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March 9, 2017

Gboard adds emoji and GIF suggestions, in-line Google Translate and new themes

by John_A

Google’s (still oddly named) Gboard keyboard is getting even smarter.

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The whole idea of Gboard is offering you access to tons of intelligence and Google services anywhere a keyboard is displayed, and today’s updates show the real power of this platform. With the latest update on Android, Gboard can now auto-suggest both emoji and GIFs while you type, letting you insert either based on the context of what you’re typing — in the case of emoji, with a tap you can replace the words with the emoji directly. GIFs can be inserted into apps like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Hangouts and Allo.

Showing even more of Google’s muscle, you can also now use Google Translate directly in the keyboard — just tap the “G” button, select the incoming and outgoing languages, and type. Your output will automatically be sent in the new language right into your chat app, or anywhere else you want to call up a keyboard.

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A bit further down the feature list, but still important, is the addition of new themes to customize Gboard and a smoother interface transition from voice to touch typing. Add in the expansion of all of these features to some right-to-left languages like Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi, and so many more people will get extra value out of Gboard with a single app update.

The new update is rolling out in the Google Play Store right now. So get ready to explore some new Gboard features in the next couple of days.

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