The Gboard 7.1 beta began rolling out last evening with the notable addition of auto-spacing after punctuation. Meanwhile, the app is working on a number of other features like new emoji and handwriting settings, as well as preparing the ability to make GIFs.

About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

New Emoji

With new emoji coming this year as part of Unicode 11.0, Gboard is preparing support for some of the upcoming ones. Today’s additions are centered around superheros and supervillians in male/female versions and multiple skin tones. They are not yet live in the app, even on Android P, but we’ve been able to compile their names thanks to Emojipedia.

Black Chess Pawn

Supervillain: Dark Skin Tone, Light Skin Tone, Medium-Light Skin Tone, Medium Skin Tone, Medium-Dark Skin Tone

Woman Supervillain: Medium-Light Skin Tone, Medium Skin Tone,  Medium-Dark Skin Tone, Dark Skin Tone, Light Skin Tone

Man Supervillain: Medium-Light Skin Tone, Medium Skin Tone, Medium-Dark Skin Tone, Dark Skin Tone, Light Skin Tone

Superhero: Dark Skin Tone, Light Skin Tone, Medium-Light Skin Tone, Medium Skin Tone, Medium-Dark Skin Tone

Woman Superhero: Medium-Light Skin Tone, Medium Skin Tone, Medium-Dark Skin Tone, Dark Skin Tone, Light Skin Tone

Man Superhero: Medium-Light Skin Tone, Medium Skin Tone, Medium-Dark Skin Tone, Dark Skin Tone, Light Skin Tone

Handwriting settings

With version 6.8 in December, Gboard added a handwriting keyboard. As you scribble, the keyboard scrolls to provide users with more space to input text. Upcoming “Handwriting settings” could allow users to set the speed of that scrolling (“Handwriting speed”), while you might also be able to set the thickness of strokes (“Handwriting stroke width.”)

<string name=”setting_handwriting_stroke_width_seekbar_text_left”>Thin</string>

<string name=”setting_handwriting_stroke_width_seekbar_text_right”>Thick</string>

<string name=”setting_handwriting_stroke_width_title”>Handwriting stroke width</string>

<string name=”setting_handwriting_timeout_seekbar_text_left”>Slow</string>

<string name=”setting_handwriting_timeout_seekbar_text_right”>Fast</string>

<string name=”setting_handwriting_timeout_title”>Handwriting speed</string>

<string name=”setting_handwriting_title”>Handwriting settings</string>

<string name=”handwriting_speed_fast”>Fast</string>

<string name=”handwriting_speed_midfast”>Mid-fast</string>

<string name=”handwriting_speed_midslow”>Mid-slow</string>

<string name=”handwriting_speed_normal”>Normal</string>

<string name=”handwriting_speed_slow”>Slow</string>

<string name=”handwriting_speed_very_fast”>Very fast</string>

<string name=”handwriting_speed_very_slow”>Very slow</string>

<string name=”handwriting_stroke_extra_thick”>Extra thick</string>

<string name=”handwriting_stroke_extra_thin”>Extra thin</string>

<string name=”handwriting_stroke_midthick”>Mid-thick</string>

<string name=”handwriting_stroke_midthin”>Mid-thin</string>

<string name=”handwriting_stroke_normal”>Normal</string>

<string name=”handwriting_stroke_thick”>Thick</string>

<string name=”handwriting_stroke_thin”>Thin</string>

Android P support

Gboard is the latest app after Android Messages and Google Phone to begin adding support for the next major version of Android.



Country-specific TLDs

When in Chrome or other browser apps, users can long press on the period to reveal and enter common top-level domains like .com, .org, .net, .edu, and .gov. Gboard is now working on adding more country-specific ones for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

<string name=”label_dot_com_long_press_ko”>.kr,,.net,.org,.gov</string>

<string name=”label_dot_com_long_press_zh_cn”>.cn,.net,.org,.edu,.gov</string>

<string name=”label_dot_com_long_press_zh_hk”>.hk,.net,.org,.edu,.gov</string>

<string name=”label_dot_com_long_press_zh_tw”>.tw,.net,.org,.edu,.gov</string>

<string name=”label_sentence_with_dot_com_long_press_ko”>.com,.kr,,.net,.org,.gov</string>

<string name=”label_sentence_with_dot_com_long_press_zh_cn”>.com,.cn,.net,.org,.edu,.gov</string>

<string name=”label_sentence_with_dot_com_long_press_zh_hk”>.com,.hk,.net,.org,.edu,.gov</string>

<string name=”label_sentence_with_dot_com_long_press_zh_tw”>.com,.tw,.net,.org,.edu,.gov</string>

Digit mode

Gboard might be working on a new dedicated keyboard likely related to entering numbers, if the name is any indication. The app currently has a view when entering text into number-only fields, and it’s not clear how this one would be different.

<string name=”digit_mode_disabled_mode_content_desc”>Digit mode disabled</string>

<string name=”digit_mode_enabled_mode_content_desc”>Digit mode enabled</string>

<string name=”disable_digit_mode”>Turn off digit mode</string>

<string name=”enable_digit_mode”>Turn on digit mode</string>

Make a GIF

In version 6.9, we spotted Gboard letting users make their own GIFs through an integration with Motion GIFs. This feature is already live on the app’s iOS counterpart, and is likely nearing a launch on Android according to these latest strings that ask users to grant camera permission.

<string name=”dynamic_rate_limit_candidate_types”>MAKE_A_GIF</string>

<string name=”dynamic_rate_limit_interaction_strategy”>RESET</string>

<string name=”dynamic_rate_limit_pref_key_prefix”>pref_key_dynamic_rate_limit_impressions_</string>

<string name=”dynamic_rate_limit_scaling_strategy”>EXPONENTIAL</string>

<string name=”pref_key_makeagif_camera_permission_granted”>pref_key_makeagif_camera_permission_granted</string>

Dylan contributed to this article

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: