Google’s iOS Keyboard Updated with Voice Typing, More

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 7 Comments

Google's iOS Keyboard Updated with Voice Typing, More

If you use an iPhone, you know that the built-in virtual keyboard is lackluster at best. Fortunately, you have plenty of options. And one of the better choices, Google Gboard, just got a big update.

Note: I actually use Microsoft’s SwiftKey keyboard on the iPhone, if you’re curious.

“Today we’re upgrading your Gboard experience on iPhone by adding access to 15 additional languages, Google Doodles, new emoji, and—by popular demand—voice typing,” Google’s Alan Ni announced via the Google Search blog.

As a backgrounder, Gboard is essentially the keyboard that Google now provides on Android, but for the iPhone. What’s odd, however, is that Gboard debuted on iPhone first, in May 2016. And was then brought to Android last December, when it replaced the previous Google keyboard.

Anyway, this week’s update on iPhone includes the following improvements.

Voice typing. Now, you can dictate directly to Gboard instead of typing. Just long press on the mic button to speak.

New languages. Gboard now supports Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Catalan, Hungarian, Malay, Russian, Latin American Spanish and Turkish. And you can enable as many languages as you wish, so you can search, type, and share in multiple languages.

New emoji. Gboard now natively supports all of the emoji that Apple provides in iOS 10.

Google Doodles. Now, you can paste Google Doodles—those drawings that appear each day—right into whatever you’re typing and find out more about the day’s Doodle when available

Gboard is available for free from the Apple App Store. It works with both iPhone and iPad.


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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Google’s iOS Keyboard Updated with Voice Typing, More”

  1. robsanders247

    Nice to see the additional language support. But the one thing I do like in SwiftKey is the automatic detection of the language that you're writing in. But this indeed is a nice update and will need to see how well the dictation works in comparison to the native Apple implementation.

  2. BeckoningEagle

    I've had so many issues with 3rd party keyboards in iOS that it is not even funny.  I used to use Swift Key just for the fact that it was dual language and would offer suggestions in English and Spanish at the same time.  It would constantly quit and then never appear again, forcing me to go into settings to disable and re-enable the keyboard.  But then it wouldn't stick as the default and it would bring a GIF keyboard every time I went into messaging.  When iOS 10 came out with dual-language support I decided to keep using the default keyboard.  The suggestions are not near as good as Swift but then it never cancels out.

    I don't know if all the bugs are due to iOS 10.0 or due to bugs in the 3rd party keyboards themselves.  I don't know, maybe I'll give Swift Key a try again and see how it goes.

  3. Chris_Kez

    Microsoft's Word Flow FTW!

  4. lordbaal1

    I'm just saying Windows phone 10 had it since the beginning.

  5. Oubadah

    How about less of the "emoji" and more number row. What's the aversion number rows on iOS? Both Gboard and Swiftkey have it on Android, but not on iOS.

  6. karlinhigh

    The current trend seems to be humans wanting to communicate with their devices by voice, and with each other by text. I wonder why that is.