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article imageGboard update lets you translate text from your keyboard

By James Walker     Mar 14, 2017 in Technology
Google recently updated its Gboard smartphone keyboard with several new features, letting you do more from your keyboard. Gboard is meant to let you perform common tasks without leaving your current app, avoiding pauses in conversations.
Gboard launched on the iPhone back in May 2016. It has since expanded to Android, offering an intelligent keyboard that comes with direct access to Google's search features. You can find information online, use emojis, inject data from the web into any text field and swipe across keys to type quickly with one hand.
With iOS and Android now both supporting custom keyboards, there's no shortage of competition for Gboard. Google is aiming to make it the most convenient keyboard available by focusing on the data you're inputting, allowing it to move away from traditional typing.
Google has now expanded Gboard for Android with multiple new features. Some are already available on iOS while others will arrive in the future.
Most significantly in the new update, Gboard now comes with built-in Google Translate support. When you tap the Translate icon in the quick feature menu, you'll see a compact translation box appear above the keys. You can choose the languages to convert between and then type in the text you want to be translated.
Translate in Gboard
Translate in Gboard
When you're done, a single tap will enter the translated phrase into the app text field you were typing in. The feature works almost instantly and will be hugely popular with people who regularly engage in cross-lingual communication. If you're chatting to somebody in a foreign language, you no longer have to switch between your messaging app and Translate, letting the conversation flow more naturally.
Voice typing
Besides Translate integration, Google has also revised Gboard's interface. The mildly updated keyboard includes an improved voice typing mode that makes it easier to dictate phrases to your phone and then transition back to regular input. It's accessed using the microphone button to the right of the predicted text bar.
Translate in Gboard
Translate in Gboard
Google is launching the Android version of Gboard's theme store with this update. Gboard settings contains a selection of scenic views which you can place behind the keyboard for a more customised typing experience. Themes are enabled by tapping them in settings or using the Themes list in the quick features menu. Google said it will be frequently adding more themes going forward.
Search, sharing and media
Finally, Google has expanded Gboard's already robust media support with new suggested emojis and GIFs. As you type, you'll see relevant images appear in the suggestions bar with predicted text, making it easier to find the perfect visual accompaniment for your message. These features are also available in right-to-left languages such as Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi for the first time, alongside complete implementations of web, GIF and emoji search.
Gboard aims to streamline your communications by placing frequently-used web functions at your literal fingerprints. This week's update brings the Android version of the app up-to-date with its iOS counterpart. It's available now from the Google Play Store.
More about Google, gboard, Keyboards, Mobile, Smartphones
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