gboard – Whenever I tap the empty space below the spacebar, while using Chrome, the keyboard closes unexpectedly

Ok, so this has to be the most annoying thing for me about Android phones. If you look at my screenshot, I’ve circled the empty space below the keyboard. I am ALWAYS accidentally tapping this empty space, and when I do this… it acts as if I had tapped the little downward arrow to the left of that empty space!!! I’ll be typing in some search terms in Chrome, only to accidentally tap the empty space, and there goes everything I was typing. Poof. It’s INCREDIBLY annoying, and I just might buy an iPhone if I have to continue to endure this. It is SO easy to accidentally hit that empty space.

It happens with both Gboard and the stock keyboard, and swiftkey. It seems as though this is an intentional feature.

Is there anyway to completely disable that little downward arrow?

screenshot of empty space below keyboard