Over the past several beta releases, Gboard has been A/B testing a slew of new features. Gboard 8.3 enables many of the server-side changes, including Material Theme settings, trending GIF searches, and others.

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.

Material Theme settings

One A/B test that’s now enabled by default is the Material Theme redesign of settings. Google Sans is leveraged throughout while each item in the main list is accompanied by an icon. Menus lose the line providing separation between toggles, and the status bar is now white to merge with the app bar. After updating, it might take a minute for this page to refresh.


Always-expanded emoji search

The Google keyboard recently rolled out an expressive media picker that adopts a vertical scrolling list. When viewing the emoji page, Gboard 8.3 displays an expanded “Search emoji” field in the top-left corner that’s more apparent than the small magnifying glass icon. When users scroll through categories, the bar automatically retracts.

Trending searches

Version 8.3 also widely introduces “Trending searches” when looking for GIFs.

Personalization setting

Google has tweaked the “Personalization suggestions” toggle under the Text correction menu to “Personalization.

Sticker history

The history page throws up a sad emoji when you haven’t used any stickers. Go use some stickers!

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: abner@9to5g.com