For several reasons, I do what I can to avoid using Google products. But I do currently use the Android OS (at least for now).
One thing I like about Android is being able to use any keyboard app you want. I've done everything I can to avoid using Google's Gboard keyboard. I've tried more than a half-dozen keyboard apps, but the one I like the most is Gboard (and I only looked at it after being dissatisfied with the other keyboards I tried). It's word swipe recognition seems more accurate than the other keyboards I installed. Also, I find the ability to search for emoji by name to be a useful feature.
But Google hasn't earned my trust, and my lack of trust in them is largely based on their historical behaviors as well as statements made by some of their top executives.
What are the privacy downsides to using Google's Gboard keyboard if it is allowed data access through a firewall?
What if data access to Gboard is denied via a firewall (but connections to Google are still mostly allowed for the rest of the Android OS, Google Play Services, and the Google Play store)?