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Gboard, Silly name for Google's Keyboard App

Working with search engine optimization, the irony isn’t lost on me that while Google can make or break a company’s digital marketing efforts by changing its algorithm, Google is bad when it comes to marketing their own products and services.

The Pixel Phone, Google Play Music, and their various cluster of messaging apps are just some examples. I am leaning towards adding Google Home to that list.

One move that peeked my curiosity about a year ago was when they changed the name of their SMS based text messaging app from “Google Messages” to “Android Messages.” The new name breaks away from the naming scheme implemented for many of their other apps that includes the Google name. From my understanding, the changeover to Android branding for the messages app was done in hopes of persuading other Android phone manufacturers to include the app on their phones by default. That, I can understand.

One particular Google app name change dating back to the end of 2016 that still riles me up each time I am reminded of it is the renaming of “Google Keyboard” to “Gboard.”

Serious question. Why Gboard?

The name change would make sense if Google were to re-brand their other products or services with the G branding. But that has never happened. The only other service that utilizes the G branding is Gmail, which by itself was a brilliant name for a then stand alone service dating back to 2004.

So why did the company rename their keyboard app to such a silly name when it doesn’t align with the rest of their branding? My inquiring mind would (still) like to know.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that is something even Google Assistant can provide an answer for.

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