Gboard users are complaining of widespread issues with the app, with many posting reports of crashes and being locked out of their phones on social media.
That’s bad new for users of an app which passed 1 billion installs on the Google Play Store last year, making it one of the most popular Android apps.
Here’s everything you need to know about the issues, including how to fix them.
What is Gboard?
Gboard is a virtual keyboard app developed by Google for Android and iOS devices, first released in May 2016.
Since then the app has undergone multiple updates and improvements, and Gboard features Google Search, searching and sharing of GIFs and emojis, a predictive typing engine that suggests the next word depending on context, and multilingual language support.
A virtual keyboard is a piece of software that allows the input of characters into a device without the need for physical keys, usually through a touchscreen.
What is wrong with it?
At the time of writing, there appears to be no official acknowledgement of the app’s issues, but according to Twitter user CJ Hearn, “It seems like a @motorolaUK update is causing the keyboard #Gboard to crash – meaning you can’t even unlock the phone.”
Other users have reported the app crashing, though it is not clear whether they were using Motorola phones or devices from other brands.
It is believed the issue is only affecting Android devices; iOS users seem to be in the clear.
How can I fix it?
“Haven’t got phone with me,” said Hearn, “but booting in to recovery and clearing cache partition may help.”
When you perform a clear cache it will remove any temporary files that may be causing a problem, but will not delete your files or settings.
To perform a wipe cache partition on Motorola phones:
- With the phone powered off, press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power button at the same time until the device turns on.
- Press the Volume Down button to highlight “Recovery mode”
- Press the Power button to restart into Recovery mode.You’ll see an image of an Android robot with a red exclamation mark.
- Holding the Power button, tap Volume Up once and then release the Power button.
- Use the volume buttons to scroll to “wipe cache partition” and press the Power button to select it.
- “Reboot system now” will be highlighted, press the Power button to select it.
Other Twitter users have offered simpler fixes, everything from deleting the app and reinstalling it, to using another another keyboard “for a couple of days.”
On Android enthusiasts’ forum android.stackexchange, one users suggested clearing the app’s cache when a similar issue flared up last year.
To do this open your phones Settings, then go to ‘App Management’. From here, select ‘Gboard’, then open ‘Storage’.
“Then clear up the cache and you are good to go,” said user Jinen Setpal. “If it does not work even after this step, you have to follow the exact same instructions but instead of clearing cache you clear data.
“That is a sure shot method to get it to work, but I do not recommend it before you clear cache as when you clear data your preferences are reset.”
If that’s still not working for you, you could try another virtual keyboard app while you wait for a Gboard fix.
One popular choice being recommended on social media is SwiftKey, essentially Microsoft’s answer to Gboard. It’s available on both Android and iOS devices.