Google to Let People Beta Test Gboard and Play Services
Google has this week opened up beta testing programs for its Gboard keyboard application and for Google Play Services. Gboard is an advanced keyboard that includes emoji and GIF search tools. Google Play Services is the core behind the Google Play Store and is what allows developers to create apps for multiple versions of the operating system. Google warns that beta variants of Gboard and Play Services may be unstable when compared to the public releases. Google hopes beta testers will offer feedback about their experiences in order to help improve the apps ahead of general release. Google already offers beta testing programs for the Google Search app and Chrome browser.
Review: GBoard and Word Flow Keyboards for iPhone
Google and Microsoft have fielded new keyboard apps — GBoard and Word Flow, respectively — for the Apple iPhone. GBoard includes search tools, while Word Flow lets you create your own themes.
Android Users Can Now Beta Test Google Maps
Google has rolled out a program that allows people to test beta versions of Google Maps. The betas will be published via the Google Play Store, similar to how Google distributes other a few other beta apps.
Google Opens Up Beta Testing for Search App
Google is inviting some Android users to join a new beta program for testing the Google Search app. Google did not call out any specific new features in the first beta release, but warned testers it may be unstable or buggy.
Google's GBoard App for Android Lets You Draw Emoji
Google today updated its GBoard keyboard application for Android handsets and made it possible for people to draw emoji. In the emoji search tool, GBoard can recognize finger-scrawled pictures and then automatically insert the correct emoji into your text.