Since I/O 2022, Google has been releasing large-screen-optimized UIs for its first-party apps. The latest Gboard beta is now rolling out an Android tablet layout that is long overdue and pretty good out of the gate.

Gboard 12.3 for Android introduces a tablet layout that makes the experience feel less like a stretched out phone keyboard. It starts with Gboard getting taller by default, including the background and keys, which are now more like squares than rectangles and therefore easier to tap. However, in portrait mode, the touch targets get narrower.

At the left, you now have keys for Tab and Caps Lock in the first two rows. Enter (or Search) on the right is now a visually prominent pill, while the bottom-right corner is home to a dedicated Hide Keyboard button. Next to that you get Left/Right arrow keys (very useful for editing text) with Comma and Period moved one row above, while Emoji is to the left of the Space bar.

Gboard’s new Android tablet UI

Google has also visually tweaked the suggestions strip to allow for one more shortcut while the microphone button is not so right-aligned anymore.

Gboard’s new tablet layout is so much more optimized for large screens after years of a phone-first UI. It’s currently in the beta channel and will presumably see a wider availability in the coming weeks. This follows Google updating the keyboard app for foldables in recent months, as well as work for the Pixel Tablet.

Previous tablet layout

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Abner Li

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