Yesterday Google released their new 3rd-party keyboard for iOS users named Gboard. With it, came the extremely-useful G button, which essentially integrates Google searches into your keyboard. This means never having to leave your messaging app just to search for something relevant again. Naturally, Android owners have been wondering where their version of the app is.
Android users are used to getting new Google apps and features well ahead of iOS users. After all, it wouldn’t seem to make much sense to debut a new feature on a competing device, would it? Well this time around, Google decided that iOS was the perfect platform to test out their latest keyboard. But don’t worry, it’s coming to Android soon.
According to Bri Connelly, who is on the Gboard team, the company is “working on the best way to bring the same functionality to Android right now.” Her phrasing makes it seem like it’s actually more difficult to integrate these features into an Android device, than it was for them to get it running on iOS. Whatever the reason, we do know that they are at least working on it.
Additionally, Connelly also mentioned that they are hard at work on translating the app to work in a variety of other languages. The timeframe for this was roughly as vague as it is for the Android version of the app.
Some users have been wondering just what information Google collects from the app. Connelly broke it down pretty simply:
What Gboard sends to Google:
• When you do a search, Gboard sends your query to Google’s web servers so Google can process your query and send you search results.
• Gboard also sends anonymous statistics to Google to help us diagnose problems when the app crashes and to let us know which features are used most often.
What Gboard doesn’t send to Google:
• Everything else. Gboard will remember words you type to help you with spelling or to predict searches you might be interested in, but this data is stored only on your device. This data is not accessible by Google or by any apps other than Gboard.
Essentially, Google is not collecting anything new here. It’s just the same as if you opened up your browser of choice and performed a search.