Monday, 16 May 2016 17:33

Why Did Google Make Such a Good Keyboard for the iPhone?

By: 

Isn’t it weird when two big movies come out simultaneously—with exactly the same plot? In a single year, we might have two movies about killer volcanoes (1997), asteroids hitting Earth (1998), Truman Capote (2005), or terrorists taking the White House (2013).

The same bizarre, highly improbable coincidence just occurred in a strange little corner of the tech world: on-screen keyboard replacements for the iPhone.

 

Plenty of little companies make those free software keyboards, of course. But how weird is it that two behemoths—Microsoft and Google—both turn out to have been working on iOS keyboards in parallel?

(You understand that Microsoft and Google each make phone operating systems that compete with iOS, right?)

 

In any case, Microsoft struck first with its Microsoft Flow keyboard last month. Its chief virtues are a clever one-handed typing layout, a spinning emoji palette, and the freedom to dial up any colors you want.

And now, this week, the Gboard has landed: Google’s clever (and cleverly named) keyboard for the iPhone, containing features that even Google’s own Android phone keyboard lacks.

 

As always, the iPhone makes it possible, but not simple, to install alternative keyboards. As always, these keyboards work identically in every app—messaging, email, notes, whatever. And, as always, you can switch among your installed software keyboards by tapping the little globe icon (or using it as a menu).

 

Instant access to Google

 

Google’s new iPhone software keyboard offers four powerful features that you don’t get with Apple’s built-in keyboard.

 

The big one is a Google logo right next to the autocomplete suggestions. Tap it to open a Google search box, right there on your screen.

 

From here, you can perform Google searches—for restaurants, addresses, articles, definitions, flight information…anything, really. That comes in handy really often. With each search, you save yourself some flipping around into your browser or another app to find the info you need.

 

 

 

The company says emphatically that your search terms are the only bits of data that get sent to Google; the keyboard doesn’t send or collect any other information.

 

Maybe you believe that, maybe you don’t—but there are two huge disappointments to this feature.

 

Disappointment #1: When you conduct a search of the Web, the results appear as scrolling, attractive tiles at the bottom of the screen. Cool! So how do you insert one of these results into whatever you’re typing?

 

If you tap it, you insert only a link to a Google search for that information—not the information itself:

You’re forcing your recipients to open their browsers and, of course, do a Google search, rather than just showing the information you’re seeing in the results.

 

Tapping a results tile also produces a message that you’ve copied that link. Alternatively, then, you can tap a second time (in your text, to produce iOS’s command bar), and a third time, on the Paste button, to paste in the entire tile.

In other words, one tap doesn’t insert the search result, and three taps is too many.

 

Searchable emoji

 

When you want to insert an emoji (those little smileys or emoticons) using the iPhone’s built-in keyboard, you have to scroll through several screens full, scanning through hundreds of them as though on a Where’s Waldo hunt.

 

With Google’s keyboard, you can type the name of the emoji you want. So much better.

The Gboard’s row of three autocomplete words even includes the occasional emoji suggestion when you’ve typed a word that merits it:

 

 

 

 

 Source:  https://www.yahoo.com/tech/gboard-why-did-google-make-such-a-good-154806972.html

 

GBoard: Why Did Google Make Such a Good Keyboard for the iPhone?

 
May 13, 2016
 

Isn’t it weird when two big movies come out simultaneously—with exactly the same plot? In a single year, we might have two movies about killer volcanoes (1997), asteroids hitting Earth (1998), Truman Capote (2005), or terrorists taking the White House (2013).

The same bizarre, highly improbable coincidence just occurred in a strange little corner of the tech world: on-screen keyboard replacements for the iPhone.

Plenty of little companies make those free software keyboards, of course. But how weird is it that two behemoths—Microsoft and Google—both turn out to have been working on iOS keyboards in parallel?

(You understand that Microsoft and Google each make phone operating systems thatcompete with iOS, right?)

In any case, Microsoft struck first with its Microsoft Flow keyboard last month. Its chief virtues are a clever one-handed typing layout, a spinning emoji palette, and the freedom to dial up any colors you want.

And now, this week, the Gboard has landed: Google’s clever (and cleverly named) keyboard for the iPhone, containing features that even Google’s own Android phone keyboard lacks. (You can download it here.)

As always, the iPhone makes it possible, but not simple, to install alternative keyboards. As always, these keyboards work identically in every app—messaging, email, notes, whatever. And, as always, you can switch among your installed software keyboards by tapping the little globe icon (or using it as a menu), as shown in this little video.

 

Instant access to Google

Google’s new iPhone software keyboard offers four powerful features that you don’t get with Apple’s built-in keyboard.

The big one is a Google logo right next to the autocomplete suggestions. Tap it to open a Google search box, right there on your screen.

From here, you can perform Google searches—for restaurants, addresses, articles, definitions, flight information…anything, really. That comes in handy really often. With each search, you save yourself some flipping around into your browser or another app to find the info you need.

The company says emphatically that your search terms are the only bits of data that get sent to Google; the keyboard doesn’t send or collect any other information.

Maybe you believe that, maybe you don’t—but there are two huge disappointments to this feature.

Disappointment #1: When you conduct a search of the Web, the results appear as scrolling, attractive tiles at the bottom of the screen. Cool! So how do you insert one of these results into whatever you’re typing?

If you tap it, you insert only a link to a Google search for that information—not the information itself:

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