The latest beta of Gboard for Android is rolling out now with several new features and minor aesthetic tweaks. Key borders are now rounded in version 6.2, while there is a new ‘pop-out’ mode to drag the keyboard freely around the screen.

Slightly reminiscent of the stock iOS keyboard, key borders now feature rounded corners instead of being completely squared off.

Tapping the ‘G’ icon reveals a new keyboard for faster navigation. Featuring large up/down/left/right keys, as well as buttons for copy, paste, and moving forwards/backwards, this optimized layout is especially geared for quickly moving around and editing text.

In addition to emojis, the suggestions strip now also surfaces relevant GIFs. After typing certain words like ‘hey’ and jumping a line, the left most suggestion in the row will open up GIF search when in a compatible app.

The most notable addition in version 6.2 is a new pop-out mode. Enabled by first going into one-handed mode, there is a new button in the bottom corner to pop the keyboard out. When active, this smaller window can be moved so that it consumes up to two-thirds of the screen. The size of the keyboard can be further adjusted by dragging the corners.

Typing space is visibly reduced, with the area surrounding the keyboard showing a blank background. A more useful implementation would float the keyboard so that users can see what is behind it.

You can sign-up for the beta in the Play Store. Version 6.2 will likely roll out to the stable channel over the next few weeks.

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Abner Li

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