After announcing Gboard for iOS, the team behind it had a chat on the curation site Product Hunt to discuss the new keyboard. When asked about Android support, product manager Bri Connelly said Google is currently working on porting over the features.
Her exact reply was, “Working on the best way to bring the same functionality to Android right now!” This implies that the search features will be added to Google Keyboard, rather than an entirely new app. The easiest port would be to add the ‘G’ icon to the left-side of the predictions row. However, it might be confusing as at the very right is the microphone icon to trigger voice dictation.
The marquee feature of Gboard is the ability to quick search the web and paste results directly into a conversation. Emoji and GIF search makes it easier to find the right symbol by tapping out a quick description of it. With many apps, like Facebook Messenger, and third-party keyboards offering a similar GIF lookup, the addition of it to the stock keyboard might obfuscate the need for other apps.
Google Keyboard received a big update just a few weeks ago that added a one-handed mode, quicker access to emoji, and a ton of customization options.