Google launches iPhone keyboard that lets you search and send GIFs, emojis and more

By , May 12, 2016

Google GBoard keyboard 1.0 for iOS teaser 001

As promised, Google this morning launched its first software keyboard for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, called Gboard. Available free on the App Store, it integrates the power of Google Search, supports gesture-based typing, lets you send GIFs, emoticons and more. “No more app switching; just search and send, right from your keyboard,” said Google.

Introducing Glide Typing

The keyboard features Swype-like gesture typing they’re calling Glide Typing. With Glide Typing, you can type words by sliding your finger from key to key instead of tapping.

I’m a big fan of this feature. As someone who’s gotten quite proficient at gesture-based typing in keyboards such as Swype, I’m looking forward to using Glide Type in Gboard.

Google Search is built-in

With Gboard, you can search anything with built-in Google Search by tapping the Google logo in the row just above the keys. You can search for all kinds of information, including nearby stores and restaurants, videos and images, weather forecasts, news and articles, sports scores and more—pretty much anything else you’d normally search on Google.com can be searched from Gboard.

Google GBoard keyboard search animation 001

The best thing about using Google Search within Gboard is that results appear as cards with the key information embedded, including things like restaurant phone numbers, ratings and hours, flight times, news articles and more.

This can save you more than a tap or two. For instance, if a friend asked you for the address of a restaurant, you’d normally have to leave your chatting app, go to Google Search on the web, find the restaurant, copy its address, switch back to texting, paste the address into your message and hit the Send button.

Find GIF reactions and emojis

With Gboard’s built-in GIF and emoji search, you can quickly find an appropriate GIF for the best reaction and find the perfect emoji to express your emotions in chats.

“Instead of scrolling to find the right emoji, search for ‘dancer’ and find that emoji you were looking for instantly,” said Google. “Even better—you can search for the perfect GIF to show people how you’re really feeling.”

Pricing and availability

Gboard requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 9.0 or later. The app is English only for the time being, but support for more languages is coming soon.

Grab Gboard at no charge on the App Store.

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  • Jon20

    Now this is innovative.

  • Jaco

    So do we need to give it full access on typing information and history, so that google even knows what we are typing to whom, or does it stay localy on the phone?
    Oh silly me, it´s google 🙂

    • Jon20

      I know. I downloaded it to get the feel of it but it definitely demonstrates privacy issues. Especially when it talks about banking info and other personal material. They couldn’t have just made a keyboard with a pop up browser. Apple should take note though. It is a good idea for them to implement with safari. And I trust them more.

    • Aaron McFarland

      Did you read the app description?

      Privacy

      We know the things you type on your phone are personal, so we’ve designed Gboard to keep your private information private.

      What Gboard sends to Google:

      • When you do a search, Gboard sends your query to Google’s web servers so Google can process your query and send you search results.

      • Gboard also sends anonymous statistics to Google to help us diagnose problems when the app crashes and to let us know which features are used most often.

      What Gboard doesn’t send to Google:

      • Everything else. Gboard will remember words you type to help you with spelling or to predict searches you might be interested in, but this data is stored only on your device. This data is not accessible by Google or by any apps other than Gboard.

      • Jon20

        Actually it does send and keep important info. This is what the Terms and Conditions of Third-party Keyboard say… it’s still something you should worry about.

    • Me

      Swiftkey is the same.

  • Douglas L. Warren

    not losing my jailbreak for this…although I want this really bad!!

    • Varun Soi

      Same here still sticking with io8.4 jailbroken!

  • Isda1

    Doesn’t seem to be available in the UK yet.

    • Firedomain

      Same with Aus 🙁

  • praz

    Anyway to get this on 8.4 ? No way losing jb for this

  • clever move by google. sending search results from google leads you to google. this is an attack against apple maps.

  • Rodney Coleman

    And this is why Google runs better on iPhone… Shitty androids

    • Benedict

      What exactly should now be better on the iphone?

    • ravinigga

      Optimization is the word my friend even google admits a while ago the google maps runs better on iOS.

  • Anonymous

    Well im always trying out new keyboards, usually i go back to stock, or modify the stock keyboard when jbroken. But this may actually make the cut as a secondary keyboard. Seem well built.

    • Anonymous

      Update love the emoji search!

  • Searching for emojis is amazing!

  • Max Barlow

    What the hell is it with these keyboards not launching in the UK same time as US?? ELI5?

    • Zack Morris

      That’s because the UK sucks. Your women are ugly too!

  • OWashe

    Its fast too… really impressive

  • Cones1r

    Does it work better than Swype keyboard?

    • Merman123

      Much much better

  • diggitydang

    Doesn’t seem to be available in Canada yet… Link keeps going to a summary of Google apps, but no Gboard… Hmmmmmm…

  • CtKiDd78

    if only it had the 3d touch cursor control!!

  • Nabeel hammad

    I’m not able to find app on my app store

    I think that’s not avaliable on appstore because of bugs

  • Lhu

    not yet available outside the US