Google has added Maps and YouTube integration to Gboard, its popular keyboard for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Users can also draw doodles now and share them in different apps. Gboard was released more than a year back, after Apple introduced support for third party keyboards in iOS 9. Google’s keyboard lets users perform web searches, GIF searches, type using glide gestures and share quick search results/content in different apps. It also supports smart GIF suggestions, searches for sports scores, weather forecasts, news, images and much more. The new Maps and YouTube integration sits next to Google Search in Gboard. Users can type in their search keywords and find results in Maps or videos on YouTube, to share them in messaging apps. The content is copied to the clipboard so the results can be shared in almost all apps that have a text field. The beauty of this integration is that you do not have to close your current app or switch apps to perform a search, copy content and return to the app to share it. All these steps are avoided and users can easily multitask without leaving their current app.
The new Ink tool in Gboard is very basic and lets you doodle using different colors. There are no different brushes or other tools. If you use iMessage, you are better off using Apple’s Digital Touch to create and share sketches. The benefit of using Digital Touch over Gboard’s Ink is that it works on Apple Watch and has a nice animation to it.
Apart from these features, Google has also added support for Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi languages.
If you are looking for a useful third-party iOS keyboard, we highly recommend Gboard because of the breadth of functionality it offers. It is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch for iOS 9 and above.