Many of us type on our mobile devices several times a day—from sending text messages to family, to discussing the Oscars in chat apps, to looking up information about the latest updates from Mayon. That is why Gboard makes it easier to type away using different languages. Starting today, Filipinos can enjoy much smoother exchanges in Bicolano using Gboard on their Android device. Bicolano is the fifth Philippine language to be supported by Gboard.

“With today’s update, we’ve added support for Bicolano and over twenty other new language varieties, including several Indian languages, Chinese, Korean, and African languages like Fulani. Gboard on Android now supports 300 language varieties, covering over 70% of the world’s population. This includes Filipino, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, and Ilokano,” says Daan van Esch, Gboard technical program manager, in a blogpost.

He adds, “while we’re excited to bring Gboard to more people around the world with today’s update, we still have work to do to bring even more languages, unique scripts, native layouts and transliterated layouts to the keyboard.”

Typing made easier with Gboard—powered by machine learning

Gboard is Google’s smart keyboard with Google Search and Google Translate built in. Just tap the “G” button to search and share information quickly, and if you’d like to translate text you can also do that directly in your keyboard.

Predicting the next word you might want to type, suggesting auto corrections and other features in Gboard are powered by machine learning. We use language samples from the web and work closely with native speakers in the Philippines to collect data to train our machine learning models. These models then analyze the data to find common patterns in phrases and sentences, powering Gboard’s next-word prediction and auto-correction. So when you type in Bicolano you’d see suggestions like baga–that’s made possible with machine learning.

To make typing easier and faster on a small screen, Gboard also comes with glide typing and suggestions––you can slide your finger from letter to letter to type, and we’ll show you suggested words while you’re writing.

About The Author

2nd Opinion shares stories on topics that matter to you. Mirroring multi-faceted and complex Filipinos, it delves into the most pressing and interesting issues of the modern age. Everything from the latest consumer technology and automotive news to the newest lifestyle updates. On top of this it also puts the spotlight on sports, business, politics, and pop culture. It is the only platform of its kind in existence. Behind it is 25-year veteran automotive and technology journalist Manny Delos Reyes.