Gboard 7.8 rolled out last night in beta with a handful of new voice typing features and changes. In addition to last version’s on-device voice recognition, users will soon be able to associate a Google Account and manually select a language. We’ve also enabled a redesigned emoji selection interface.
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.
Google Material Theme
Back in July, we spotted Gboard working on a Google Material Theme and we’ve now managed to enable it with the latest version of the app. Rounded corners are found throughout the redesign, including on search fields and other cards.
Meanwhile, the revamped expressive media picker that we spotted in-development last month sees some additional changes. The search field to lookup emoji is no longer full-width, but just a button at the top-left corner. That space is now occupied by the category picker, which has been moved from the bottom to account for how the emoji list now vertically scrolls rather than being a left-to-right swipe.
Meanwhile, the GIF picker features a more compact search bar with the category switcher to the right of this field. GIF results are now also in a list format, while the kaomoji sheet adds a history section at the top. Elsewhere, Gboard mostly switches away from underlined tab indicators to highlighted icons.
The Google Material Theme changes in Gboard are subtle, but are a nice touch.
Clipboard “clips,” organization
Work on the built-in Clipboard is underway with Gboard 7.8 tweaking strings to make the feature more clear. Copied text is now refered to as a “clip,” and sorted by “Recent” and “Older” categories. This functionality began rolling out to some users, but is not yet widely available.
<string name=”clipboard_body_empty_label”>Your clipboard is empty</string>
<string name=”clipboard_body_empty_tutorial_label”>Once you copy a piece of text, it will show up here.</string>
<string name=”clipboard_tooltip_hint_click”>Tap on a clip to paste it.</string>
<string name=”clipboard_tooltip_hint_long_click”>Long-press a clip to pin or delete it.</string>
<string name=”clipboard_tooltip_text”>Text was copied to Gboard</string>
Gboard’s primary feature is built-in search, with the keyboard now working on the ability to delete the past three queries from the dropdown menu.
<string name=”delete_recent_search_candidate_dialog_title”>Delete this search from your history?</string>
Redesigned emoji panel
Gboard 7.8 is working on a redesigned emoji panel that we’ve managed to enable. The primary difference is a horizontally scrollable pane instead of a vertical one with the previous tabbed design. Text labels act as dividers, though users can still jump to a section from the bottom carousel of icons.
<string name=”emoji_category_animals_nature”>ANIMALS AND NATURE</string>
<string name=”emoji_category_emotions”>SMILEYS AND EMOTIONS</string>
<string name=”emoji_category_food_drink”>FOOD AND DRINK</string>
<string name=”emoji_category_recent”>RECENTLY USED</string>
<string name=”emoji_category_smiley_people”>SMILEYS AND PEOPLE</string>
<string name=”emoji_category_travel_places”>TRAVEL AND PLACES</string>
<string name=”emoji_empty_non_recent_category”>No emojis available</string>
<string name=”emoji_empty_recent_category”>”You haven’t used any emojis yet”</string>
On-device voice typing
Gboard 7.8 continues work on “Faster voice typing,” with introductory text noting how once the on-device model is downloaded, it will work offline.
<string name=”voice_notification_on_device_content”>Download faster voice typing on your device (85MB, US-English). Once downloaded, you can use it offline.</string>
<string name=”voice_notification_on_device_title”>Faster voice typing</string>
Saving voice typing history
Gboard 7.8 reveals work on associating a Google Account with the voice keyboard to save your audio queries and transcriptions to Voice & Audio activity, similar to Assistant or Search. The app will gain an interface to select an account on your device. However, there is an option to use “Gboard voice typing without an account,” where “Audio history will not be recorded.”
<string name=”setting_voice_account_no_account_summary”>Using Gboard voice typing without an account</string>
<string name=”setting_voice_account_title”>Google Account</string>
<string name=”setting_voice_account_with_account_summary”>Using %s for Gboard voice typing</string>
<string name=”setting_voice_activity_link_text”>Audio history will be saved to your account, under Voice &#38; Audio activity. <b><linkable>Manage</linkable></b></string>
<string name=”setting_voice_without_sign_in_text”>Audio history will not be recorded.</string>
<string name=”voice_sign_in_denied_snackbar_text”>Your audio history will not be recorded. You can change this in settings.</string>
<string name=”voice_sign_in_description”>Audio will be saved to your account, under Voice & Audio activity. You can change this anytime from settings.</string>
<string name=”voice_typing_feature_name”>voice typing</string>
Voice typing language
Meanwhile, a related development allows users to manually select a language for voice typing in settings, presumably in the same menu as the feature above.
<string name=”feature_card_asr_description”>Now Gboard lets you type by voice in your language. Just tap the microphone icon and speak.</string>
<string name=”feature_card_asr_title”>Try voice typing in your language</string>
<string name=”voice_language_picker_subtitle”>You can select language to voice type.</string>
<string name=”s3_asr_language_tags_list”>af, am, ar-ae, ar-bh, ar-dj, ar-dz, ar-eg, ar-ly, ar-ma, ar-om, ar-sa, ar-sd, ar-tn, az-az, bn-bd, bn-in, bs, ca, cs, de-at, de-be, de-ch, de-de, de-lu, el-cy, el-gr, en-au, en-ca, en-gb, en-in, en-ke, en-ng, en-ph, en-us, en-za, es-419, es-ar, es-es, es-mx, es-us, et-ee, eu-es, fa, fi, fr-002, fr-be, fr-ca, fr-ch, fr-fr, gl-es, gu-in, hi-in, hr, hu, hy-am, in, is, it-ch, it-it, iw-il, ja-jp, jv-latn, ka-ge, km-kh, kn-in, ko, lo-la, lt, lv, ml-in, mr-in, ms-bn, ms-my, ms-sg, nb, ne-in, ne-np, nl-be, nl-nl, pl, pt-002, pt-ao, pt-br, pt-mo, pt-pt, ro-md, ro-ro, ru-by, ru-kg, ru-ru, si-lk, sk, sl, sr-latn-rs, srp-latn-me, su-latn, sv-fi, sv-se, sw, ta-in, ta-lk, ta-sg, te-in, th-th, tl, tr-cy, tr-tr, ur-in, ur-pk, zh-cn, zh-hk, zh-tw,
<string name=”s3_langid_languages_list”>af, ar, bg, ca, cs, da, de, el, en, es, eu, fa, fi, fr, gl, hi, hr, hu, in, is, it, iw, ja, ko, lt, ms, nb, nl, pl, pt, ro, ru, sk, sl, sr, sv, th, tl, tr, uk, vi, zh, zu,
Sand keyboard theme
Spotted in version 7.7, the new Sand theme is now available with Gboard 7.8.
Light and dark gradient themes
In addition to adding the above color theme, Gboard 7.8 adds 25 light and 28 dark gradients. These 53 chromatic variants have to be downloaded before previewed and shift in hue vertically. The enter button in the bottom-right corner on all these options are boldly colored to stand out.
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