Saturday, July 1, 2017

Naver launches "SmartBoard" smart keyboard app

Naver has released a new Android and iOS keyboard replacement app called Naver Smartboard (네이버 스마트보드). If you're already familiar with Google's keyboard replacer "Gboard" then you know what to expect. Basically it offers smart replies, translations, and search content right in your chats. Here are some of the features.

UPDATE: This post originally dealt with just the Android version. As of Oct 2017, there's now an iOS version too. Download links for both are at the end of this post.

Naver SmartBoard logo. Image: Google Play

Naver SmartBoard features

Quick Search

Naver SmartBoard quick search example. Image: Naver

Just like with Gboard, press the big G, I mean N, to do a quick mini-search for things like weather, movie times, etc. No need to leave the conversation and do these things in a separate app. This is similar to how you can utilize Google Assistant in Allo or on your Pixel. Easy to embed those results in the chat after that. In the example above, a user "asks" SmartBoard if it will rain today, and a sunny result appears.

Smart Replies / Recommendations

Naver SmartBoard recommended search result example. Image: Naver

Naver SmartBoard smart reply example. Image: Naver

Naver SmartBoard will anaylyze your input, and offer things like predictive text replies, and recommended searches, based on the context of your conversation history, your personal commonly used phrases, and (if I read it right) some amount of web history. Of course you can also use voice input.

Emoji matching

Naver SmartBoard recommended emoji example. Image: Naver

The app will analyze your text and recommend the proper emoji for you. Thinking about eating chicken tonight? It will recommend the chicken leg emoji. Welcome to the future.

Emojis, stickers, GIFs, doodles!

Naver SmartBoard stickers, GIFs, doodles example. Image: Naver

Insert almost any sort of image into your chat. Because apparently we've all forgotten how to use words.

Real time translations

Naver SmartBoard real-time translation example. Image: Naver

Naver SmartBoard real-time translation animated example. Image: Naver

This is kind of cool. It can translate your message as you type it, letting you preview the translation as you write, without needing to open another app. You can see it in action above. The GIF is pretty large (5MB) so be aware.

My thoughts

What can I say? It's Gboard. I personally use SwiftKey instead of Gboard, mainly because of the lack of Korean support in Gboard, and the Google Korean Input keyboard isn't worth switching for. But anything would be better than most stock keyboards, so if you're Korean, give SmartBoard a try. They also point out that any data between SmartBoard and Naver HQ is encrypted (something called HMAC? Sorry; beyond my paygrade) and run over secure https, and most prediction analysis happens on-device.

Download Naver SmartBoard

Here's the link to download Naver SmartBoard from Google Play and the iOS App Store, and two links from some 3rd party .apk hosts in case you have any country-restriction issues:

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