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Gboard testing smart replies for Snapchat, WhatsApp, more

The new feature is Google's latest flirtation with smart reply functionality in messaging apps.

Published onJuly 2, 2018

Gboard on the Pixel 2.
  • Google is reportedly testing smart replies in the Gboard app, giving you suggested responses for a host of apps.
  • It’s believed that Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat, and WhatsApp are just a few of the supported apps.
  • The company has previously experimented with suggested responses via the Smart Reply app and Gmail.

Google’s Gboard is one of the better smartphone keyboards at the moment, delivering a host of convenient features. Now, it looks like we can add smart replies to the list, according to XDA-Developers.

Smart replies are activated in Gboard by viewing a notification that has a quick-reply box, the publication reported. From here, you should see a prompt below the notification, asking if you want to enable smart replies. Once you’ve tapped the prompt, you have to give Gboard the required permissions to enable the functionality.

Smart replies in the Gboard app.

As for compatible apps, the publication reports that Gboard smart replies work with Android Messages, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Messenger Lite, Google Allo, Google Hangouts, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and WeChat.

It looks like Google is still adjusting the machine learning model for smart replies, as the latest update took place in May, according to XDA-Developers.

Nevertheless, it joins a handful of features that have recently been added to Gboard. These features include morse code, over 20 additional languages, unified media search, and the ability to create GIFs.

Smart replies a long time coming

Gboard’s new functionality comes a few months after Google quietly revealed the Smart Reply app. The latter was a standalone solution for smart reply features, so you could use any keyboard app in conjunction with Smart Reply. The keyboard solution also differs by offering smart replies in the word suggestion area (as if they were auto-corrected/auto-completed words), whereas Smart Reply offers suggested responses as dedicated buttons in the notification shade.

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The Gboard feature also comes over a year after Google first implemented Smart Reply functionality in the Inbox app, followed by the Gmail app. So clearly the Mountain View company has been working on it for quite some time.

Would this feature be enough for you to switch to Gboard if you aren’t already using it? Do you swear by a different keyboard app? Let us know in the comments below!

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