Google’s iOS app comes with its GIF-friendly keyboard on the side

It’s no secret that Google is hoping to make its own lineup of search, navigation and email apps the go-to services for Apple users. The folks in Mountain View have even gone so far as to introduce new features in iOS apps months before rolling them out to their Android counterparts. Today, Google is trying to strengthen that hold on iPhone users with even deeper integrations of its flagship, search-focused app into Apple’s operating system.

After streamlining the app’s news feed late last year, the main Google app now brings the Gboard iOS keyboard under its wing. In other words, you no longer need the standalone app to get Gboard’s in-keyboard access to search, GIFs and emoji across all your iOS apps. It now comes installed with the Google app and users can set it up inside the Google app settings.

Today’s other big iOS update today is a live-updating “Trending on Google” widget that can be accessed through the app or pinned to your notification center for easy access to current search trends. The big search topics of the moment are displayed in blocks of Google primary colors, and tapping a topic will open a search tab with that subject. Finally, Google has also added or expanded the 3D touch functions throughout the app, so users can preview search results, bring up that trending widget or jump right into an incognito or voice search right from the home screen.

The updated version is live now in the App Store.

Source: Google Blog

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Microsoft’s Word Flow keyboard gets a Bing search upgrade

Microsoft’s Word Flow keyboard for iPhone just got a significant upgrade this week, adding a search engine for emoji, GIFs, and more from Bing.

The new search feature will copy GIFs to your clipboard so you can paste them into messages and can even choose GIFs from what you type for contextual searches. If you type something like “yaaaas!” or something inane like that, you can search for matching GIFs of that nature.

Microsoft is planning on adding in additional themes, support for iOS text replacement and cursor placement using 3D Touch.

The new built-in search is obviously meant to compete with Google, after Google previously released the Gboard keyboard for iPhone with built-in search.

There are several different keyboards available for iPhone to choose from, but now that giants like Microsoft and Google have made their own options available, the vanilla iPhone keyboard seems like an afterthought, especially considering Microsoft previously acquired SwiftKey.

It’ll all come down to personal preference, but Microsoft just shot ahead to Google’s level with its addition of these new features.

Via: The Verge

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