A lot of users swear by Swiftkey, now owned by Microsoft, as their favorite third party keyboard app for Android and iOS. But now Google is getting in this race with its iOS-exclusive keyboard app, Gboard. Announced at I/O 2016, Google s Gboard keyboard app has now rolled out to more regions including India. So far the app was available only in the US. Also Read - Google Play Store announces blanket ban on Sugar Daddy apps over sexual contentAlso Read - Google, Facebook make vaccination mandatory for employees returning to office
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The app is available for free on the App Store. After you have downloaded the app, go to Settings > keyboard > keyboards> Add New keyboard. Add the Gboard app to the list and allow the app full access . If you have downloaded other keyboard apps and don t want to use them, simply remove them by tapping on the Edit button.
Gboard for iOS: Key features
The key feature of this keyboard app is that it comes integrated with Google search functionality. This essentially means you can search for links, images and even GIFs without having to leave the application. This functionality is similar to the integrated search functionality in Google s upcoming messaging app Allo. It can also intelligently suggest recommendations, so if you type a name or place it can suggest an online search. It also suggests emojis that you can replace for words.
To look up for information within Gboard, users need to tap on the big Google icon above the keyboard. The search results are shown horizontally unlike the desktop s vertical format. Users can scroll left to right to select the desired link. Below the search results, you can choose between images and GIFs. The Gboard keyboard app works with all the apps such as emails, notes, WhatsApp and YouTube and others.
Besides integrated search functionality, the keyboard is very similar to other third party keyboard apps. It supports swipe to type as well as offer word suggestions. The layout is Material Design-like neat with relatively large buttons. The app is quite easy to use and integrated Google search makes it really efficient. That being said, the app still misses out on lot of features that Swiftkey offers.
Microsoft-owned Swiftkey app lets you customize your themes and create a profile where you can have more insight about your app usage. For an example, Swiftkey tells me the app has corrected 1,158 of my typos and has predicted 91 of my next words. These features are right now missing in Google s Gboard app, which we hope will be rolled out in the future updates.