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 Play to Improve Beta App Discovery
Google plans to make it easier for people to find and test beta applications in the Google Play Store. Google said it will begin to surface beta apps within search results in order to improve visibility.
Google's GBoard Keyboard for iPhone Finally Lands Dictation
Google today announced a significant update to GBoard, its advanced keyboard application or the iPhone. Voice dictation is the most significant new feature added to the tool, allowing GBoard users to press a microphone and speak their messages rather than type them.