Google recently launched a new keyboard for iPhones called Gboard, and it’s exclusively available on iOS right now. That’s right, even Google’s own operating system doesn’t have it. The kicker? It’s probably the best mobile keyboard you have ever used.
What’s Gboard All About?
Gboard looks just like the default iPhone keyboard, and you might not even notice the difference except for that Google ‘G’ logo in the top-left corner. But that’s what makes this app so special.
Tap that G and it opens Google search in the keyboard itself. Type what you want to search for, get suggestions, and browse the results — all without ever leaving the keyboard space or changing the app to go to your browser. To put it another way, Gboard is a Google Search browser baked into your keyboard.
But you can’t actually browse the links. Instead, the link acts as something you can see or share. For example, let’s say you’re talking with a friend in Messages and want to share the address of a restaurant to meet up at. Tap the ‘G’ button, search for the restaurant, and tap its location from the results. Google will automatically insert a Google Maps Card or the text address of the place, depending on where you tap.
Gboard Solves Multi-Tasking on Phones
In many ways, Gboard is the answer to the restrictions of a small screen and a virtual keyboard. That combination forces you to multi-task and switch between apps more than you’d like, which is what Gboard is trying to remedy.
Think about it: When you’re using a computer, switching between different tabs or apps isn’t a big deal. A quick Alt+Tab or Cmd+Tab will put you in Chrome, where you can search for what you want, copy the link, and go back. It happens in a matter of seconds.
On a mobile screen, things are different. You are switching from full-screen app to full-screen app through multiple taps or gestures. Then you start typing. Then you get results, but you can’t really right click and copy the link location. So you open the link, and then you copy the address. And if you need to copy text, it’s even worse, with that long press followed by adjusting the two tiny cursors till you get the selection of text just right. Ugh.
Multitasking is getting better, but it’s still a long way away from perfection. Till then, Gboard eliminates all those steps. It is reducing how much you multi-task on an iPhone, and this makes your life easier.