An update is rolling out to users of Gboard, introducing a few new features catered to lovers of emoji and those looking to possibly shave a few seconds off the time it takes to draft a message.
For the emoji peeps, Gboard now features an emoji handwriting tool, capable of turning your amateur stick figures into emoji. For example, if you can’t find an emoji you’re looking for, but know what it looks like and can draw it, hit the tool’s icon, then get to drawing. Gboard will recognize what it is you’re trying to draw and then display options that look similar to your work.
If it’s time you’re looking to save, a feature currently exclusive to the US is Phrase Prediction. With this, Gboard will attempt to recognize a sentence you’re constructing, then offer suggestions in the bar to help you complete your sentence. We’ve placed a GIF below that details this feature.
Google has also updated listings from Google Maps and other services when you press on the “G” icon inside of Gboard. If you search for a Mexican restaurant, you’ll now find multiple options to choose, with each being easily shareable within any app.
This update is rolling out to Google Play now.