You know the struggle: You're making plans with a friend to grab tacos and margs after work and they ask you to pick a place. You frantically close the messaging app, open your Internet browser, and search, "best tacos near me." Then, you close the Internet browser, open the messaging app, and type your response. Don't get me wrong, it's a process that's well worth it for five-star tacos and margaritas, but it's also a process that's about to get a lot easier, thanks to Google's new iOS keyboard app, Gboard.
Released on Apple's iTunes store on Thursday, Gboard integrates with iOS keyboards across all apps. Once you've installed it, you can access Gboard any time your keyboard is open by holding the globe icon in the lower left-hand corner and selecting Gboard. So, why access it?
Gboard will change the way you type — and the way you search for Mexican food. The app offers the option to glide type, meaning you can just slide your finger between the letters you're typing, rather than having to pick up your fingers and tap each letter individually. Glide typing can make it easier to send messages with just one thumb, as opposed to alternating between thumbs when you type.
Perhaps even more useful than glide type, Google's new app puts its renowned search capabilities in your keyboard. You no longer have to close the app you're typing in to search for a link, website, or GIF. With Gboard active, all you have to do is click the "G" icon in the upper left-hand corner of your keyboard to search Google. Tapping a result in the Google search automatically copies the content, so you can easily paste it into the text box and click to send.
Sure, closing one app to open another isn't that difficult, nor is it terribly time-consuming. As such, Gboard may not be necessary — but it is certainly innovative, combining two of the most popular functions of smartphones: texting and browsing the internet. The access to GIFs and glide typing are just added perks.
Gboard wasn't the only app to make news this week. On Wednesday, Google announced that Google Translate would now support offline translations in 52 different languages. As Apple Insider reported on Wednesday, offline translation capabilities should make Google's Translate app more useful to those who are traveling and may not have reliable Internet access. At the same time, Instagram rolled out a new look for its own iOS apps. The apps now feature a black and white color scheme, as opposed to the traditional blue and white, as well as a more modern-looking icon. In other words, your phone got upgraded this week, and you didn't even have to make an appointment at the Apple store.
Images: Google (3)