Google just released an updated version of their app for iOS and it has Gboard built in.
The updated version of the app had three updates according to Google. The first being native Youtube support which means that Youtube videos now play inline when they are included in the search results. The second update allows users to check availability and book a hotel room right from the search results which is super convenient. The last update gives users access the the menu of a restaurant they search for right in the results. All of these updates are meant to provide more service within the search results which prevents other apps or web pages from opening. However, the most interesting update the Google app brings is that Gboard is built in and Google didn’t mention that when it listed the updates.
Gboard is the smart keyboard that I believe is Google’s Trojan Horse into the messenging world and they just snuck it onto most Apple phones and tablets. Including it in the main Google app which most smartphone users have is another way to get users hooked on the keyboard without having to download the separate Gboard app. The user still has to enable Gboard by tapping Settings>General>Keyboard>Keyboards>Add New Keyboard>then select Google but now there is even less barrier to entry for Gboard. Google wants as many users as possible for Gboard so search queries on mobile will continue to grow and so they can infiltrate other communication apps. If the keyboard used by most smartphone users is Gboard, Google will achieve their own messenging platform within other platforms which will be invaluable for growth. This along with the recent announcement that Telegram, a very popular messenging app on iOS and Android, now supports Gboard is another win for the smart keyboard.