Google’s Gboard for iOS combines a keyboard with Google Search
We go hands-on with Google’s new search/keyboard mashup.
The rumors were true—Google just launched “Gboard,” an iOS keyboard that combines Google Search with everyday typing. Right inside the keyboard area, users can search for local business results, images, and GIFs to weave into their conversation.
Gboard looks just like a normal keyboard except for the Google icon on the left side of the suggestion bar. Tap on it, and you’ll get the familiar Google search bar with suggestions above it. Type in a query and the usual “return/send” button will turn blue and say “search.” Results appear in a horizontally scrolling interface in the keyboard area that allows you to sift through search results without leaving your current app. There are tiny tabs on the bottom for normal search results, images, and GIFs.
Normal results can be pasted into the conversation as either usable text or as a picture of the Google results card. In the normal search results, you’ll see more than just local businesses—most of the Google answer cards seem to be present. You can get a card that covers the weather, a celebrity, or a direct answer to a question. You can also find YouTube videos and drop them right into a conversation.
The idea is to offer a better way to get media and other search results into your conversation. If you wanted to show a friend a trailer on YouTube, the normal work flow would involve leaving the app, opening search, typing your query, copying the result, going back to the messaging app, and pasting the link. Gboard lets you do all that without leaving the current app while saving you a few of those steps.
Gboard is also a normal keyboard, so it supports swiping, just like the Google Keyboard on Android. It can also search through your emojis—for instance writing “dog” will make the little dog emoji show up in the suggestions list.
The keyboard is now available in the App Store.
Read the original article over at ArsTechnica.