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| April 1, 2012
Google Revolutionizes The Smartphone Keyboard With Gmail Tap
Last December, Google launched a scribbling feature to its Gmail app for iOS, noting that scribbling as we know it today dates back to the cave etchings of prehistoric humans. Now, Google is adding another twist to the Gmail app. This time, it's a reinvention of Morse code, one of the earliest forerunners of modern communication technologies. Google today launched a variation of the Gmail app dubbed Gmail Tap. Available for both iOS and Android devices, Gmail Tap effectively replaces the 26 letters on the standard QWERTY keyboard on smartphones with just two buttons: a dot and a dash. Following Morse code convention, you can now compose messages on Gmail by just tapping on these buttons in sequence. This opens a world of possibilities for discreet messaging, especially once you've mastered the dot-dot-dot dash-dash-dash dot-dot-dot series of taps for "S.O.S." Now you can easily email for help during a date that's shaping up to be quite a disaster. In addition to the dot and dash buttons, a complementary space bar is also included in the app for faster and clearer typing. Predictive text autocompletion and optional audio feedback are supported as well. But what I find most innovative in Gmail Tap is its multi-email mode, which adds another set of keyboard at the top of the screen for simultaneous dual messaging composition. Just wow. If you're finding all of this hard to believe, see for yourself in the promotional video for Gmail Tap below. If you can't see the video embedded above, please click here. Gmail Tap is supposedly available for download via the app's informational page, but Google's servers are apparently still recovering from the overwhelming initial demand for the app. Google advises against attempting to download the app today and instead recommends returning to the download page tomorrow. Considering such a fascinating feature set, I have to say I'm really impressed with Gmail Tap. Now, if only Google were as good at improving their actual products as they are at thinking of great practical jokes for April Fools' Day …