Last month, Gboard started testing an updated theme and “enhanced voice typing” for Pixel phones with the new Google Assistant. Gboard 10.2 rolled out to beta users last night with work on expanding themes, as well as a handful of other features.

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.

Existing theme redesign

At the start of last month, the default keyboard themes were redesigned for some users. It’s still not widely rolled out with Gboard 10.2, but Google is gearing for their launch with newly added introductory prompts:

Meet a new theme for your keyboard

Meanwhile, Google is working to bring the redesign to existing keyboard themes. The change is less obvious on the colorful variants given the lack of a background sheet with rounded top corners. However, the use of Google Sans is quite apparent, as are the increased margins that ever so slightly shrink the keyboard.

You’ll notice a “New design” toggle in the Theme picker above, but that will likely not be a user-facing option once rolled out.

Screenshots in Gboard clipboard

Besides text, the clipboard today supports copying images. Version 10.2 is working to “Add screenshots to your Gboard clipboard for easier pasting.” The keyboard will presumably get access to captures that you take and surface them in supported text fields/applications.

Gboard suggestions 

Gboard today offers three or so suggestions as you type. The app could soon offer more if users tap the chevron icon next to the voice microphone. This will list alternates with a special UI for navigating and correcting at the right edge.

Spelling and Grammar settings

One change that is live in Gboard 10.2 is a new “Spelling and Grammar” section in the “Text correction” menu. You can enable/disable whether “Spell check” highlights misspellings during typing, while there’s quick access to “Look up contact names.” That option has always existed but it was previously only accessible in system settings, which is also given a shortcut today.  

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.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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