Google’s iOS keyboard gains 3D Touch trackpad, new themes, iOS 10 emojis & more

By , Oct 19, 2016

Gboard 1.2 for iOS 3D Touch trackpad iPHone screenshot 001

Google’s Gboard keyboard for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch was bumped to version 1.2 on the App Store this morning, gaining a few new features such as more than a dozen new themes, support for trackpad-like functionality on 3D Touch devices akin to the stock QuickType keyboard, the ability to search and share your contacts without leaving the conversation and support for the new iOS 10 emojis.

With 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s/7 series, press anywhere on the keyboard and slide your finger to move the cursor around. Unlike Apple’s stock QuickType keyboard which allows for precise positioning by letting you move the cursor up, down, left or right, Google’s implementation only lets you move the cursor horizontally.

This is a major pain point because if you want to move the cursor, say, two lines up you’ll need to slide your finger multiple times to get there.

There are also brand new themes, 14 in total, that put breathtaking landscapes on your keyboard. To browse them, launch Gboard’s helper app on your iOS device, tap Themes, hit Show All next to the Landscapes heading and tap one you wish to use.

Gboard 1.2 for iOS themes landscapes trackpad iPHone screenshot 001

These new scenery images will give your keyboard some interesting new looks but in my personal experience, having a colorful photograph in the keyboard’s background is a distraction for typists.

As mentioned, Gboard 1.2 for iOS also includes support for all of the new emojis Apple added in iOS 10, including ones showing gender diversity.

Lastly, to search and share contacts with Gboard without leaving your conversation, you must enable a new Contacts Search option in Search Settings of Gboard’s helper app.

Grab Gboard for free from the App Store.

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  • Gustavo Michels

    Taking too long to Swiftkey put the “Dictation” and “3D Touch” on your keyboard

    • Adam

      Swiftkey will never have dictation. Apple does not allow 3rd party keyboards access to do so.

      • Swanny246

        SwiftKey can’t have dictation, doesn’t mean it never will though. I don’t see what Apple gets in the long run by not allowing third party keyboards access to it.

    • Mattias Nilsson

      Yes, it would be great if SwiftKey could implement the 3d touch (cursor move) since it is obviously possible for 3rd party keyboards to do it.

      I’ve contacted SwiftKey and suggested them to add the feature and it cannot hurt if more users are asking for it.

  • Used to love this keyboard! Stopped using bc it didn’t have the 3D Touch, but now!

  • pnh

    Keystrokes go directly to Google’s data center 😉

    • iFlasher


    • ericesque

      I know you’re joking, but Google has been very clear that this is not the case.

      • hunter ray

        They actually do, but IIRC it’s anonymous. They use it for word prediction.

  • Stefano Polo

    this update made gboard no longer functional on my iPhone 6. Anyone else experiencing this?

    • ericesque

      Happened to me too until I rebooted the device.

  • queenren

    Couldn’t Google implement their own dictation based on the Google Search app (where you can search by voice)?

    • Sleaka J

      3rd party keyboard apps are not allowed access to the microphone.