idea would be to use a pattern instead of a PIN or passcode to unlock the device since a pattern wouldn't require the use of a keyboard to gain access to your handset.
There are conflicting reports about whether Google has already issued an update to exterminate the bug, but considering the seriousness of this issue, we wouldn't be surprised if one has already started rolling out.