If you are an Android user, then you must be familiar with Google’s GBoard. GBoard is the default keyboard app that you must be using on your Android smartphone. (You can also use GBoard on iOS) But do you know that it’s more than your regular keyboard app? Gboard app does packs in a lot of features, that might come in handy while typing.
In this article, we’ll help you to discover all those cool GBoard tricks & features, that makes it one of the best keyboard app to type with. Let’s explore them.
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List of cool GBoard Tricks & features:
1- Google search as you type.
If you don’t know, you can actually Google Search directly from your keyboard. Google has made it possible to let you search directly from the GBoard app.
Just tap on the (G) “Google” icon, and it will enable a search bar where you can type your keyword/query & get results in form of cards. This search field works just like a regular Google search, showing you top searches in form of snippets. You can also share your results, either in form of a link or the image of a shared card. (Image sharing is limited to certain text fields only) However, you don’t need to stick to GBoard for the search result, if you find something interesting & want to read more about it, you can do that by tapping on ‘View More‘ to open that search in a web browser.
2- Type with your voice.
Voice typing is not a new thing, but GBoard has made it more awesome. You can now simply tap on the ‘Microphone‘ icon on the top bar of GBoard to start voice typing without annoying overlays on your phone’s screen. Your GBoard will continue to listen to you as long as you speak & convert your speech to text in the text area in real-time. It’s quite fast & effective. Voice typing in languages other than English is a bit slower, but they predict speech really fine.
3- Google Translate On-The-Go.
If you have Google Translate installed on your smartphone, then uninstall it right away. Google’s Gboard is now capable of translating directly inside the app.
Just tap on the (G) icon to access the Google Translate icon on the toolbar. Tapping on the Google Translate icon will change that area to a text field where you can enter the text that you want to translate. But before that select the language you want your text to translate & the translated text will appear directly in the main text field. It’s easy & works just like a regular Google translate app.
4- Send stickers & GIFs directly.
No doubt that Stickers & GIFs are really popular these days. They are actually a cool way to interact with others creatively, because why not? Sometimes words might not be enough. Earlier we have to use 3rd party apps to get this done, but now GBoard has got you covered.
Simply tap on the (G) icon & then tap on the Sticker or GIF icon to access them. You can easily search for a variety of GIFs directly by typing a keyword in the search bar on the keyboard. While for stickers, you will see some defaults with an option to add more or get personalized stickers of your own. You can also add BitMoji emojis/stickers to GBoard.
5- Enable Numpad.
Typing numbers on a Numpad is not only easy but also faster than typing them on the number row. GBoard gives us an option to enable Numpad inside the area where we see special characters with the number row.
To enable it to tap on the ‘123?‘ key & then tap on the ‘123‘ key beside the spacebar to change the area to a Numpad. This change is permanent & you will also lose some of the special characters. To get back to the previous state, simply tap on ‘!?#‘, this will disable Numpad right away.
6- Enable One-Handed mode.
Smartphone screens are getting bigger day by day, which makes it impossible for a user to use their smartphones with one hand. And the same goes for the typing experience. Luckily, GBoard has an option to enable One-Handed Mode, which lets you fit your GBoard on either side of the screen within the reach of single-handed typing using your thumb.
To enable the One-handed mode, simply long-press the ‘Enter/Search‘ key at the bottom & choose the ‘One-Handed mode‘. This will shift the whole keyboard to one side of the device. You can also change its position to either side of the screen & can also move it up & down as per your ease of typing.
7- Enable Floating Keyboard.
A floating keyboard is another addition to enhance your typing experience on your smartphones. Generally, a keyboard can take up to 40% of your smartphone screen, shifting the whole content on top of it. But after enabling the Floating Keyboard, you can get rid of that wasted space & move your keyboard anywhere on the screen. You can also resize it as per your own need.
To enable Floating Keyboard, tap on the (G) icon, then tap on the … dots to access more GBoard widgets & select the ‘Floating Keyboard‘ icon. You’ll now see your GBoard floating on your smartphone. You can disable it by tapping on the ‘Floating Keyboard‘ icon again.
8- Simplify text editing by Text Editor.
The text editor is a new edition to Google’s Gboard, to enhance your typing experience. The text editor tool will help in precise cursor control within the written text, and also, to provide you with inbuilt cut/copy/paste buttons. Alternatively, you need to long-press on the text to see these options. However, It would make more sense, if Google could add clipboard functionality with this Text Editor tool to save more than one copied text in memory.
To enable Text Editor, tap on the (G) icon, then tap on the … dots to access more GBoard widgets & select the ‘Text Editor‘ icon. This will change the layout of your keyboard with a cursor controller alongside cut/copy/paste/select all/select buttons.
9- Swipe on Spacebar to move the cursor between text.
Typing on smartphone screens & making mistakes is frustrating, but correcting those mistakes is more. At times, we might need to edit or delete some words or alphabets, for which we need to take the cursor at the end of such text by taping there. Now you can simply swipe left or right on Spacebar to move the cursor around the text & edit/delete easily.
10- Swipe from Backspace to delete.
Many times we got stuck in a situation where we need to delete certain words or a sentence as we type. The usual way to delete them is by pressing the backspace key until we delete what we don’t want. However, this nifty trick can save you a lot of time that you might waste in deleting the text. Simply, swipe left from the Backspace key until you select the text you want to delete & release your thump/finger. This will delete the entire selected text. Also, if you delete something unnecessarily in the process, you can always get it back by tapping the text excerpt in the suggestions area on the top of GBoard.
11- Long press keys to access special characters.
Special characters do carry a significant role when you are writing something. However, not every special character is available on the main screen & to access all the special characters, you need to tap on the ‘123?‘ key & tap on the character you want to use. Luckily, there is an option that you can enable to access the most special character, just by long-pressing a certain alphabet key. Just go to GBoard’s settings, inside ‘Preference‘ turn on the toggle that says Long press for symbols. You’ll now see that your keyboard keys are displaying certain symbols alongside the alphabet & long-pressing them will input that particular character/symbol into the text area.
12- Add a number row on the top of the keyboard.
If you are someone who does use numbers a lot while typing on your phone, then this feature might come in handy. You can add a separate number row above the alphabets, for accessing numbers without going to the special key area. To enable number row, go to GBoard settings & there inside preference turn on the ‘Number Row‘ toggle. You’ll now see a number row added to your GBoard.
13- Hold & Swipe from the ‘Shift’ key to uppercase any alphabet.
At times, you might need to type an alphabet in upper case. For which, you have to tap on the ‘Shift‘ key, then press the respective alphabet then press the ‘Shift‘ key again to get back to lowercase. What if we tell you that you can do the same thing with a single swipe, without needing to press the ‘Shift‘ key twice? To do that, simply tap & hold the ‘Shift‘ key, then swipe towards the alphabet you want to enter & release your thumb/finger. This will automatically write the particular alphabet in uppercase & switch back the keyboard to lower case.
14- Quick swipe from the ‘123?’ key to fast access special characters.
If the long press isn’t your way to access special characters, then how about using a swipe to access those special characters? Usually, you need to press the ‘123?‘ key to access all special characters, tap on the desired one & then hit back the ‘123?‘ key to get back to alphabets. Alternatively, you can swipe from the ‘123?‘ key to the desired character & release it, it will type the character in the text area without leaving the alphabet keys.
15- Change the keyboard’s appearance.
When the whole Android is about customizations, then why would Google leave their GBoard alone? GBoard packs in a couple of customizations that lets you change the theme (color) of your GBoard, add a custom photo behind keys or add key borders. You can also resize your keyboard. Accessing themes is very easy, simply go to Gboard settings & tap on the ‘Theme‘ option, here you will find all themes, select one & enjoy your GBoard.
You can also change the height of Gboard, you’ll find that option under ‘Preference‘ inside GBoard’s settings.
Wrapping up: Cool GBoard Tricks that you should know!
These are tricks that we find worth sharing. To access all these features, make sure you are on the latest version of the GBoard app. However, Google might add more features to make GBoard the coolest keyboard app, that does more than just typing.
Which GBoard trick do you find interesting? And if you have something that we might have missed, Do let us know via a comment.