Earlier this month, Google rolled out on-device, real-time speech transcription in Gboard for Pixel phones. Gboard 8.1 entered beta this afternoon with a new look for the growing menu of shortcuts and the ability to delete old searches.

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.


Clipboard first emerged in Gboard 7.5 last August, and became available for some users in October. It now appears to be more widely rolling out to beta users this evening, with your last one or two copies from today appearing. The icon has been available for some time now in the suggestions strip, but the feature remained blank.

When live, users are greeted to a Tips section that explains how the Clipboard works. Tapping on a clip will automatically paste it into your current text field. Pressing and holding expands the clip to copy, pin (which creates a new section underneath Recents), or delete. The latter is also possible by swiping away, and can be done in bulk with the edit icon. You can also manually create clips, as well as quickly turn off the feature

Overflow menu

Gboard has a wealth of tools like Google Translate, a Text Editing keyboard, and soon a Clipboard. To see all these shortcuts, users have to visit the overflow menu where the remaining four (or five) items are shown side-by-side and nearly edge-to-edge.

Version 8.1 is testing a new view that presents these items in two rows to better take advantage of the screen real estate. The new look is enabled by a sever-side update, while the (still broken) Clipboard might not be visible for all users.

Deleting Gboard searches

As we spotted in version 7.8 from January, Gboard 8.1 adds the ability to delete your recent in-app searches by holding down on a query until a confirmation prompt appears. Deleting will bring back a suggested query to the top of the list, with this feature already live.


Under the Advanced menu in settings, there’s a new “Candidate runtime debug” toggle to “Check this candidate.” This is not a user-facing feature, and will likely be removed.

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

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com