A new update to Google’s Gboard is rolling out in the Play Store that brings a big jump in support of Indic languages. With this update, 22 new languages are supported and through the use of Machine Learning and working with natural speakers of the languages throughout India, transliteration and keyboard layouts are included for all of the languages. The update now brings the total number of languages supported up to 185.
The new languages supported include: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo (Devanagari, Bengali), Dogri (Devanagari, Arabic), Gujarati, Hindi (Devanagari, Hinglish), Kannada, Kashmiri (Devanagari, Arabic), Konkani (Devanagari, Latin), Maithili (Devanagari), Malayalam, Manipuri (Bengali), Marathi (Devanagari), Nepali (Devanagari), Odia, Punjabi (Gurmukhi, Arabic), Sanskrit (Devanagari), Santali (Ol chiki, Latin), Sindhi (Devanagari, Arabic), Tamil, Telugu, Urdu (Arabic).
For those who have one of these as their mother language, this update will make it much easier to communicate with others, especially with the transliteration feature.
Now you can use an English keyboard in Gboard and phonetically spell a word in one of the languages above. The Machine Learning behind the app will transliterate the text for you automatically.
The example Google used in the release notes is probably the best one to capture this idea. If you Glide type “aapko holi ki hardik shubhkamnay” it will be translated in your message as “आपको होली की हार्दिक शुभकामनायें”
With the addition of these languages into Gboard, the Google Indic Keyboard becomes somewhat redundant. The 11 languages that were there are now in Gboard and you have the benefits of this new keyboard app brings to users such as Google Search and Google Translate.
The update is rolling out now in the Google Play Store and you can expect it to hit your device via an OTA update over the course of the next few days.