Finally, Gboard from Google has made its way to the Android platform, after it had landed on the iOS platform six months ago.
The keyboard arrives as an update to the existing standard keyboard, and it will also include a Google Search bar that is built right into the app. Google had announced the Gboard for iOS in May and had said then that the keyboard will ultimately hit the Android devices also branded as the Gboard version 6.0.
Just recently, Google had rolled out the Android 7.1.1 Nougat update to a few Pixel and Nexus devices that are supportive. One of the most important features that arrived with the update was the support to the GIF images directly from the keyboard. Though this support was available on the iOS platform, the Google has just introduced support for GIF images from the Gboard keyboard to the Android platform with the latest update. Apart from the Nexus and the Pixel, the Gboard app is now available on more Android devices as an update to the Keyboard app of Google.
The Gboard has not changed much for the Android platform too. According to confirmed reports, instead of launching a new standalone app, the Google keyboard has been rebranded in v6.0 and it will be simply called as the Gboard. Ironically, the well received Gboard keyboard app from the search giant was exclusively available only to the iOS platform and till now it was absent from its very own mobile platform.
G Button Quick Search Functionality
Along with the change in name, the Gboard also brings along with it a couple of other new features of which the key function is the G button that enables quick search from the keyboard. The idea of this keyboard has been kept really simple that involves adding search functionality into the keyboard, which will, in turn, make it easier for the users, who will not have to leave the app. When the G button has been disabled, the users will be able to see a pop-out toolbar which will grant access to settings, themes, and also single-handed mode. With the quick search button, the users can look out for nearby restaurants and stores, images and videos, weather forecasts, news articles, sports updates and anything which they would search on Google. The results will appear as cards with the important and relevant information in the center and front, which can be sent to a friend by just a single tap without having to leave the ongoing conversation.
The users can just tap on the Google logo that is present at the top of the keyboard, which will directly pull up the search interface. By switching on the ‘Contacts Search’ in the Search Settings of Gboard, the users can also enable searching and sharing contacts without having to open the contacts app.
It is time for the people who speak multiple languages to rejoice now as the latest Gboard update for Android brings along with it support for multiple languages which allows the user to type in up to almost 3 different active languages with one preferred language, without having to manually switch in between the different modes.
GIF Button, Glide Typing, and Emoji Search
There are a couple of more features that are all set to arrive with this new Gboard update. It includes a GIF button which is always visible. This GIF button is disabled in the app which does not support the feature, though. The new update enables a dedicated and a new full-size number row, which is optional and the users will have to turn it on in the settings. The users can also Glide Typing, previously known as the Gesture typing feature, which requires the user to just slide their finger from key to key, instead of tapping on them. This is similar to how it is done on Swiftkey. The emoji search is another feature that has arrived with the latest update. Apart from searching for emojis, the emoji panel has been rearranged with a group selection at the bottom. The emojis are expected to have a bright halo effect around them.
Like it is done for most of the updates, it is expected that Google might roll out the version 6.0 update for the Google Gboard Keyboard app in phases. Though the release date has not yet been announced by Google, it is expected to arrive in the upcoming days through the Google Play. However, for the impatient people out there who are waiting to try out the new version of the Gboard keyboard from Google, it can be sideloaded by installing the APK file from a third side party site, the APK Mirror. It will, however, require a running Android version of 4.2 and higher.