Google has updated its smart keyboard app and released for download Gboard on iOS, offering Maps integration, YouTube and Doodling to the keyboard. Here are the details.
The Gboard app that integrates Google Search and other features right into the smartphone Keyboard, is being updated today with a handful of notable new additions. Now bringing with it the integration of key Google services, such as YouTube and Google Maps.
Instead of typing out an address, you can simply tap the ‘G’ button and drop a Google maps link into your conversation, saving everyone a bit of copying and pasting. As Gboard for iPhone has received an update that adds support for Maps, and you can easily access YouTube for location and video sharing in any messaging application.
There’s a new YouTube tab that lets you share videos, and of course a feature called link, which allows you to draw whatever you want, much like you can do with the standard iOS keyboard in landscape mode.
The new updated version of Gboard for iOS will allow app users to share their location with friends, or any other address, directly from the keyboard itself, as well as search and share YouTube videos without even having to separately launch the YouTube app.
With deep integration of Google Search, Gboard was first launched on iOS last year and the move come at a time when more of the activity taking place on mobile phones is occuring in standalone apps, like Facebook and mobile messengers and not in the web browser. This change in user behavior that Google knows can impact its bottom line.
Gboard, is Google’s favor of a mobile app that delivers the most utilitarian features of Google Search within the keyboard. The same app, at launch, allowed users to search for timings like flight times, news, restaurant and business listings, and much more from the keyboard, then paste the information returned into chat. Since it has been expanded with improvements like smarter phrase suggestions as you type, instant translation, GIF and emoji suggestions, etc.
Following all the integration’s, today’s update brings two more of the most-accessed Google properties into the Gboard app, which could make it more appealing download for customers. Alongside the option to search Google from the keyboard with a touch of a button, iOS users can also search YouTube and Maps immediately.
The results display, card-style, in a carousel you can swipe through horizontally at the bottom of the screen. Then, with a single tap, you can add any individual result into your chat, no matter which app you’re using for texting – whether WhatsApp, Messenger, iMessage, or any others.
The first Maps result it shows up is your current location, followed by other nearby businesses. Or you can search Maps for an address and add that instead.
YouTube integration, furthermore, lets you search the video sharing network just as you would on original YouTube’s site itself, then pop links to a video into your conversation.
Another thing we missed is a minor one, but funny enough, feature rolling out today is support for drawing. This new “link” option lets you tap on the emoji button to access a new pen in order to draw a picture you can then send via text. Whoa!
Finally, Gboard is also bringing in the doodling feature for iPhone. You can start drawing and share your creation right from your keyboard. All these features are currently exclusive to the iOS version of Gboard, which is available on the App Store.
The new features in Gboard are rolling out first on iPhone, says Google. The updated app which also now supports the Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi languages, is a free download from the Store.
(Download: Gboard for iPhone for free)
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