Gboard for iPhone is missing Google’s smartest feature

Chris Burns - May 12, 2016, 3:07 pm CDT
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Gboard for iPhone is missing Google’s smartest feature

Google launches their own keyboard for iOS, creating a conundrum in the minds of both Android users and iOS users alike. For Android users, the question rests squarely in the “why did you favor iOS over your own operating system”. That’s a question Android fans have been asking of Google developers since they first started releasing apps and software experiences for iPhone back in 2007. For iOS users, the question is of the missing feature from this keyboard – one of the best bits about being an Android user with Google’s assistance.

Voice-to-text, aka Voice Dictation is what we’re talking about here. You’re in your vehicle and have your Android device in the phone-holder, you’re at a stop light, and you don’t have time to make a call. What do you do? You tap your messaging app of choice, you tap the text box, and you tell your phone what you’d like it to type. Easy.

This is not included in iOS 3rd-party keyboards. Not least of all Google’s Gboard. This keyboard does not benefit from full services from either iOS or Google – an unfortunate side-effect of not having its feet squarely in either camp, as it were.

On the positive side, Gboard does flash a sign o’ the times for smartphone users in general. Instead of resorting to less-than-perfect “split screen multitasking” oddities, this keyboard puts the single most-used element outside of a text or web messaging program and keeps it local. That element is searching for content and sharing it with the person you’re speaking with, of course.

Now seriously, Google, why on Earth was this released for iOS and not Android first? Or at least both platforms at once?

What POSSIBLE reason could there be for currying favor with Apple’s smartphone users first?

Unless it has to do with the profits Google makes from iOS app releases vs Android app releases… but who’s to say?


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