On the other hand, it's only available on Android 4.0 and above. While adoption of Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean continues to improve, currently at around 60 percent of Android devices, over a third of active Android phones still run Gingerbread.Google Keyboard offers some interesting competition for other swipe-to-write keyboards. Most notably, it's free where most of its competitors are not. It also has next-word suggestions, auto-complete, voice recognition, and support for 26 languages, although the keyboard itself is English-only for now.
However, Google downplayed the competitive angle in its anonymously-written blog post, noting that SwiftKey and TouchPal are "some of our other favorites". If anything, by making the keyboard available as an app Google is competing not with other keyboard makers but with companies like Samsung and HTC that alter the stock Android experience.