Google today announced "Gboard," a new third-party keyboard application for iOS devices that directly integrates the company's search capabilities into an iPhone or iPad's keyboard. With the new Google button in Gboard, users can search for information, send what they find, discover GIFs, emojis, and more, without having to exit a messenger app to visit Safari or Chrome.
In its blog post, the company gives an example of someone needing to look up the address of a restaurant, normally forcing them to leave the app, perform a search in a mobile web browser, copy the address information, return to Messages, paste it, then send it off. With Gboard, Google hopes to streamline that process into a headache-free card system built around the smaller UI space required of third-party keyboards.
With Gboard, you can search and send all kinds of things—restaurant info, flight times, news articles—right from your keyboard. Anything you’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.
In addition to the basic search feature, Gboard lets users search for emojis -- unlike Apple's first-party keyboard -- by typing in key words like "dancer" to find the corresponding character. There's also a section that lets users browse and search for GIFs, and even glide typing for those who prefer sliding to text instead of tapping each key.
Google mentioned that Gboard "works in any app" with a keyboard, although it's available only in English within the United States at launch, with more languages planned soon. Those interested can download it from the App Store today for free. [Direct Link]