Gboard is a very advanced virtual keyboard, made by not someone else but Google themselves. Apart from having top-notch word prediction capabilities, dictionary syncing, built-in theming options, and so on, with the newest update, it gets even smarter and useful than ever.

Version 8.3.9 from June 3rd is set out to come with support for Android Q and Emoji 12.0. Furthermore, it now provides easier access to the bundled clipboard tool with snippets and whatnot, remembers the skin tone and gender preferences for your emojis, lets you import and export your personal dictionary words, and, in addition, from now on you can delete your Google search history directly from the keyboard itself. To do so, you just have to long-press on the search keywords that you have used last. Besides, an important usability change that you may appreciate is support for vertical scrolling for expressions, i.e., minis. If you aren't familiar, Gboard's 'minis' feature lets you create custom emoji/sticker packs. You can decide on all sorts of visual aspects for your minis, like, for example, hairstyle, hair and eye color, and so much more. It is super cool!

Here is also the changelog for the aforementioned 8.3.9 Gboard release on the Play Store.

What's new

• Support for Emoji 12.0 in Android Q

• Sticky preferences for emoji skin tone and gender

• Clipboard: quick access to your favorite snippets

• Import/export personal dictionary words

• Long press to delete search history

• Vertical scrolling for expressions (Beta)

• Join our beta program - goo.gl/8Ksj7x

If you'd like to be one of the first people to try out fancy new features and bug fixes in advance, then ensure that you become a beta tester by going to the sign-up section down below, and of course, applying.

Source: Google Play


Google's keyboard app is my favorite to this date and it has got a handy new feature that anyone would appreciate - a smart clipboard like the one found in Windows 10's October 2018 edition release. Users running Gboard's newest beta update available on the Google Play Store, including the stable channel, can all try out this feature on their Android devices by keeping the app up-to-date. First, let's take a look at the release notes and later on continue with our overview part.

What’s new

  • Clipboard (Beta): Quick access to your favorite snippets
  • Unlist versions targeted to KitKat
  • 60+ language varieties, including: Alsatian, Ambonese, Balti, Cape Verdean Creole, Duri, Ghanaian Pidgin, Hawu, IPA, Jula, Kambaata, Kankanaey, Kui, Lama, Lepcha, Makassar Malay, Melanau, Moba, Muna, Nauruan, Pa’O Karen, Pamona, Réunion Creole, Sgaw

New Clipboard

This new clipboard implementation carries over options like pinning phrases and keeping records of everything that you have copied recently. It can be enabled by hitting the arrow button where is the suggestions row and then dragging the 'Clipboard' shortcut to the easy access bar up top. By tapping on the 'Clipboard' icon you will be greeted with a toggle to switch the feature on if you haven't already, and if you have, you will see a grid view with your clipboard history and pinned phrases. You can also easily edit them, move them up and down and add new ones to the list.

Another welcome addition in this release is the support for greater than 60 new languages alongside the new clipboard implementation. Make sure to apply for beta testing Gboard from our sign up section down below and keep following us for more news of this kind as well as a large volume of tips for testers.

Source: Google Play


If you have started feeling bored from switching between the limited number of dull themes in your go-to keyboard app - Gboard, today is a lucky day for you, because Google has indeed begun enabling remotely for a large population of their keyboard's userbase a whopping amount of 53 brand new gradient style themes, which come in two different types - with 25 light ones and 28 dark themes. Because of this light/dark grouping, the navigation bar color has also been set to change to black or white, when using the keyboard, depending on the theme style that has been chosen and the device itself, of course. So, if you are not using a Pixel phone, this may not work for you at all. Speaking of Pixel's, there is the long-awaited "sand" theme finally coming out, which matches perfectly the "Not Pink" models of Google's device lineup released for 2018.

Below is the official changelog for version 7.8.10 posted on the Play Store, which mentions the additional languages that are supported from now on in Gboard.

Changelog

  • 50+ language varieties, including: Alas, Amis, Brahui, Choctaw, Gayo, Giryama, Gorontalo, Gusii, Hehe, Iban, Jingpho, Kadazandusun, Kamba, Kekchi, Konkomba, Konzo, Kumyk, Lugbara, Luo, Makassar, Meru, Nande, Ndau, Nkore, Nyaturu, Sasak, Teso, Tooro & Wayuu, Karelian, Komi-Permyak, Eastern Oromo, Trinidadian Creole English

Make sure that you are running at least version 7.8.8 or above to be able to use the aforementioned themes. If you do not have access to the beta on Google Play, you can instead grab the latest version of Gboard from APK Mirror to take your chance.

Source: Google Play, Android Police


The Gboard app for Android got two beta updates this month, with one of then being v7.7.5.218156409 and the other one - v7.6.13.215505041. You can also sideload the latest official APK file onto your device by downloading it from APKMirror.

The changelog for both versions is the same and mentions faster keyboard load times and the inclusion of 37 new languages. But there is much more than that in these updates and we gathered around some of the more noteworthy features and changes, which are released for everyone or are still a work in progress.

Released

  • New intro page for minis Minis for Gboard were introduced last month and we covered them in detail in our article, which you can take a look at from the link below: “Google Gboard minis and how to get them on Android” Now there is a new onboarding page, which briefly explains how it works and has a button to launch your selfie camera.

  • Floating keyboard The first signs of the upcoming addition of a floating keyboard option were seen back with the release of Gboard version 7.4. Back then we managed to get our hands on a teardown of it which you should totally read: “Gboard v7.4 is coming with a floating keyboard feature, selfie stickers, spell check, and much more”. Now that the feature is life for beta testers running v7.6 and above, you can try it for yourself by toggling it on from the tools section.

  • ”Kiss Fist ASL” sticker pack A new sticker pack is now live called “Kiss Fist ASL”. It celebrates the American Sign Language and it is designed by Jessica Flores, with the idea of helping to better symbolize 24 phrases in written format, mixed with gestures, which makes them easier to learn. You can access the “Kiss Fist ASL” sticker pack through the stickers section. Just tap the ‘add’ button and you should see the pack right away. You can add it to your favorites for easy access. For a more in-depth look read “Gboard’s latest animated sticker pack celebrates American Sign Language” by 9TO5Google.

Work in progress

  • Clipboard manager There are hints from a recent APK teardown done by Android Police that a clipboard management feature is nearly finished, so we may see it pretty soon. It is going to save everything that you copy into a list, and you can pin text to the top of it for easier access. This is going to be useful for things like emails, phone numbers, addresses, etcetera.

  • A new “Sand” theme It was discovered by a Twitter user that Google is indeed working on a new keyboard theme named “Sand”, which potentially may be suited for Pixel 3 devices with the “Not Pink” color.

  • Improved voice typing Voice typing has been around for a long time now, but it is going to get improvements regarding speed and accuracy. A string in the APK for v7.7 mentions that there is going to be a jump in size for the English (US) speech pack from around 50, depending on the device, to 85 MBs, which leads us to believe in that.

Be sure to follow TestingCatalog on social media by clicking on the buttons below for more coverage like that and stay tuned.


The latest Gboard update enables a new feature named minis. Minis are user-customizable stickers. Basically, you have to take a photo of your face and you will get a sticker pack just in a couple of seconds. With that said, there are a ton of options for you to choose what your avatar will look like by changing every characteristic of your avatars face. The options are divided into 10 categories, and here they are with all of the settings:

  • Face - face shape, chin length and skin tone
  • Hair - short, medium, long, updo, color, highlight color, and hair tie color
  • Eyes - shape, color, eyelashes, position, and distance
  • Eyebrows- shape, thickness, position, and distance
  • Lips - type, mouth position, nose shape, and nose position
  • Facial hair - style and color
  • Facial markings
  • Headwear and headwear color
  • Glasses - frame, style, frame color, and lens color
  • Other - T-shirt color, earrings, and their placement, piercings

Accessing this feature is, kind of, tricky. You have to tap on a text box to open the keyboard and click on the arrow key in Gboard's toolbar. If the sticker button is hidden, tap on the horizontal three-dot button and you will see it there. At the bottom right corner of the next menu there will be a '+' button, which you have to select and after that tap on the blue 'GET STICKERS'.

On a side note, this looks to be Google's response to Apple's Memoji's in IOS 12, which work in a similar manner. Let us know what you think about this move from Google.


Gboard is a keyboard application available for both Android and IOS. It is very customizable with a ton of themes built in and user-selectable custom keyboard backgrounds. Not only that, but it supports GIFs and emojis and lets you do a Google search directly from the keyboard or use Google Translate. Other features included are a one-handed mode, multilingual typing, a toggleable number row and more.

The process of becoming a beta tester for Gboard for Android can be shortened down to a couple of steps. Here they are: 1. Go to Gboard beta on TestingCatalog and tap on 'BECOME A TESTER'. 2. After you get redirected to Google Play's beta testing page, tap on the blue 'BECOME A TESTER' button. 3. You can now go ahead and update to the beta.

If you do not know, Google is into server-side tests so not all new features may be available for you right away. Also, if you have any suggestions or you want to give feedback about the app, you can send an email to gboard-beta@google.com.

On a personal note, I would like to say that Gboard is my go-to keyboard for three years now and with every new update released, it gets better and better. Maybe the performance can be improved a tad bit, but I don't have any other complaints.

Please, fellas, tell us your thoughts about the beforementioned application, and happy testing!


Looks like the Gboard team is working hard to make their app better and from the new additions, we can see that they're doing the best they can. Let's first check out the official changelog and then get to the unofficial provided to us by the folks at Android Police. Btw, the exact version number is 7.4.6.203705386 beta.

What's new?

  • Add text to Make a GIF
  • Search stickers in 15 more languages
  • 28 new languages: Bagri, Batak Toba, Bench, Bhili, Capiznon, Chavacano, Eastern Min, Fiji Hindi, Ge'ez, Gurani, Ingush, Karachay, Khorasani Turkic, Kipsigis, Maharashtrian Konkani, Lezgian, Mizo, Maguindanao, Malay (Brunei), Maranao, Southern Min, Northern Sami, Qashqa'i, Rinconada Bikol, Surjapuri, Tausug, Upper Saxon, Vasavi

Now on to the unofficial changelog:

  • Spell check
  • Mini mode for Morse Code keyboard
  • Adaptive icon

Spell check

As previously there were complaints about the broken spell checker behavior, Google has finally come around with a fix. According to the latest "What's new in Gboard?" banner, this version will now underline misspellings in red, and it notes that it can be turned off.

Note: The toggle is not available in this version.

Morse code: Mini keyboard

Now there's a mini morse keyboard option, which is half the size of the full version. This way you can use more of your screen size.

To enable this feature, you have to open your language settings and tap on the morse code keyboard, then look for the toggle at the very bottom of the list.

Another change is with the letter and word timeout sliders, which can now be modified directly on the same page, without having to tap on an item to open up a pop-up, like it was in the previous versions.

Adaptive icon

Google has finally added adaptive icon support for Gboard, but there's an issue with the Show app icon toggle, where it seems to not work at all.

TEARDOWN

Floating Keyboard

Floating keyboards aren't a new concept, we've seen quite a few developers implement them with their own keyboard apps. The ideal benefit is that they can allow the entire screen to be used for an app while giving you an on-screen keyboard that can be moved anywhere that is not in the way. In practice, they're usually not very efficient, but they can be helpful in certain circumstances. Now it looks like Gboard is taking a crack at a floating keyboard.


<string name="id_access_point_floating_keyboard">floating_keyboard</string>

<array name="access_points_order">

<item>@string/id_access_point_floating_keyboard</item>

</array>


Looks like this feature is still in the works and there is no apparent release date.

Minis – The new selfie stickers

We saw them in Allo and now they are coming to Gboard.

Here is how it works: You take a picture of your face and the app turns it to a sticker pack with some customizable options available to you. You can insert them in any supported third-party app.


<string name="avatar_preview_title_msg">Try out your minis!</string>

<string name="avatar_preview_subtitle_msg">Customize each style, or both, then click %1$s.</string>

<string name="avatar_preview_customize_msg">CUSTOMIZE</string>


New effects for Make-A-GIF

There are three more new effects, including Balloons by Erik Carter, Confetti by Erik Carter, and Fireworks by Kimberley Margarita.


<string name="makeagif_filterdesc_balloons">Balloons rising</string>

<string name="makeagif_filterdesc_confetti">Confetti</string>

<string name="makeagif_filterdesc_fireworks">


Dark theme

There were reports that it was included in v7.3 and here is the follow-up: It will turn on automatically, whenever the Battery saver mode is enabled and will switch some of the UI elements to black to save power on OLED screens.


<string name="setting_battery_saver_theme_switching_summary">Gboard can save power on OLED screens by going dark</string>


Sticker search is available to more places

In case you didn't know, sticker search is a language-restricted feature. Since it launched, only four languages had access. With the latest update, it looks like that list has exploded to include a total of 17 languages: Arabic, German, English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Chinese (China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong), Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Thai, Turkis


// new <string name="enabled_sticker_search_locales">ar,de,en,es,fr,hi-Latn,id,it,ja,ko,nl,pl,pt,ru,th,tr,zh-CN,zh-HK,zh-TW</string>

// old <string name="enabled_sticker_search_locales">en,pt,id,hi-Latn</string>


New Kana keys

And finally, if you're typing Kana, there appear to be several new additions in this update:

  • a: ア。アサヒ ノ ア
  • e: エ。エイゴ ノ エ
  • ha: ハ。ハガキ ノ ハ
  • he: ヘ。ヘイワ ノ ヘ
  • hi: ヒ。ヒカリ ノ ヒ
  • ho: ホ。ホケン ノ ホ
  • hu: フ。フトン ノ フ
  • i: イ。イチゴ ノ イ
  • ka: カ。カゾク ノ カ
  • ke: ケ。ケシキ ノ ケ
  • ki: キ。キッテ ノ キ
  • ko: コ。コドモ ノ コ
  • ku: ク。クスリ ノ ク
  • ma: マ。マッチ ノ マ
  • me: メ。メガネ ノ メ
  • mi: ミ。ミカン ノ ミ
  • mo: モ。モミジ ノ モ
  • mu: ム。ムシ ノ ム
  • n: ン。オシマイ ノ ン
  • na: ナ。ナマエ ノ ナ
  • ne: ネ。ネズミ ノ ネ
  • ni: ニ。ニホン ノ ニ
  • no: ノ。ノハラ ノ ノ
  • nu: ヌ。ヌリエ ノ ヌ
  • o: オ。オオサカ ノ オ
  • ra: ラ。ラジオ ノ ラ
  • re: レ。レモン ノ レ
  • ri: リ。リンゴ ノ リ
  • ro: ロ。ロウカ ノ ロ
  • ru: ル。ルスバン ノ ル
  • sa: サ。サクラ ノ サ
  • se: セ。セカイ ノ セ
  • si: シ。シンブン ノ シ
  • so: ソ。ソロバン ノ ソ
  • su: ス。スズメ ノ ス
  • ta: タ。タバコ ノ タ
  • te: テ。テガミ ノ テ
  • ti: チ。チキュウ ノ チ
  • to: ト。トウキョウ ノ ト
  • tu: ツ。ツバメ ノ ツ
  • u: ウ。ウサギ ノ ウ
  • wa: ワ。ワカメ ノ ワ
  • wo: オ。オオサカ ノ オ
  • ya: ヤ。ヤカン ノ ヤ
  • yo: ヨ。ヨット ノ ヨ
  • yu: ユ。ユカタ ノ ユ

The Gboard team is working hard and we admire them for their efforts.

SOURCE: Android Police


  • Device - Google Pixel XL 2, Android 8.1
  • Version 6.8.8.178714143-release-arm64-v8a

Full changelog


What's New

  • Handwriting support
  • Suggestions in URL fields
  • Fast delete
  • Hinglish-style support for 19 more Indian languages
  • 20 new languages: Awadhi, Bambara, Bundeli, Emilian-Romagnol, Fulani, Gilaki, Hiligaynon, Jamaican Patois, Kumaoni, Lambadi, Lombard, Madurese, Minangkabau, Mazanderani, Nahuatl, Neapolitan, Norwegian (Nynorsk), Piedmontese, Sadri, Santali (Devanagari and Bengali), Sicilian, Sylheti, Venetian and Zazaki

This update changed my English language config to Alphabet for some reason. Alphabet profile looks like an English but glide typing isn't supported there. I wasted some time by trying to understand why glide typing is broken until I decided to change a language profile.

Some issues:

  • glide typing doesn't work in alphabet profile, however, the setting is global and it can be switched on and off without any effect.
  • [NOT NEW] the user can drag a blue line from the numbers button in alphabet profile (screenshot). It looks useless and confusing. Was new to me apparently.
  • back button in the voice typing settings will close the app

I also didn't find handwriting and url suggestions and it looks like those changes are not active for everyone.

Do you have them?