1Google Gboard or Microsoft Word Flow: Which iOS Keyboard to Select
2How Important Is Google Search Integration?
For many users, deciding which keyboard to download will depend on how important Google Search integration is. Microsoft’s Word Flow is a keyboard with no ability to search the Internet. Gboard, however, comes with a Google icon that, when tapped, allows users to search the Internet for anything. Results are then displayed and can be shared with text message recipients. If that’s an appealing feature for certain users, Gboard is the way to go.
3It’s All About One-Handed Typing With Word Flow
Arguably, the key ingredient in Microsoft’s Word Flow is its support for one-handed typing. Users need only tap an icon to enter “arc mode” inside the keyboard. From there, the keyboard moves to the bottom corner of the screen and allows users to type out a message with a single finger. Google’s Gboard, on the other hand, is a traditional, full-screen keyboard.
4A Quick Way to Find, Share Emojis
5You Can Glide or Swipe to Input Text
One of the more popular features to come to third-party keyboards is glide typing, or the ability to slide a finger around to different keys to input words. Google’s Gboard supports the feature and automatically interprets what the person is trying to say based on the keys over which they slide their fingers. Similarly, Microsoft’s Word Flow also includes a “swiping” feature for text input.
6The Choice Is More Limited for iPad Users
For some users, the question of which app to download might come down to platform support. Microsoft’s Word Flow keyboard is optimized only for the iPhone, leaving iPad owners out of luck. Those who want iPad support, therefore, will have to go with Google’s Gboard, which runs on any iOS 9 device, including the iPad.
7Microsoft Loves Customization
While Google has kept its Gboard design relatively safe and inline with what users would see in iOS, Microsoft offers several customization features with Word Flow. The app comes with free backgrounds, as well as the ability to place a picture behind images and use different colors as filters. Microsoft Word Flow has customization options at every turn.
8Bring On the GIF Fun
9Microsoft Touts Its Intelligence
Microsoft Word Flow analyzes what’s being typed and provides relevant recommendations based on that. Although that’s available in most keyboard apps, Microsoft adds that its app is capable of learning over time what words users are employing—and how—to refine its suggestions. The app even asks users for access to their Contacts, so it can predict more quickly the names that might be used in texts.
10Google Touts Its Privacy
Google, meanwhile, likes to tout the privacy features it’s built into Gboard. In its App Store posting, Google says that it’s designed the app to “keep your private information private.” The company outlines what it sends to Google’s servers, like a search query and anonymous diagnostics information. Google says it doesn’t collect anything else through Gboard, and none of the aforementioned data it collects is accessible by the company or any other apps.
11You Won’t Need to Pay a Dime
Google and Microsoft have (intelligently) decided to offer their apps for free. Better yet, there are no in-app purchases that unlock some of the previously mentioned features. Both apps, in other words, deliver everything users might want at no charge.