Google on the iPhone is sometimes better than Google on Android. Google has introduced Google Gboard keyboard that fits perfect for iOS devices. The usual keyboard is the opposite of the Android counterparts. They are sleek, fast, and customizable. These keyboards bring gesture typing to the iPhone, which may seem to be troublesome. But the Gboard, a keyboard for iPhone, brought a change within itself ironically. With the Gboard, you get gesture typing, the power of Google search, GIFs and emojis. Gboard is a real game changer and one of the best iPhone apps.
The Gboard is an app available in the iPhone app store for free. There is a sticky process to be followed to get the Gboard app downloaded on your iPhone. You can designate whatever keyboards you would like to use on your phone. Since an iPhone can support several keyboards simultaneously. For this, go to Settings app, click on the “globe icon” on the keyboard to move between all your options.
Once the keyboard is set up, the Gboard app becomes a settings hub for configuring your keyboard. For instance, you can turn off the Block Offensive Words option, if you need access to all your mistakes while typing turning off caps lock.
Unfortunately, location access and contacts search are switched off by default. And you may find it none of a flaw since most apps are so keen to get your location data and your contacts list.
The only thing that you won’t be available in the Gboard is the visual customization options. This can be found in rival virtual keyboards. For example, Microsoft Word Flow helps you in changing some aspects. Such as the keyboard’s background, the color of the keys, the keyboard font, and much more.
Gesture typing on Gboard is called gliding. Other iPhone keyboards seem little slow and disturbing. But this hasn’t any trouble skating between keys to crafting a message. The Gboard retains a similar look to the stock iPhone keyboard, but the keys feel a bit further apart and the font slightly tweaked. Predictive text sits just above keys, making for fast messaging or correcting the occasional word. One remarkable feature is Predictive text also includes relevant emojis in the results. For example, type the word “butt” and the peach emoji appears as an option.
The Gboard picks up the turns of phrase very quickly. If, in case, you find a word has crept into your Gboard dictionary that you’d not have, you can clear it from the Settings.
Glide is snappy and responsive. It catches the exact word or sentence when confused or locked. It even correctly tracks my thumb whenever it accidentally left the keyboard. It also found the correct word most of the time. That said, I’m not totally blown away by Glide.
I may also be a bit difficult to use gesture typing on the relatively narrow iPhone 6. Gesture typing makes sense on Android since many such phones are roughly the same size. When typing gestures with Gboard, it seems like you have to scrunch your thumb uncomfortably to reach some keys. Maybe it’s time for a full-scale redesign of mobile keyboards. Perhaps taking a cue from Microsoft Word Flow Keyboard’s crescent shape. That actually makes the keys smaller but more accessible to one-handed thumb texting.
Traditional thumb-typing and gliding are the only ways to enter text in Gboard. But, you can still tap on one letter at the same time, if needed. However, you can’t use the iPhone’s dictation feature without the stock Apple keyboard. That might be a long-term deal breaker but always switch back to the built-in keyboard.
Search Close at Hand :
The big difference in Gboard is the colorful G logo in the upper left-hand side of the keyboard. Tap it, and a search window will expand above the keyboard. You can use this just like Google search on the Web. The results are displayed on cards, similar to Google Now on Android.
Tap the share link to copy it to your clipboard and paste the search results into the text field you’re typing in. Also, you can tap the icon in the upper right of each card to open the results in Safari. Some cards, like results for the weather or locations, have special iconography. Copying these to the text field will add an emoji, a customized text, as well as a link. Google Image Search results can also be found. Note that both search and locations will push you towards Google products.
This is a simple addition to a keyboard, but it makes a lot of sense. Instead of jumping to Safari to cut and paste, you can just search if you know exactly what you are looking for. This seems similar to Google’s stated goals with its new Spaces platform.
Unfortunately, a search is only as good as your Internet connection. Try searching without data, and you’ll only see an error message. While in airplane mode, try searching the names of your friends allowing Gboard access to your contacts list.
Texts Worth a Thousand Words, Emojis and GIFs :
We usually use emojis and GIFs for impressive texting and chatting. Well, turn your cap backward and do a kick-flip because Gboard has both.
Tap the smiley face next to the space bar and iOS emojis appears. As in iOS, you scroll through the sections to find the Unicode image that perfectly suits your text. But Google has a trick up its sleeve and, unsurprisingly, it’s search. Instead of scrolling until you find the right emoji, you can just search by text. Slack has a similar feature. But Slack relies on you knowing the actual name of each image, which isn’t that useful. Gboard’s emoji search is far more forgiving and quickly becomes a must-have feature.
Emojis are cool, but they just sit constantly on the screen. GIFs have been around for decades. Whereas tiny, short, animated images have become a phenomenon all by their own. The whole concept of “reaction GIFs” is subtly reshaping how some people communicate, allowing for the silent but dynamic injection of mood or humor into a conversation.
But there are still more GIFs than emojis or the stars in the sky. This is why Gboard’s GIF search is so critical. Therefore, Google provides some canned search options like “applause”, “a dancing lunar crooner”, “the stodgy GIF library of Fleksy Keyboard”. Google’s GIF search is also fairly forgiving, pulling down useful results for most searches. Note that you’ll still have to cut and paste the GIFs, which can be done easily.
Get On Board :
The keyboards have been either ugly, sluggish, or both. The problem with the Apple has been the way it limits the access of keyboards. And Gboard overcomes this problem to deliver the best virtual keyboard experience.
In Google’s search technology, smart sharing tools, emoji search and GIFs, you have a keyboard with the right mix of utility and novelty. The only things holding Google Gboard back seem to come from Apple, which makes it a choice for third-party iPhone keyboards.
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