Meet Gboard: Search. GIFs. Emojis & more. Right from your keyboard

In 2014 a few of us had been talking about future surfaces and interfaces. There’d been some conversations about text as interface and other stuff. We’d played with the idea of using the keyboard as a space to try a little hack. But nothing had bitten, so we put it away in the top drawer.

In 2015 another project we’d been working on inspired a few people to take a fresh look. They made a Spark Card (a one-page slide that summarizes an idea) for a Google powered keyboard and called it Gboard. We sketched design concepts. Made mocks and thew together a quick prototype. People were into it. So we made a shiny deck and site, put a bow on it, and gave the idea to Google.

We then paused everything to focus on creating a new brand system for Google. You can read more about that here – but it meant we were heads down and went dark for months.

howitworksXL
Early concept sketches
tricks-XL
Early concept sketches

During that time a team in Mountain View starting looking at making a keyboard for iOS. Google had a great keyboard for Android and wanted to make something for iPhone users. We started talking and soon a small team from Creative Lab were out on the West Coast for a design sprint.

In a few months we had builds ready for Teamfood, Fishfood, Dogfood and shortly afterwards a production build ready to ship. We got our final Apple approvals and on Thursday May 12th we flipped the switch…. Gboard was live in the AppStore.

Google announced it:

Shared the videos on YouTube:

Press starting talking about the features:

gboard_gif_googleInYourKeyboard
Google in your keyboard
gboard_gif_regularSearch
Search in your keyboard
gboard_gif_emojiGifSearch
Emoji search, GIF search, Glide typing

And people seem to like it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early results look good:

– #1 in App Store
– 4.5★ rating from 3,500+ reviews
– 350k downloads on day 1 in US

I’m happy with this one. A new product from beginning to end, and supporting launch comms. A small team with a wide skill set came together to make something great. Love that. It would’ve been impossible to get it done without an amazing team. You know who you are. Thanks for the big effort. And to everyone who’s still reading… download, install, enjoy, we hope you like it.

Get it now in the App Store in English in the U.S., with more languages to come.

Links:
Apple AppStore
Official Google Blogpost
Launch Video (1.2m views)
YouTube Series (395k view)
Instagram Social Video (89k views)

More Reading:
Turning User Hacks into Product Insights (Great insights)

 

iPhone Enabled: “Take Me Out” by Atomic Tom LIVE on NYC subway

There need never be another iPhone commercial after this one — and it’s not one.

This video was filmed unannounced on Friday October 8, 2010 aboard the New York City B Train, over the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn and edited from 3 iPhone cameras. All footage is performed 100% live and executed in one take.

4.5m views and climbing.

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The build of the We Like Small iPod wall

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=13404489&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=1&color=00adef&fullscreen=1

The iPod Wall from welikesmall on Vimeo.

We Like Small built a wall made from 20 iPods and built an app that display photos from a library randomly across all iPhones or as a large image split between iPhones. Future releases will allow all sorts of external user interaction.

Plenty of blurb on the Vimeo site.

They’ve got a nice website too – http://www.welikesmall.com