Google’s Gboard is among the most popular keyboard apps and is constantly updated with new features. Recently, Google added support for Android 11’s emojis on Gboard, just a week after activating Smart Compose predictions messaging apps. Now, Google is preparing to add a Google Lens shortcut, Google Assistant dictation, and support for automatic switching between light and dark themes on Gboard.
We spotted references to the features coming to Gboard version 9.6.3 beta that came in earlier this week adding with Android 11’s emoji. The following new strings were found part of the latest beta version of the Gboard app, hinting at new dictation feature possibly to replace the current voice typing feature:
Clear Button Clear Close Button Close Close Mic Button Search Button Search Send Button Send Speak now to type hands free
In addition to the typing with Google Assistant, Google is also adding a new “Default Black” theme to complement the “Default White” theme. 9to5Google showcased this by reverse-engineering the newly added features in the latest build. The new black theme comes without the colored enter key and may receive a “System Auto” feature in the theme to switch between the Default Light and Dark themes automatically.
In addition, Google is adding Google Sans font to replace Roboto on the letter keys in Gboard.
9to5Google also highlighted the new shortcut for Google Lens and Google Assistant in the shortcuts row above the numbers row on Gboard. As per their report, the Google Lens shortcut only launches the app and there is no deeper integration for it. Meanwhile, the Assistant shortcut, which has been in works since Gboard 8.5 from last year, is still inactive. However, as the above set of strings spotted by us may suggest, the feature may finally start working soon.
To get these features before most of the users, you can sign up for the Gboard beta either by clicking here or by scrolling down on the Google Play Store listing and tapping on “Join” under the Beta section.