A lot of people may not know this, but Google actually has quite a number of iOS mobile apps. But it could be a bit time consuming for iPhone or iPad owners when they switch between apps in order to search for stuff on the Internet, or find directions to a new restaurant in the city. Google knows this, and also knows that the iPhone keyboard is where users usually spend most of their time. So the tech giant chose to offer a new take on Apple’s default keyboard, and it is called the Gboard.
Google’s Gboard can do a lot of things -- it can search the Internet, embed animated GIFs, help users find that one perfect emoji, provide data on restaurants, give directions, display flight times, collect weather information, and even share news items to contacts. As explained by Rajan Patel, Principal Engineer at Google, Gboard can basically search anything.
With regards to emoji finding, Gboard takes it to another level. With the standard keyboard on iOS powered mobile devices, emoji are listed as tiny pictures, and users frequently have to scroll to that specific part in order to select that certain emoji. But with Gboard, users can just search for it using a keyword descriptor, and possible matches should be displayed instantly.
Speaking of searches, one other cool thing about Gboard is that it allows iOS mobile users to launch a Google search straight from the big G button located on the top left section of the keyboard. Users just need to tap on that button, do their search, and then attach it as a card without ever needing to exit a conversation.
Sure, the number of swipeable keyboards on the iOS mobile operating system is quite adequate already, but Gboard should be considered a worthy addition to the roster. This is because Gboard supports Google’s Glide Typing functionality, which allows mobile users to slide their finger between keys in order to input letters with small gestures.
Google has made it clear that it is planning to officially launch Gboard in the United States market first. However, Gboard should be made available in other markets around the world in the coming months, and for sure, will come with support for other languages.
Some may be wondering why Gboard is available for iOS powered devices but not on Android handsets. Well, they may not wonder for long because Google I/O is just a few days away, and for sure, Google will be showcasing Gboard generously for all Android users to see.
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