Over the weekend, several beta Gboard features went live, including the Floating keyboard on Android. Gboard 7.7 is now rolling out and we’ve enabled a built-in Clipboard manager, on-device voice typing, new Sand theme, and more in this update.
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.
Back in August, the Google keyboard began work on a built-in clipboard manager. We’ve managed to fully enable the functionality with Gboard 7.7, as seen in the video below. When users copy any text, it will appear in a new “Clipboard” section that’s accessible from the suggestions strip.
<string name=”feature_card_clipboard_description”>You can now copy multiple pieces of text to your clipboard so you can paste them later.</string>
Update 10/26: Gboard’s built-in Clipboard manager is now rolling out for some Gboard 7.7 beta users. Functionality is identical to what we enabled earlier this week. At the moment, there does not appear to be a prompt informing users of the new feature, but try heading into the suggestion strips overflow menu. When live, the new icon should appear at the very right of this list. Be sure to drag it into the primary strip for quicker access.
Recent system-wide copies of text appear here, with a simple tap pasting into the current active text field on your screen. Long pressing on any item opens a menu that allows users to pin frequently used text or delete it. The edit icon in the upper-right corner of the main screen allows users to do both actions en masse.
The same button allows users to enter text directly when the Clipboard is empty. Meanwhile, you can easily undo deletes via the snackbar.
On-device voice typing
Gboard 7.7 is testing “on-device voice” typing where speech gets processed on your phone or tablet directly, and therefore “won’t be sent to Google or stored” in the cloud. Currently available in U.S. English, it results in a “faster experience” with the download file a moderately sized 85MB. Like with Clipboard, it is not yet live.
<string name=”voice_notification_on_device_content”>Tap to enable on-device voice typing (US English, 85MB download)</string>
<string name=”voice_notification_on_device_no_thanks”>NO THANKS</string>
<string name=”voice_notification_on_device_progress”>Downloading on-device voice models</string>
<string name=”voice_notification_on_device_title”>Make voice typing faster?</string>
<string name=”voice_snackbar_text”>Gboard needs microphone access in order to enable voice typing.
<string name=”voice_start_privacy_toast”>”On-device voice typing is active. Speech won’t be sent to Google or stored”</string>
New Sand theme
As with the other two features above, we’ve managed to enable a new lighter “Sand” theme for Gboard. Strings also note the existence of “53 new themes,” but we have yet to uncover them.
<string name=”feature_card_first_party_theme_regal_description”>53 new themes so you can have a personalized, colorful experience.</string>
<string name=”feature_card_first_party_theme_regal_title”>Change keyboard by colors</string>
The arrangement of emoji has been ever so slightly tweaked in Gboard 7.7. This change is again not yet live.
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 is perilous given 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