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This New Keyboard Will Change Your iPhone Experience Forever!

This New Keyboard Will Change Your iPhone Experience Forever!

While iPhone users tend to have an “Android stigma”, one thing is certain, pretty much everyone uses Google’s apps in some way or another. As an iPhone user, I actually prefer Google’s browser, Chrome, to Apple’s Safari. And let’s not forget to popularity of Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube.

Recently Google continued to narrow the smartphone divide between Android and iOS users by releasing an incredibly user-friendly, iOS-only keyboard: Gboard.

So, What is Gboard Exactly?

The stock iOS keyboard is admired by most iPhone and iPad users. They are proud of the basic yet functional nature of the keyboard; the touch sensitivity is spot-on and glitches are few and far between. But as more third party keyboard apps such as Swype have become increasingly popular, iPhone users are starting to open up to the idea of a new smartphone keyboard.

Google’s Gboard is an iOS-only keyboard that includes some extremely useful features modeled after the conveniences of already existing third-party keyboards. It allows users to easily find GIFs for text message reactions and seamlessly search through the sea of emojis that exist. Most importantly, Gboard integrates a Google search bar directly into the keyboard.

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gboard

    Emoji search, integrated Google search bar, and GIF search

    Google Search Integrated Right Into Your Texting Keyboard

    After using Gboard for a couple of weeks, I’m convinced that many of these features are crucial time savers. It’s like I never knew I needed these but I’m already realizing how much time I had been wasting. I was constantly switching between my iPhone’s Internet browser and text messages as a means of relaying information to someone via text.

    Fortunately, there’s an integrated Google search bar within Gboard. This means that it’s no longer necessary for iPhone users to navigate away from the text message screen to look something up on Google. The ‘G’ icon is smack dab in the center of everything, which makes the process of googling a fact or getting Google Maps directions a smooth one.

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    It’s also possible to copy/paste information from those search results directly into texts. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a photo, meme, or GIF or whether you’re texting, emailing, or tweeting. Gboard is all inclusive in these regards! I really recognized its full potential when I set Gboard to default on my phone.

    Searching Through Emojis and Reacting with GIFs

    This is a basic feature but in my opinion it’s actually quite groundbreaking. Tech culture is engulfed by simplicities like emojis, and with every iOS update there seems to be new additions to the massive list of colorful and diverse emoticons.

    As the list continues to grow, it can actually be a daunting task just simply trying to find the right emoji. But alas, the frustrations have melted away. Now you only have to spend a second in the search bar, instead of wasting time scrolling and manually searching through everything ‘long-hand.’

    GIFs can also be pasted right into text messages. I love to use these as humorous reactions to things my friends and family say. I was previously searching for these through my phone’s browser, which was also overly time consuming. Thankfully this wasted time has subsided.

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    How to Get Gboard

    Good news! Gboard is a free app, and the installation process is the same as any other third party keyboard. Simply follow these steps, and you’ll be saving lots of time with Gboard:

    • Download Gboard from the iOS App Store
    • Within the app, select “Get Started”
    • Select “Add New Keyboard”
    • Enable Gboard by tapping the app icon and turning it on

    It’s literally that simple. In a matter of seconds you can play around with this new keyboard!

    The settings in Gboard allow you to switch many options off and on. Glide (SWYPE) texting, emoji suggestions, auto-correction/prediction, and swear word censoring are all selectable and customizable.

    Android users need not fret, because there are rumors that Google is looking to add Gboard functionality to Google’s Android keyboard soon.

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    Many people agree that common issues with iPhones are less frequent than Android phones. However a common counterargument is that the iPhone refuses to ‘play nice’ with other non-iOS devices. This is a large reason why the collaboration of Gboard can be viewed as a progressive step forward–one day the smartphone divide may dwindle away.

    Preferences aside, this much is certain: when Apple’s leadership and practicality meet Google’s ingenuity and attention to detail, the byproduct is something beautiful. This is certainly the case with Gboard. Even if you’re a die hard Apple fan, spice up your tech life and give Gboard a shot! You won’t regret it!

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    Robert Parmer

    Freelance Writer

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    Last Updated on August 29, 2018

    5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

    5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

    Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

    Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

    Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

    1. 750words

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    750 words

      750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

      750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

      750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

      2. Ohlife

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      ohlife

        Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

        Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

        3. Oneword

        oneword

          OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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          Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

          4. Penzu

            Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

            With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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            5. Evernote

            Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

            Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

            For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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