After months of rumors,Â GoogleÂ has introducedÂ a special keyboard for iOS users.Â The novelty, dubbed Gboard,Â is now official and hasÂ the rumored features that were reported a couple of months back.
GboardÂ features built-in Google Search, Glide Typing, and the ability to search for the perfect GIF or emoji.
The keyboard is currenty available for iOS-running devices only, while Android users will have to remain patient or can simply use Google Keyboard that received a major update recently.
“Say youâ€™re texting with a friend about tomorrowâ€™s lunch plans. They ask you for the address. Until now itâ€™s worked like this: You leave your texting app. Open Search. Find the restaurant. Copy the address. Switch back to your texts. Paste the address into a message. And finally, hit send,” Google said in a statement.
“Searching and sending stuff on your phone shouldnâ€™t be that difficult. With Gboard, you can search and send all kinds of thingsâ€”restaurant info, flight times, news articlesâ€”right from your keyboard.”
“Anything youâ€™d search on Google, you can search with Gboard. Results appear as cards with the key information front and center, such as the phone number, ratings and hours. With one tap, you can send it to your friend and you keep the conversation going,” Google blog wrote.
To access the desired feature, a user shouldÂ tap the ‘G’ logo to enter search terms, and he’ll see the results shownÂ as ‘cards’ displayingÂ key information, which can then be easily shared in emails, instant messages, and the like.
Like other keyboards on Apple’s operating system, Gboard works in any app. However, its functionality isn’t limited to just Google searches.
You can also use it to quickly search for emoji on your handset, rather than scrolling through endless menus to find the one you’re looking for, and it can even be used to search for GIFs for those occasions when an amusing animation is worth a thousand words.
Gboard is available to download now from the App Store – but currently only in the United States. Support for other markets and languages will come later.
â€śWe wanted to bring the best of Google to Gboard, so youâ€™ll see Maps, Translate, image and video search, News and others,â€ť saysÂ Rajan Patel, the head of the product team that developed Gboard.
â€śInitially, Gboard will not surface any information specific to you,â€ť he added, hinting that a personalized keyboard is in the works for the future.
GboardÂ also allows a userÂ to touch type or swipe, depending on his or herÂ personal preference. To glide type, oneÂ just needs to drag one finger between letters without hitting the spacebar.
Of course, allowing Google to become deeply integrated with your keyboard raises some questions around data retention and privacy. That’s why keep in mind that the app allows you to clear your search history and your personal dictionary.