Gboard in recent weeks began rolling out a built-in Clipboard, while the iOS client received advanced theming options. The latest beta rolled out yesterday, with Gboard 8.2 revealing work on Federated Learning and Personalization.

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.

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Material Theme settings

We first enabled a Material Theme redesign of the settings page with Gboard 8.1. With Gboard 8.2 this week, it is slowly rolling out. The primary change adds icons next to each menu that leverage the Material Theme style of bold outlines and hollow interiors. This addition makes it easier to distinguish between all the items.

Make a GIF removal

Gboard 7.2 last May added the ability to “Make a GIF” right from the keyboard app. Users could record themselves, customize, add text, and quickly access any previous creations. Google is planning to deprecate this functionality, though your creations can be saved to the gallery.

<string name=”makeagif_dep_mygifs_needsave”>The GIF Camera feature will go away soon. Save your custom GIFs</string>

<string name=”makeagif_dep_mygifs_saving”>Saving your GIFs to the gallery</string>

<string name=”makeagif_dep_mygifs_done”>The GIF Camera feature will go away soon. Any custom GIFs have been saved. Send Feedback by pressing here.

Gboard 8.2 GIF camera

Federated learning + Personalization

With federated learning, users can benefit from ML improvements across a fleet of devices while preserving security and privacy. Personalization and other improvements are processed on the device, with only an anonymized summary sent back to the cloud. The updated model with advancements from a number of users are then delivered to devices in a repeating cycle.

<string name=”setting_fl_toggle_title”>Federated learning</string>

<string name=”setting_fl_toggle_summary”>Help improve Gboard without exposing your typed words to Google. Models are sent and updated when you are charging and on Wi-Fi.</string>

A future version of Gboard could expose a “Federated learning” setting directly to end users after several years of testing. It comes as the “Share snippets” toggle no longer appears under the Advanced menu, with version 8.2 removing the related strings.

Meanwhile, a new — possibly related — “Personalization” option could be in development to have Gboard adapt to “your typing data and usage patterns.”

<string name=”setting_personalization_title”>Personalization</string>

<string name=”setting_personalization_summary”>Adapt Gboard to your typing data and usage patterns.</string>

Gboard 8.2 Personalization

Clear data

Gboard works to recognize how you type and subsequently improves over time. The keyboard might be gaining an option to “Clear all data that Gboard has learned to personalize your typing experience.” At the moment, users can “Delete learned words” in Dictionary settings. The new option appears to be more encompassing by removing other “data,” which could be related to the upcoming Personalization feature above.

<string name=”setting_clear_all_data_summary”>Clear all data that Gboard has learned to personalize your typing experience.</string>

<string name=”setting_clear_all_data_title”>Delete learned words and data</string>

<string name=”setting_clear_data_category_key”>setting_clear_data_category_key</string>

<string name=”setting_clear_data_category_title”>Clear data</string>

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.

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About the Author

Abner Li

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