Gboard, Google’s own effort to stuff features, both zany and useful, into the standard text messaging keyboard has just gotten a big update on Android.
Combating the vast library of custom keyboards out there, Gboard is now fully-equipped to express the musings of a 21st century citizen, even going as far as helping you speak in a language that you don’t know.
Speaking with the update's most notable feature, Google Translate makes a killer cameo here. Simply start typing and it can output you message in the language of your choosing. This is essential for keeping in touch with a distant family member or friend from another region of the world.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Gboard if we weren’t treated to a suite of easy-to-access emoji and GIFs to spruce up what would normally be a plain-text message. However, instead of having to manually pull up the alternative keyboard view reserved for emoji and GIFs, they now intelligently flush into the predictive text section.
Another neat tweak includes the ability to more seamlessly switch between crafting a text with your voice and your fingers for those times when voice recognition isn’t cutting it for what you’re trying to say.
Lastly, Google is offering some visuals for Gboard in the form of scenic backgrounds. It promises to introduce more vistas for your keyboard as time goes by. This is the most minor addition to the app, but as someone who likes the little details, I can’t wait to give this a try.
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Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.