A couple of months after a rumor claimed that Google was working on a keyboard for iOS, that rumor has become reality.
Gboard is now available for download on iOS, and it offers features that you’d expect nowadays from a new keyboard, including word predictions and trace typing that lets you drag your finger around the keyboard rather than pecking out letters. But that’s not the main draw with Gboard.
Google has also baked search functionality into Gboard, letting you search for information, GIFs, and images by tapping the Google button on the left side of the keyboard. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, you can just tap it to have it pasted into your text box. For example, you could look up a bar and Google will paste in its name, address, and phone number. Also included is an emoji search to help you quickly find the emoji that you’re looking for.
Gboard is available from the App Store as a 33.5MB download. It’s compatible with iPhone and iPad, and it requires iOS 9 or later.
In my time with Gboard, Google’s keyboard seems to work pretty well. Trace typing was able to figure out exactly what I was trying to tap out, searching the web for restaurant info, images, and GIFs all worked well, and Gboard didn’t seem to be affected by any of the slowness that you sometimes see with third-party keyboards on iOS. If you’re an iOS user, Gboard is worth a look.