Google’s Gboard Adds Draw-An-Emoji Feature, Phrase Suggestions and Search Improvements


Here in the office, there’s an unsettled debate on which Android keyboard is the best; some say Swiftkey, others Sony Keyboard and some say it’s Gboard. Well, that will be a discussion for another day but for now, let’s discuss Google’s Gboard latest update.

The biggest change, as unnecessary as it is, is Gboard will now let you draw emojis and the keyboard will automatically recognize your drawing and suggest the emojis that match your drawing. I have tried it and it works, quite well I must say but seeing that drawing is a task on my part, I will just leave this feature to be used only when I am struggling to find an emoji, or when the search emoji functionality fails me.

The use case for the draw-an-emoji feature may be questionable, but the phrase suggestions are a big welcome. Gboard is playing catch up to Swiftkey which has had phrase suggestions for a while now but we will not crucify them for that. As you type – through its machine learning intelligence – Google will not only suggest the next word, but a phrase to complete your sentence, For example, if you type “looking forward,” Gboard will suggest “to seeing” or “to it” as you type.

The highlight for the Gboard keyboard has been its search feature that lets users perform Google searches directly from the keyboard and share the search result. As great as this feature was, it had one big drawback, it only showed one search result and if you did not find the result satisfactory, you would have to just search the traditional way.

After this update, the app will now offer multiple results for you to browse through when running searches from the keyboard.

The update is live for everyone, I suggest you try drawing some emojis first.