We are using keyboard on our smartphones and computers every day and it’s important tool for our daily tasks. Thanks to the Android’s customizability we can pick and use different themes and keyboard apps that give us different experiences. I’m personally fan of simple and minimal looks that doesn’t have many features but I’m sure some of you really like more complex looking keyboards with tons of different features. I’m sure that there’s a keyboard for everyone in the Play Store. Some of them are even very experimental and not usable in the day to day use.
Before I talk about the Android version of Gboard I need to mention the iOS version and the difference between. On iOS, Gboard is a standalone app and it was only available in certain countries. After the download you need to pick Google’s specific keyboard that looks and feels different. While on the other hand Android version of the app is built on top of Google Keyboard (Google Keyboard becomes Gboard). Google rebranded their Keyboard app and post this as I call ‘G’ update. You can’t download or use previous version of the app (except if you download and install older apk file). But the ‘new’ app feels the same. Mostly the same features and options than before with a few extras like the built-in Google search engine, emoji search, multiple language support FINALLY!. If you ask me, that’s awesome since I was really enjoying Google Keyboard so I didn’t have any problems getting used to the new version.
So why did we waited so long to get this update? The answer is simple, Google was deciding if they want to go with an app update or bran new app. At first I’m sure that the decision wasn’t simple but after the messaging app thing, it wasn’t even a decision anymore. If Google developed another keyboard app, Android community would’t accept that easily. So they re brand it and give us this awesome update packed with many new features that I’m starting to love. Meanwhile the app also hits 500 million installs which is awesome.
The only issue I have with the new update is language suggestions and auto correct. It’s more aggressive and not as good as it was before that’s why I turn it off. Since I’m speaking and talking to different people in two different languages I set them both (that was possible even before the Gboard update but with before we had to switch languages manually, now both languages are active simultaneously) but it usually gets confused and mixes up both languages in the suggestion bar. It gets really annoying after a while. Other than that I didn’t experience any other issue and I’m sure Google will fix my suggestions issues as soon as possible.
Before i get to the features and how awesome this keyboard really is I want to put the spotlight on how precise Gboard is. When you are using in in your favorite messaging app the ‘G’ logo is there but when you are already searching in Chrome or Google app, the ‘G’ button disappears which is awesome if you ask me. You can clearly see that they took their time and published the update when everything was finished, without rushing. I think that Google failed in many cases but this update definitely wasn’t a failure.
Search and share, right from your keyboard -is how Google is calling this update on their website and I totally agree. It’s simple to search for gifs and emojis but sometimes that feels incomplete since you need to do a separate search for each one. But making that a one search option might be too complicated for an average user.
We can all agree that this new Gboard is the best keyboard Google ever had, even with a new Theme option (that’s not totally new) it feels even more personal. It’s my favorite keyboard and a way to go on a daily base. I’m sure we can all agree with that. I have tried many keyboards but I keep coming back to this one since I have everything I need in one complete package.