The Gboard app is my primary keyboard on my phone ever since I wrote a comparison post between SwiftKey and Gboard.
Even though I praised SwiftKey for the customization it offers, I have also mentioned the number one reason why I made the switch, because it made voice typing super easy.
As I started using the keyboard app more and more, I started exploring more features and its use cases, which brings me here to write a dedicated post talking about the best features the Gboard app offers.
Integrated Google search
One of the key features of Gboard is the Google search built right into it, there is a dedicated button which you can press and the keyboard turns into a search mode, where it shows the results in place of the keyboard.
You can swipe right to find more result from the page and tap on the desired one, which actually lets you share the URL of the result in your chats, which is super convenient, since you don’t have to go back to your browser to make a Google search and come back to the messaging app to share what you have searched.
Better voice typing
Though I mentioned it above, let me talk about why it is better than the voice typing on the SwiftKey app.
When you try to use the voice typing feature on SwiftKey app it replaces the entire keyboard with a big mic button, so, if you need to make any changes to what you have typed, you need to go to the keyboard to do it, which takes a little bit of your time.
While in the Gboard app, the mic button appears on the right-hand side of the prediction bar and keyboard remains where it is so that you can still use it without having to Switch between the keyboards.
If you use voice typing a lot, you will love the mic placement on the Gboard app.
Integrated Google Translate
Just like Google search, the Gboard app also has got Google Translate built right into it, which makes communicating in different languages quite efficient.
It took me a few days to discover the feature because it can be found when you tap on the Google search button.
When you tap on the Google Translate button, it extends the keyboard to place an input field, where you can type using your keyboard or copy paste something, which will be translated, and you can send it in just one tap.
Easily Switch between languages
Gboard is a multilingual keyboard, which means you can add more languages and Switch between them seamlessly,
Simply long press the space bar and you get the popup to choose the language you want to use.
This lets you use English along with the local language you want to use.
For example, I use English along with Hindi and I keep switching between the languages, which is super easy in the Gboard app.
Moving the cursor precisely using the space bar
This is also one of the features that I discovered after using the keyboard app after a few days.
You can actually swipe your thumb on the space bar to move the cursor precisely, it is quite handy when you want to change the spelling of a particular word or simply want to remove the word from the sentence.
Precise text selection
I really didn’t think there could be a feature like this, because text selection and copying something is not that tough on smartphones. You can simply tap on the word and then adjust the cursor.
But the Gboard app gives you an option to make a precise selection by offering a separate tool on the keyboard itself.
This feature is actually hidden, and you can unhide it by making the button visible when you tap on the Google search button.
Switching to the one hand mode
This is quite useful for Smartphone users having big screens, there is one hand feature available which makes the keyboard shrink to the other left or right-hand side of the screen so that you can use it with just one hand.
This feature can be found in quite a few keyboard apps, but the Gboard app has made it easier to switch to the one hand mode.
If you are typing with your right hand, you can long press on the enter key, to get the shortcut key, the switch to the one-handed mode for typing using the right hand.
And if you are typing with your left hand, you can long press on the emoji key to get the shortcut key, then switch to the one-handed mode for typing using the left hand.
Faster typing with the glide feature,
It is similar to SwiftKey’s Flow, which lets you type by sliding your finger to the letters to form a word.
But I have found that it works better than SwiftKey.
Also, it works for multi-languages as well.
So this was some of the best features of the Gboard app that I have been using for the last couple of days.
I will be sharing more if I discover them along the way, you can also share them down in the comment to make it a useful thread for all the people who are looking to learn about what they can do with their Gboard app.
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