Imagine the scene: you’re texting a friend about your dinner plans when they ask for directions to the restaurant you’re meeting at that evening.
Queue the long process of leaving the app, opening up your search engine, finding the restaurant and copying the address. That’s all before going back to iMessage, pasting it and hitting send.
It’s annoying having to do this every time you want to share information with your mates, right? Luckily Google agrees and has created Gboard – its new keyboard for iPhone that has its signature search function built in.
Open Google search in any app with Gboard
With Gboard you can search for and send things like restaurant opening hours, train or flight times and news articles direct from your keyboard – all without leaving the app you’re in.
To access it, hit the Google search button (that’s the rainbow ‘G’ icon) in the top left corner of the keyboard to bring up a search window. Then type in whatever it is you’re looking for.
The results appear as information cards – so rather than trying to highlight the details you want to copy and paste like you would on a search engine, simply tap to send it to your friend.
It works in any app, giving you access to Google at all times.
Send GIFs and emoji at the touch of a button
These days an emoji can often say it better than words, but scrolling through pages of them to find the one you want isn’t much fun. Google’s fixed that too – now you can simply search for ‘dancer’ to bring up the different dancing emoji, or ‘happy’ for the smiley emoticons.
And with the built-in GIF search engine, you can send GIFs to your friends in a matter seconds.
What else can you do with it?
Glide Typing also makes it easier and faster to type on the keyboard. Slide your finger between letters and it’ll recognise the word instead of tapping on individual keys.
In the same way predictive text can pick up on the words you use most often, Gboard can adapt to your language over time – for example learning how to spell the name of your favourite restaurant or bar correctly.
Gboard is only available in the US right now, but Google says it’s expanding to new countries and will be available in more languages soon.
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