In iOS 8, Apple allowed developers to make keyboards for the iPhone and iPad. While Android had this feature for many years, this update was much welcomed in the iOS community. Through the last two years, many developers have tried to improve the default iOS keyboard by adding swipe features, themes and GIFs. However, most iPhone users still end up using the default iOS keyboard.
Yesterday, Google joined the list of developers who made iOS keyboards.
Gboard is by far the best keyboard I’ve used on any phone. Google identified the problem right: we often switch back and forth apps only to search, copy and paste into our conversations. For example, if you want the address of a restaurant where you want to meet your friend, you would open a browser, search on Google, copy the address of the restaurant and paste it back into the chat. Not efficient, right? Gboard solves this problem by including Google Search right inside the keyboard.
By touching the ‘G’ button, a search box pops up. Because Google search is already optimised to use the card view to list places, news stories, weather etc. it is easy to click on a card, paste the information into the chat-box and hit send, without switching between apps. The ‘G’ button will also include pictures and GIFs which you can directly send. Plus, Gboard can use your location information to further optimise its search.
The Gboard is truly powerful, and it is what keyboards should have always been. It has a simple design, swipe features and inbuilt emoji and packs in the legendary Google Search.
Gboard is exclusively available for iOS as of today, that too limited to a few countries. Greenbot says a Gboard like keyboard is coming soon to Android.
You can download Gboard for iPhone here (free). Because this isn’t available in India yet, you will have to switch to the US store to get it. A quick trick to do that is here.
Enjoy typing, and Keep Technonerding!