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How to get Gboard to translate text as you type on an iPhone

A helpful feature that not many people know about.

ios keyboard gboard
Image: KnowTechie

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You’ve been able to easily translate different languages using Google Translate on the web for years now. It’s great and helps when you order things from overseas or have family members that speak another language.

The thing is, it’s hard to use on mobile and it doesn’t have to be that way. You can install Gboard to use as your phone’s keyboard app, and it now has Google Translate built-in so you don’t have to switch between apps.

That means you can do easy translation inside whatever messaging apps you already use. Sweet. Here’s what you need to know to set it up.

You’ll first need to install Gboard – here’s how to do that:

  1. Open up the App Store and download Gboard

gboard app download
Image: Apple
  • Tap on the Gboard icon to open it, then tap on Get Started on the first page to go to the Settings app

  • how to set google up
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  • Tap on the toggles next to Gboard and Allow Full Access, then Allow on the pop-up that appears

  • allowing access to iphone keyboard
    Image: KnowTechie

    That gets you the ability to open Gboard from any app that lets you do text input, so go open your favorite messaging app for the next steps. We’re using iMessage because we’re basic like that.

    Once that’s set up, it’s simple to translate all your texts:

    1. Open your messaging app, and tap on the Globe icon at the bottom left corner

    how to use gboard to translate text
    Image: KnowTechie
  • That’ll open up a new menu bar just above the qwerty row. Tap on the rainbow G icon

  • ios keyboard with gboard
    Image: KnowTechie
  • Then tap on Translate

  • Image: KnowTechie
  • Select your languages to translate from (left) and to (right) from the selection wheel

  • Image: KnowTechie
  • Tap where it says Type or paste text and enter what you want Gboard to translate

  • how to use gboard on ios
    Image: KnowTechie
  • Tap on the huge blue Translate button at the bottom right
  • You’ll get a card that says the translation, plus Gboard will automatically paste the translated message into the input box of your messaging app

  • gboard on ios
    Image: KnowTechie
  • Send your message
  • You can also do the same thing in reverse, by leaving the translate from setting on Detect language and selecting your native language on the right. Then just copy and paste into the same translation field and hit Translate. Nice.

    What do you think? Is this something you could see yourself using? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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    Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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