10 Things You Didn’t Know Gboard for Android Could Do

Khamosh Pathak 26-04-2017

Recently, Google’s unassuming and appropriately-named Android Keyboard went through a huge overhaul. It’s now called Gboard, and funnily enough, it’s currently one of the most feature-rich keyboards on Android.


Chances are you’re already using it, as it comes preinstalled with many phones running stock Android How to Get the Stock Android Experience on Any Phone You can get the stock Android experience on almost any Android phone with these apps, including a stock Android launcher and more. Read More . Gboard has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. You can search Google right from the keyboard, search for and send GIFs The 5 Best GIF Keyboards for Texting and Emojis on Android What's the best GIF keyboard for Android? These keyboards make it easy to add GIFs and emojis to anything you type. Read More , and do all the things you’ve come to expect from a modern smartphone keyboard How To Choose The Best Android Keyboard For Your Own Needs If there’s one reason to pick Android over any other type of smartphone, it would be customizability. Whether you’re looking for different kinds of apps, themes, or ROMs, you’re always just one click away from... Read More .

If you aren’t already using Gboard, download it (or update the Android Keyboard app), switch to it, and get exploring!

DownloadGboard for Android (Free)

1. Google Search in Your Keyboard

android dark mode apps 6

It is, of course, right in the name. Once you’re up and running with the Gboard app, you’ll see the Google button in the top-left corner of the keyboard, next to the suggestions. Tap on it, and you’ll see a Google search bar right in the keyboard.


Gboard google search

Search for something — a company’s name, a restaurant, a song, time in a different country — and you’ll see a result in the keyboard. Tap on the Share button below the card and the link will be pasted in the conversation you’re in. It’s a simple thing, but it’s a huge time-saver.

2. GIFs and Emojis

One of the things that makes Gboard the most interesting and fun is its ability to search through a large database of GIFs and emojis. Search, select, send. You no longer need to go to a different app to do this.

I wish this feature was a bit more obvious (funnily enough, it’s actually better placed in the Gboard app for iPhone Did Google Make the Best iPhone Keyboard Yet? Meet Gboard Google recently launched a new keyboard for iPhones called Gboard, and it's exclusively available on iOS right now. It's also probably the best mobile keyboard you have ever used. Read More ). There are a couple ways to get there. The best way is to tap and hold the Enter key till you see a popup with the Emoji button.


Gboard GIF sending

You’ll see a Google search bar on top that will say Search emojis. Type in a search term, find the emoji and tap on it to send it along.

From the bottom, tap on the GIF button to switch to the GIF tab. From here, search for a GIF, tap on it and it will be sent. Sadly, the GIF feature isn’t supported for all chat apps right now, the biggest culprit being WhatsApp The Best New WhatsApp Features You Might Have Missed WhatsApp is constantly adding new features. We identify and track the best new features added to WhatsApp over the years. Read More .

3. Trackpad Mode

Text selection is a big problem on touchscreens. You just don’t have precise cursor control. Gboard has a feature that makes this easier, at least in text boxes. You can move the cursor by swiping left or right on the space bar.


Gboard cursor

You can also easily delete multiple words at the same time instead of tapping the backspace button to get rid of a letter with each tap. Just tap on the backspace button and swipe left. The text will be highlighted and as soon as you release your finger — poof! — it’s gone.

4. Quickly Access the Alternative Keyboard

punctuation gboard

Whenever you want to enter commonly used punctuation marks, like an exclamation point or a question mark, you usually switch to the numeric keyboard using the ?123 button. In Gboard, you can access these punctuation marks, along with shortcuts for brackets and more by simply tapping and holding the period button.


5. Translate Right in the Keyboard

gboard translate

Gboard now comes built-in with Google Translate How to Instantly Translate Any Text on Android Using the Google Translate App Google Translate is just as powerful on mobile as it is on the desktop. A new Android feature lets you get instant translations for any text you copy. Read More . You can translate words and sentences between two languages. There are 90+ languages to choose from. Once you’ve written the text, tap on the G icon and select Translate. Then from the box on top, select the language you want to translate to.

6. Create Your Own Text Expansion Shortcuts

If you use your Android phone for work related communication, you might end up typing the same thing multiple times. Create your own text expansion shortcuts What Is Text Expansion & How Can It Help You Save Time? If you could save yourself even a small fraction of the time you spend typing, you could save hours of your time every week. That's exactly what text expansion is for. Read More for these phrases in Gboard, and you’ll end up saving a lot of time.

text expansion gboard

Go to Settings > Language & Input > Gboard, and select Personal Dictionary to add a phrase and its shortcut.

7. One-Handed Mode

gboard one handed mode

If you’re having trouble reaching all the way to the other edge of the screen when you’re trying to type with one hand, consider switching to one-handed mode. Tap the G icon and then select the one-handed mode button. Gboard will now be docked to either the left or right side. Tap on the arrow button to switch it to the other side.

8. Change Themes

One of the best things about Gboard is that it is truly customizable. While you won’t find an entire app store for whacky themes, Gboard’s theme selection is quite good, polished, and well-designed. Plus, there’s a killer AMOLED Black theme The 12 Best Android Dark Mode Apps You Should Install Have an Android phone with an AMOLED screen? Here are the best Android apps with dark mode that are worth installing. Read More . You can also enable key borders if you want.

gboard theme

Tap on the G button, select the Theme button (the one that looks like a paint palette), select your theme, and you’re good to go.

Oh, and there’s a way to take your keyboard game to a whole new level of crazy. Gboard lets you use any image as a background for the keyboard. They provide you with a handy collection of landscape photographs, but nothing’s stopping you from importing your own photos.

9. Remove Auto Suggestions

remove suggestions

We’re quite used to keyboards suggesting words, sometimes before even we’ve typed them. But from time to time, things can go wrong, and you don’t ever want Gboard to suggest a particular word ever again. In that case, tap and hold the suggestion and drag it up towards the delete icon.

10. All the Other Things

On top of all the exciting new features, Gboard is still a solid, reliable keyboard. It has all the features that keyboard apps have accumulated in the past couple of years.

gboard gesture typing

Gesture Typing — Just glide your fingers on the keyboard, one letter to another and by the end of the word, Google will have figured out what you wanted to type.

Voice Typing — It’s no secret that Google’s speech-to-text engine is among the best there is. And dictating a large piece of text is a great way to save time. In Gboard, you’ll find the mic icon in the top-right, next to the suggestions. Voice typing no longer takes up the whole keyboard. Tap anywhere on the keyboard to stop typing.

Double tap the space key — Another old trick that’s still gold. To insert a period, just tap the spacebar twice.

Capitalize shortcut — Select a word, tap on the shift key, and you’ll cycle through different options. All caps for the entire word, caps off entirely, or just the first letter capitalized.

Do You Use Gboard?

Do you use Gboard for googling and sharing links? Or do you use it for sharing GIFs? How have you customized it? I’m on the AMOLED Black theme with no background and no key borders — but I’m interested to hear how you customize your keyboard.

Share with us in the comments below!

Related topics: Android, Android Customization, Android Tips, Keyboard.

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  1. Dorothy Hubbard
    October 30, 2018 at 5:27 am

    Does this keyboard have the T9 functionality anywhere?

  2. Mohasin.K.R
    January 6, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Great article, was a real souce of info for me. ?

  3. satish loke
    August 23, 2017 at 9:34 am

    GOOD ARTICLE . now after reading this I will start using it. thanks

  4. Venice
    May 11, 2017 at 4:35 pm


    Am using Samsung Note 5 yesterday and is using gboard as my default keyboard now. However, i noticed that there is only one Google search result will be shown and cannot choose for image. And even though i have enable my emoji suggestion, but it won't show in my suggestion list. Please let have the solution to fix this. Thks

  5. Yi Ling Loh
    May 9, 2017 at 3:06 am

    why there is no chinese (pinyin) language input?

  6. Poyraz
    April 30, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I actually need t9 keyboard. So I don't choose gboard

  7. Fik of Borg
    April 27, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Almost there, but still no real cursor keys Swiftkey style.
    Trackpad Mode is a bit awkward-er than cursor keys and does not cover up and down (which for some reason I miss when I don't have it)

    • Michael
      August 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      This. I tried it, but fairly quickly went back to Swiftkey.

    • Tu
      January 14, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      Second that!

  8. Chaits
    April 27, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Was gonna reply with lack of support of Hinglish on GBoard but erhmagad they've added it now and so I've already installed and it works well o damn Khamosh yer a legend kthnxbye

    • Khamosh Pathak
      April 27, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Thank you, Chaits.

  9. Mike
    April 27, 2017 at 6:11 am

    Actually there are plenty that have way more customization then this keyboard! Chrooma (by the way control through the spacebar, they also have a feature that while you're moving your finger in the spacebar you can just slide up on the letter buttons and it will highlight the text, delete through the del key works 100 times better in Chrooma), Kii 2, L Emoji Keyboard, MessagEase...
    I do love the built in search. And I understand that the iPhone version has a navigation of that different then the Android version, which bothers me. But apparently you hold down on the keys and a touchpad that like the one on laptops appears and you have complete control over the curser.
    One thing (well there a few but for now) that I wish Google would fix is that both the world icon and spacebar will bring up the other keyboards that you have on your system. This is annoying and unnecessary, because for me (and this is why the world icon should be a option) I only speak, use English! And I can say that I can pick another from the notification area!
    That all being said Gboard is one of my top keyboards!

    • Khamosh Pathak
      April 27, 2017 at 9:23 am

      Yes, there will always be third party keyboards that will do specific things better. But it's great to see Google improving their default keyboard in such a capacity. Enough that a lot of people don't need to go looking for another keyboard app.

  10. Bert
    April 26, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    In the newest iteration of gboard on my phone comma I have tegulu characters when I long press the number keys (at least that's what I think they are based on searches). What's the purpose of these?

    • Khamosh Pathak
      April 27, 2017 at 9:24 am

      This might have something to do with the languages you've installed on your Android phone. See if you have any other language by tapping and holding the Space bar, or from Settings.

  11. Bert
    April 26, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    One feature I don't understand: tegulu characters when I long press the number keys. Anybody else have this?

  12. Matt Tolley
    April 26, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    The only place I can use the gif feature is in Allo, when using via SMS it says it's not supported.. will Gboard or Android ever integrate gifs into SMS like iPhone?

    • Khamosh Pathak
      April 26, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Yes, it is frustrating. Especially in WhatsApp. I hope Google sorts out this mess soon. I was able to get it to work on Facebook Messenger though.

  13. Ashwini K Pandey
    April 26, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Nice informative writeup.

    • Khamosh Pathak
      April 26, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks Ashwini!