Last May, Google released the Google Keyboard for iOS users that lets them perform a search without opening the Google iOS app. Android users have since fretted because it was never made available to their devices. Now, Google is rectifying the situation with the release of the Android version, and it came with a new name to boot: Gboard.
The Google Play entry for Google Keyboard is yet to be updated as of this writing. Google has not even released any official statement yet, which has been the convention for its product and service rollout.
The information only surfaced after users managed to get their hands on an APK file, which is now available for everyone to download.
Gboard: Search In The Keyboard
If you are still wondering what the fuss is all about, Gboard adds more functionality to the keyboard. It was primarily released for iOS users possibly to get Google Search closer to the user's interaction with apps and the iOS device.
Most Android devices do not have this problem, as Search could be one tap or one voice command away. Search is deeply embedded in the system, so there is no need to persistently close third-party apps to open Search.
Despite the motivation of aggressively pushing Google Search, there is still the fact that Gboard empowers the users to do more. For example, if you are conversing with a friend using a messaging app, you can easily pull information from the web or from Google's native apps via search to inform your replies.
Say, you are setting an appointment in a restaurant. If your friend asks for its address or direction and you don't have any clue, you can simply tap the Search logo and conduct a search. You will obtain and send the information without leaving the app.
Aside from the search function, Gboard also comes with a wide range of features, which include Voice Typing, themes, and emojis. It can also learn as you type, which recalls Swift's own neural network technology. Another notable feature involves Gesture typing that Google is also referring as Glide typing.
Here, you are typing words by gliding from letter to letter and automatically insert a space when you lift your finger. It also works with the learning function so that after some time, it will be able to complete words before the gesture is finished.
Finally, there is also a GIF button accessible through the emoji panel, and what is more awesome is that Gboard effectively makes the feature available to a number of Android versions. This has been previously allowed in Android 7.1 devices only. This means that more people can make their messages more fun and lively with short clips sent alongside messages.