The latest beta of Gboard is rolling out ahead of the weekend with a number of useful utilities in development. Version 7.5 reveals a built-in clipboard manager, while there are more details about the floating keyboard we spotted last month and a “smarter” search feature.

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.

Built-in Clipboard

Gboard is working on a clipboard history feature according to a new string in version 7.5. ‘Access_points’ are the shortcut icons in the suggestions strip to open Google Translate, access One-handed mode, and quickly Theme the keyboard.

The feature would presumably allow users to see things they recently copied for quick re-pasting into any text field.

<string name=”id_access_point_clipboard”>clipboard</string>

Floating keyboard

Meanwhile, another access_point line points to how users will be able to access the “Floating” keyboard we spotted in our last teardown.

<string name=”label_floating_keyboard_access_point”>Floating</string>

New strings also detail how this keyboard will not be tethered like One-handed mode where the part of the screen that isn’t a row of keys is just a themed, blank sheet. As such, users will be able to see more of their screen when using this new keyboard.

<string name=”pref_key_floating_mode_keyboard_custom_size”>floating_mode_keyboard_custom_size</string>

<string name=”pref_key_floating_mode_keyboard_x_position_proportion”>floating_mode_keyboard_x_position_proportion</string>

<string name=”pref_key_floating_mode_keyboard_y_position_proportion”>floating_mode_keyboard_y_position_proportion</string>

Smart search

Search is Gboard’s claim to fame, with the app working on a feature that automatically loads relevant content “as you type.” The G logo at the left-corner will “transform” and “light up” to alert users about related searches.

<string name=”feature_card_magic_g_description”>As you type, the Google G will light up to let you know there is relevant content. You can turn it off through Gboard Search settings.</string>

<string name=”feature_card_magic_g_title”>Gboard: now smarter!</string>

<string name=”feature_card_magic_g_with_icons_description”>As you type, the Google G will transform to let you know there is relevant content. You can turn it off through Gboard Search settings.</string>

A description for this feature has been in Gboard since at least version 7.2, which was released in May, but Google is continually making tweaks that suggest the functionality is still under development. When live, there should be an option to disable it in “Gboard Search settings.”

<string name=”pref_key_glow_g_candidate_or_tooltip_clicked”>pref_key_glow_g_candidate_or_tooltip_clicked</string>

<string name=”pref_key_glow_g_tooltip_shown_for_candidate_icons”>pref_key_glow_g_tooltip_shown_for_candidate_icons</string>

“Minis”

Spotted in 7.4 last month, customized avatar stickers called “Minis” are now rolling out. Also found in Google Allo and soon Android Messages, the Stickers tab in Gboard features a new icon at the very right to begin the creation process. Taking a selfie generates a figure that vaguely resembles you with the ability to manually customize factors from eye shape to nose position to clothing.

How to update?

You can sign-up for Gboard’s beta program here or by heading to the Play Store listing on Android and scrolling to the bottom. The latest beta version of Gboard is immediately rolled out by Google when it’s available.

We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model moving forward is perilous given upcoming system-level changes from Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.

Dylan contributed to this article


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