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Gboard: Google’s new keyboard finally hits Android

Earlier this year, Google revealed Gboard, being a rather cool virtual keyboard for smartphones. In a rather bizarre twist, the keyboard was released as an iOS-exclusive.

Fortunately, Google has come to its senses, releasing the app on Android over the weekend. Or rather, it’s updated the existing Google Keyboard to become Gboard.

“Gboard has all the things you love about your old Google Keyboard — speed and accuracy, Glide Typing and voice typing…” the company wrote in a blog post.

What makes the keyboard stand out though, is its support for integrated Google search functionality. This allows you to search and send results from the keyboard rather than the Google app, such as flight details, articles, videos, desired restaurants and other results. In fact, the keyboard app is capable of taking a proactive approach at times.

Gboard is a rather cool take on the keyboard, but full WhatsApp support would be lovely

“Gboard also predicts possible searches that may be relevant to you. Text a friend ‘Let’s meet if the weather looks good’ and see a prediction for ‘weather’,” the company explained.

Another interesting addition is the ability to search for emoji and GIFs, but this is limited to Allo, Google Messenger and Hangouts at the time of writing. However, emoji search seems to work on WhatsApp.

Bilingual? Google has also implemented multi-language support, extending to swipe/glide typing as well.

Gboard is now available in South Africa — check it out on Android and iOS.

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings almost seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More