Google’s most recent design changes to Gboard introduced various Material You flourishes. A small update recently tweaked Gboard themes so they now extend to the navigation bar on more Android phones.

This UI behavior isn’t new on Pixel phones, or even OnePlus/Oppo devices. It involves a color Gboard theme extending to the nav bar so that the background of this thin strip looks the same for a more seamless visual experience. This is most apparent on colorful backgrounds — especially Dynamic Color, while the difference is minimal on dark/light themes.

On other phones, the navigation bar (gesture or 3-button) would remain black or white (depending on the system theme) for a somewhat jarring mismatch. 

Gboard recently changed this so that the keyboard tints navigation bars on many more Android devices. Friend of the site RKBDI notes that Gboard started preparing for this change back in May.

It’s live on Samsung (Android 12) devices we checked today running the latest Gboard beta (12.0). 

Old vs. new behavior

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Abner Li

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