Google Keyboard rebrands as Gboard with integrated Google Search
Back in May of this year, Google launched a new keyboard application called Gboard. At the time, the application was only available on iOS, but we were told that this functionality would eventually be coming to Android in the near future.
The application gave you a quick way to do a Google search without leaving the current application. One example of the keyboard in action that Google loved to tout was searching for the address to a restaurant while in the middle of a messaging conversation. Of course, you can use Gboard for all sorts of searches such as figuring out flight times, finding relevant news articles, and even searching for images to immediately paste into the conversation.
Until Android 7.1 Nougat, the platform did not have an API allowing for keyboards to inject rich media into an application. This Gboard update adds support for what Google calls an images keyboard, and it does not require you to be running Android 7.1. However, it does require the developer to update their application before it can accept media from Gboard. The update also lets you search for the exact emoji that you want (so you don’t have to hunt it down in the sea of categories), and it also comes with support for multiple languages as well (with the ability to have up to three active at once). Finally, the application also finally brings the ability to place a dedicated number row on the top of the keyboard.
Interestingly, it seems like Google has decided to rebrand Google Keyboard to Gboard instead of releasing it as an separate application on Android. You can download said application directly from the Play Store here, but if the update is not yet live for you, you can download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the application from APKMirror.