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Google disables support for third-party keyboards in Chrome due to ‘crashing issues’


Third-party keyboards have been supported on iOS since version 8 shipped last year, but even today they’re still often plagued by poor performance and other issues related to Apple’s implementation. Today, Google has released a Chrome for iOS update that disables support for third-party keyboards entirely because of such issues.

It’s not clear which issues exactly were behind this decision, as the company only lists a very broad description of the problem: “Third-party keyboards have been disabled due to crashes caused by a bug in iOS 9.”

The update, which brings the app to version 46.0.2490.85, also includes a fix for a display bug with the app’s location/search bar.

We’ve reached out to Google for a comment on when this feature might be available again. We’ll update this post when they respond. Update: Google has informed us that they do not have a timeline for when this issue will be resolved.

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  1. Jim Krenz - 7 years ago

    I use two third-party keyboards, and have yet to experience a crash in Safari. Maybe it is specific keyboards (or Chrome itself) causing the crashes.

  2. iSRS - 7 years ago

    I’ve noticed on my 6 and now 6s sluggish response from third party keyboards. Once the novelty of swipe typing wore off for me, I turned those off. I could never get a good flow for swiping. I would do one word at a time. I type faster with the stock. The only one I regularly use is Disney GIF, so I just use that as an app and copy/paste

    • Mike Beasley - 7 years ago

      Yep, awful performance and faster typing with the stock keyboard has been my experience too. I’ve given up completely on third-party keyboards.

      • r00fus1 - 7 years ago

        The only one that seemed like it could’ve been good was TextExpander, but alas, they took a good concept (reuse your text expansions from desktop) and screwed up the implementation… i’ve made do with my basic text expansions in iOS itself (though project-specific ones that rotated and were kept uptodate on my Mac would’ve been the shizzle).

    • I would never allow third-party keyboards, it’s crap. Apple knows that and they just want to show you they were right ;) I never used a 3rd party keyboard and never plan to. It’s just “an advantage” (which isn’t an advantage at all) Android users loved to brag about.

      • airvay0 - 7 years ago

        You sound like an Apple Zombie, repeating the Apple mantra: Apple is good, Apple is right, Apple knows best.
        Makes me want to puke.

      • ronnelcaluag - 7 years ago

        More like Apple showed you they couldn’t do anything right.

  3. Joshua Kucera - 7 years ago

    I use swype, it is 1000 times faster than the stock keyboard, and this will mark the end of my using chrome for ios, which means it will be the end of my using chrome overall, because all of my bookmarks are shared across devices. I’m not going to be updating bookmarks on multiple browsers. Bye bye, google.

  4. Moca Xu (@mocax) - 7 years ago

    Chrome uses UIWebView to display web content. Since ios 9, apps will crash if a 3rd party keyboard opens within the UIWebView.
    ios 8 is not affected by this bug.

    Safari uses the newer WkWebView, so it doesn’t have problems with 3rd party keyboards.

    Many apps that use UIWebView with keyboard inputs will need to disable 3rd party keyboards until Apple fixes this bug.

    There are several technical reasons why the affected apps can’t simply switch to using WkWebView though.

  5. I guess the 95% of the world population that DO NOT speak English natively are not really the target audience of Google Chrome on iOS? I’m not sure about the other languages, but the Mandarin input method in iOS leaves a lot to desire and a third-party keyboard is a necessity.

  6. David Arthur Walters - 7 years ago

    My phone is worthlesd without Swype. Suddenly a Google keyboard appeared. It had Swype, ok, Now it is gone, They took away hardkeys. Now this disservice. Outrageous!