I must admit that I have been on the more skeptical side of things when it comes to the custom keyboard you can have on iOS. I tried a few when the option was first launched and was not a big fan of it. Now, I have found the keyboard that has changed my views on this completely. The keyboard I am writing the first draft of this very review on my iPhone 6s. That keyboard is Gboard. The Google Keyboard for iOS. I downloaded it the first day it came out and have been using it ever since. I absolutely love it and have even gotten friends into it. Anyone I talk to has said that they love using it and when the default keyboard comes on, which happens far too often with Apple, it feels weird and uncomfortable. So what makes GBoard such a must have?
- It has a clean interface. Appearance is a big part of the choice to use any app. When it comes to a keyboard the appeal of the interface, ease of use and options are extremely important. Particularly if you use your phone for a variety of tasks.
- Performance is arguably the most important criteria in choosing a keyboard. If it is slow or delayed or crashes you won't want to use it and it will slow down your productivity, not to mention annoy you. The Gboard performance is excellent. It's fast and responsive. You can even glide to type, though not my type of thing. It offers suggestions and quick button response. All keyboards take a bit of getting used to and Gboard was no different. But that process went very quickly and the whole thing seems so natural now.
- Features are key to a keyboard and that is one of the things that sold me on Gboard. You can easily do Google search in the keyboard and copy links without ever changing screens. You can also easily add gifs and images, which my friends think I have become a bit obsessed with. Having these kinds of features that work properly are key to a good keyboard and making it so you set yourself apart from the others.
- Google is a support powerhouse in many ways. They are a company you know builds good products and, if they keep then around, maintain them. I don't want to use a service that gets thrown up on the app store and never touched again, which is all too common with free apps.