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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 February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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