Early last month, we spotted Gboard testing a redesigned interface for voice input with a dedicated key and centered look. Google’s keyboard app for Android is now testing another minor tweak to that interface.

Essentially, this Gboard A/B test places the microphone icon to initiate voice input in a circle that adds a nice bit of visual symmetry with the Google icon on the far left. It also helps the key stand out in the text-heavy suggestions row.

However, the new button unfortunately does not respect themes and always maintains its white background. It sticks out, but is again on par with Search.

The “Speak now” animation retains its right-sided position, with this change being less ambitious than adding a dedicated voice input key to the left of the space bar as we saw on version 7.0.

At the moment, this A/B test is only visible on one of our devices running the latest Gboard 7.1 beta. That update added a useful auto-spacing after punctuation correction option, while our APK Insight revealed work on new emoji, handwriting settings, and GIF making.

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Abner Li

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