New Gboard Update Intros Drawing-Based Emoji Search & More

An update to Gboard pushed out today brings a number of improvements to the app that promise to make using it even more streamlined nad natural, and one of the biggest additions to the new build is the ability to draw the emoji you want to send. As you draw, Gboard searches through its emoji database in real time for emoji that look like the one you're drawing. The update also brings phrase suggestion, as well as multilingual suggestions that work without switching languages. Unfortunately, the two do not overlap for now; Google is working on bringing wider language support to phrase suggestions, but only English is supported for the time being. Built-in search now offers a wider range of results as well, all of which can be shared or viewed quickly and easily. Finally, the 6.3 build of Gboard ups the language support for suggestions and gesture typing to around 200 languages. The new languages can be enabled in multilingual suggestions, just like before. This particular version of Gboard was available in beta since the beginning of the month and there are minimal changes between that beta and the latest stable release of the app.

The emoji search by drawing is initiated by simply bringing up the normal emoji search menu where you'll now find a large space below the emoji group and text search bar which can be used to hand-draw any emoji you want before tapping on a match to insert it. Phrase suggestion works even more intuitively; start typing a phrase, and if Gboard detects it and has suggestions to finish it, it will display them in the top bar.

Gboard's newest update also adds a new searching UI that allows you to pull up a Google search with a mostly full-featured results viewer within the keyboard itself; simply tap on the G icon or arrow and magnifying glass in the suggestion bar while typing in any field to search. The search results are still shown as cards like they were in the beta version of the service. How you interact with the cards is also the same as it was in beta; more information and various interactions, such as navigating to a place or watching a YouTube video, are available at the bottom of each card, making full interaction with search results just a tap away. Searching in Gboard ties into a number of the company's other features including real-time Google Translate functionality and multi-language suggestions.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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