Google's Gboard for Android offers everything you'd expect from a keyboard. But it goes further by providing built-in search to hunt for information that you can easily share with messaging partners.
Built-in search: As you might expect from a Google app, Gboard efficiently integrates search and messaging, either with Google's Messenger app or third-party SMS and MMS apps. To search, tap the G icon in the top-left corner of the keyboard. Tap the Share button under the search result to add that information to your chat conversation. Gboard also displays related search queries you can select.
Accurate swiping: With Gboard's Glide Typing, slide your finger over keys to create your message. We found Gboard did a good job of accurately detecting words as we swiped. Another handy gesture: The space bar acts as a tiny trackpad -- swipe over it quickly to navigate a text message.
GIFs and emoji: Tap the Emoji icon to the left of the space bar to access Gboard's collection of emoticons, emojis, and GIFs. A search field above the collection lets you hunt for an appropriate GIF or emoji instead of swiping through the library.
Privacy: Google says that except for searches, nothing that you type (such as chats or passwords) is sent to the company. Google does collect usage statistics.
Covers the basics: Gboard is Google's replacement for Google Keyboard and picks up some of its predecessor's features, including the ability to show or hide key borders, change themes, and long-press keys to access additional characters. Gboard will work with Messages, Maps, Snapchat, and other apps that use your phone's default keyboard choice. For iOS, Apple doesn't allow third-party keyboards for entering passwords or sending quick replies.
Message dictation: For the Android version, tap the Microphone icon to speak a message. On the iOS side, you are stuck with tapping out your messages, because Apple doesn't allow third-party keyboards to use iOS's built-in dictation tools.
Multiple languages: Gboard supports multiple languages and will automatically detect and autocorrect messages for whichever supported languages you are using.
Not complete parity across Android and iOS: The iOS version of Gboard lacks a few features found on the Android side, including voice dictation.
Google's Gboard provides the basics you'd want in a keyboard but goes a step further by including built-in search that lets you share results in a message without leaving the chat app.