In its latest update, Google’s Gboard, an app that integrates Google Search and other features into the smartphone keyboard itself, announced the inclusion of YouTube and Google Maps, thus enabling users to use both features directly from the keyboard. Aiming to ease accessibility of Google’s services, the latest additions to Gboard will help users access these services without opening the browser each time, thereby increasing its popularity among the customers. The new features in Gboard will first be launched on the iPhone, and can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store, reports TechCrunch. The first Maps result is one’s current location, followed by other nearby businesses. Labels and important places can also be marked and added to the list.
Meanwhile, with YouTube’s integrations, users can now easily share links to videos through a text conversation. Another feature that was rolled out is the new “Ink” option, which lets you tap on the emoji button to access a new pen in order to draw a picture that can be sent later via text. Gboard was first launched on iOS last year, in order to integrate Google Search on mobile devices. The move came at a time when more of the activity taking place on mobile phones was occurring in standalone apps, like Facebook and mobile messengers, rather than through web browser.
Furthermore, mobile search is more costly for Google. Its parent company Alphabet continues to report higher traffic acquisition costs in its quarterly earnings – a result of the shift to mobile search over desktop.