Google added new multilingual features to the Android keyboard this week that make it easier to switch between tongues on the fly. Gboard for iOS also supports Google Doodles and voice typing. Not sure why this is listed first, but Gboard will now suggest emojis and GIF images as you type. This feature expands upon the company's Now on Tap translation integration from past year that lets users hold down the home button to translate any screen of foreign text. You can see an example of this in the image to the right. Users can also share GIFs in any apps that support them, including Hangouts, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and Allo. Choose a GIF suggestion and Gboard will perform a quick search for related media.
In addition to new language features, Gboard now also includes automatic suggestions for emoji and GIFs, a helpful addition in an era when those symbols have replaced many common words in casual text conversations.
The interface has been given a couple of tweaks so that switching between voice and text typing is easier than ever.
This presents all sorts of opportunities for near-instant cross-lingual communication - or just trolling your friend by seamlessly switching to a language neither of you understand.
To test drive these updates to Gboard for Android yourself, head to the Google Play Store and make sure you're running the latest version of the app. Simply tap the translate icon in the quick features menu and watch as Google starts working its magic on your sentences even as you type. Google is positioning Gboard as a one stop solution for translating stuff as well.
Just a few days ago, Google gave users the opportunity to sign up to test beta builds of its Gboard app for Android.