When comparing Gmail vs Gboard - the Google Keyboard, the Slant community recommends Gmail for most people. In the question“What are the best Material Design apps?” Gmail is ranked 10th while Gboard - the Google Keyboard is ranked 15th. The most important reason people chose Gmail is:
Gmail brings much of the functionality and power of Google's search engine to the app's search. You can use operators such as *label:*, *is:*, *OR*, *has:* among others, define date ranges, limit search to specific groups and so on. And, you can do it all amazingly fast. The search will also try to predict what you're trying to search for before you've even finished your query and offer up those results.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Incredibly fast, advanced & predictive search
Gmail brings much of the functionality and power of Google's search engine to the app's search. You can use operators such as label:, is:, OR, has: among others, define date ranges, limit search to specific groups and so on. And, you can do it all amazingly fast. The search will also try to predict what you're trying to search for before you've even finished your query and offer up those results.
Pro Best support for Gmail features
Since both the Gmail Android app and Gmail itself is made by Google, the app supports all features Gmail offers (like labeling/starring) and gets new features implemented early - usually as soon as they are announced.
Pro Comes bundled with Android for free
Not only is the application free, it comes bundled with the Android OS by default so you don't even have to bother downloading it.
Pro Google Drive integration
The app allows inserting files from Drive straight to email or uploading attachments to Drive before sending them out. It will also notify if the person you're sending the file can open the file or if you should change the sharing settings for that file beforehand. Finally, you can choose which one of your Google accounts you want visible in the app.
Pro Google Calendar integration
Pro Tabs to automatically organize your e-mail
Gmail offers the ability to automatically organize your mail into specific categories:
Each of the categories can be disabled and you can move your mail around from category to category or set your own rules which sender should be put in which category.
Pro Threaded conversations
Pro Safely automatically displays images
The app does not require a confirmation to show images as Google now hosts the images on their own servers making it safe. You can still disable the automatic displaying of images in the settings if you wish.
Pro 100% free from Google
This keyboard is not a free trial nor will it hold back any new features to sell you a paid version. The keyboard is completely 100% free.
Pro Learns preferred words
After using a gesture a few times and clicking the correct word, Google Keyboard learns that the gesture should result in the word you've manually selected as the correct word. Swype doesn't seem to learn this, so even after 100 times clicking 'this' instead of 'thesis', it still produces 'thesis', where Google Keyboard learns that you meant to say 'this'.
Pro Swipe support
The Google Keyboard supports swiping along the keyboard to spell out whole words.
Pro Minimalistic design
While other keyboard options may be very functional, their visual design tends to differ from the rest of your Google device. The Google Keyboard was designed by Google and it looks like it.
Pro Fast, low memory usage
Alternative keyboards tend to suck up system resources, often making them nearly unusable on older phones. Google Keyboard is very quick to open when typing and the keys rarely lag.
Pro Material Design
Google Keyboard has material design themes the user can skin the keyboard with.
Pro Has built-in Google search
The keyboard has button that allows searching Google straight from the keyboard, and use the search results in the currently used app.
Pro Emoji search
The GBoard has an emoji search that's very convenient, saves time looking for a specific one if you don't know/remember what category it's in.
Pro Dynamic floating preview
The dynamic floating preview appears while gesture typing. Most gesture keyboards only show the preview above the keyboard in the suggested corrections. The dynamic floating preview is great because it makes it easier to gesture type by keeping your eyes focused on what you are typing.
Pro Suggestions don't get worse over time
Google keyboard does not promise to be as "smart" as other keyboards besides offering a personalized dictionary. Surprisingly this is actually a good thing for some because with many "smart" keyboards predictions and corrections actually worsen over time. With Google Keyboard the experience will remain constant because it requires you to manually "touch again to save" before it changes your personal dictionary. This prevents mistakes from becoming part of your personal dictionary.
Pro Can use alternative layouts not just QWERTY
For those that are used to typing on a Dvorak keyboard or prefer not to need multiple key presses to access special symbols they can enable these as additional quick switch options. Using the English PC layout for example gives the user a number row.
Pro One-handed mode
Makes it easier to type with no more than a thumb.
Pro Swipe to punctuation
Hold down the key in the lower left hand corner and a keyboard if punctuation appears. Swipe over to the one you want, lift your finger, and the original keyboard pops back. It's very fast, and makes it much easier to spot the punctuation mark you want - instead of trying to squint at the secondary symbols in the keys.
Con Sorting mail by Unread is unintuitive
Nearly every other mail app has a clear way to sort mail by Unread. In Gmail app you can do that only by typing “label:unread” in the search field.
Con Very limited HTML composing
Composing of HTML formatted mails is very limited. No inline images and only some basic text formatting options
Con No intrinsic p2p encryption option
Con Too heavy
It should be lightweight.
Con Limited notification buttons
Con Very little customization
Google Keyboard allows you to enable or disable
vibrate on keypress
sound on keypress
popup on keypress
double space period
These are pretty useful basic settings but most other keyboards offer more options. Google also allows you to edit the personal dictionary.
Con Typing is not always smooth
Sometimes typing lags.
Con Horrible Word Prediction
Con Uses a lot of RAM
Con Restricted customization (few skins)
Con Can't pop out keyboard
The keyboard can't float above an app and is instead docked to the bottom. Other keyboard apps allow for the keyboard to do this.
Con Symbol order is (slightly) different from full-sized QWERTY keyboard
Instead of the first four symbols being !@#$%^& (i.e. shift+1 through 7 on a QWERTY keyboard), they're @#$%&. This is fine if you know the symbols in your password, but if you're like me and you just hold the SHIFT key and type a long number, you'll have to consult a real keyboard to figure out your password.
Con Prediction isn't as good as SwiftKey
Con Takes up a lot of storage
If you are using multiple languages and predictive text, the app can use up a lot of storage.
Con Other languages not available in transliteration mode
Unlike Google Indic Keyboard where you can type by transliteration, compact, and handwriting, you only get the fixed layout for other languages.
Con Only 26 languages
While a keyboard available in 26 languages is nothing to be ashamed of, other keyboard options simply offer more. SwiftKey is available in 61 languages and Swype is available in 71. Fortunately, if your language is one of the 26, you're good.
Con It doesn't have arrow keys
Several times it is much better to navigate through a long text using arrow keys than scrolling and tapping the place where you want the cursor to be. SwiftKey has arrow keys (via an option), Gboard has not.