Tech

GBoard for Android: 4 Reasons to Download the App

gboard icon
Android users can now use Google search while texting with version 6.0 of GBoard.

GBoard, formerly known as Google Keyboard, released on Friday and has already racked up more than a million downloads. The announcement of GBoard for Android comes more than six months after the iOS version was released.

Here’s what you need to know about the app.


1. GBoard Integrates Search Within Apps like Email, Messenger, Allo, Hangouts, etc

weather gboard

GBoard works across messaging platforms. The app allows you to search for news and then input it directly into the message. Want to send tomorrow’s forecast ahead of a big party? GBoard can copy and paste the weather forecast for your area into your email along with a link. Here are some topics that GBoard can copy and paste factoids from.

1. Weather
2. Addresses
3. Song lyrics
4. Stock prices

GBoard’s forte, however, is eliminating the microseconds wasted copy and pasting links into messages. Pressing the ‘Share’ button on most queries will only copy a link into the message body. However, it enables a much more straightforward browsing experience for the message’s composer. For example, sending a link to a story doesn’t require getting out of the messaging app anymore, though the receiver would have to click out of the messaging application. Another limitation of GBoard is it can’t embed pictures yet on apps other than Messenger, Allo and Hangouts.


2. You Can Search Emojis and Gif Libraries

cake emoji gboard

GBoard lets you pick the right Emoji for any occasion with a simple search function. Just press the Emoji button on the GBoard keyboard and then query for the right Emoji like “dancer” or “monkey”. Unfortunately, gifs are only supported on Google Messenger, Allo and Hangouts, though Google says it will work with more apps.


3. GBoard Supports 3 Languages at a Time, Streamlining the Experience

For multilingual speakers switching between different language keyboards can be a pain. GBoard makes the transition seamless, and will autocorrect in any enabled language. The platform now supports over 100 languages and Google says it is planning to add more (notably, Mandarin is missing though Google has a separate app for that in Google Pinyin input).


4. Customize Your Keyboard and Have Numbers as Your First Row

In the advanced settings of GBoard, you can customize the look of your keyboard. Other neat features of GBoard include an option to restore numbers as your first row in the Preferences menu. GBoard also keeps the Glide typing and voice typing functinos of Google Keyboard. It can also read your messages and suggest relevant search results (eg “Let’s meet if the weather looks good” will show a prediction for weather).

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