Back in July, a teardown of Gboard v7.4 revealed Google's intent to add a floating keyboard to the experience. With v7.6, it looks like that keyboard is ready for prime time. There are also signs of upcoming Halloween GIFs, plus quite a few new languages.

Floating Keyboard

The floating keyboard works like similar floating keyboards we've seen in the past. Using a handle located at the bottom, it can be positioned anywhere on the screen; and after moving, there are handles at the corners for resizing it to fill as much or little space as you like. If the keyboard idles in the same place without being touched for long enough, it will fade to about 50% opacity to allow some of the screen space behind it to show through.

The keyboard is fully functional in floating mode and all of the operations appear to work normally, including glide typing, suggestions, different keyboards, etc.

To enable the floating keyboard, open an app that will allow the keyboard to show suggestions and use the little arrow on the left side to open special features, then hit the 3-dot overflow menu to see all of them. The last item in the list should be called Floating. Tap on that and you're ready to go. Keep in mind that items in this list can be long-pressed and positioned in the menu above (so you don't have to hit the 3-dot menu). Strangely, the toggle isn't located in the one-handed operation screen, which seems like an equally good place to have it.

Be aware, a couple of people have reported that the floating keyboard was only briefly available to them in the app before it disappeared several minutes later. Google is probably keeping it under wraps while testing is completed, then it will be enabled for everybody. If you'd like to try the floating keyboard without fear of it vanishing right away, install this update while your Wi-Fi and cellular data are disabled – or just turn on airplane mode – and don't turn them back on until you're done messing with the keyboard. Even after re-enabling connectivity, it's still operational on my phone after about 15 minutes, so ymmv.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are wrong or inaccurate. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that products could change or may be canceled. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk. All screenshots and images are real unless otherwise stated, and images are only altered to remove personal information.

Halloween GIFs

With Halloween fast approaching, there's no surprise that we'll be firing off plenty of messages with appropriately spooky memes. To fit the theme, Gboard will be adding a category for Halloween GIFs. Need I say more?

<string name="gif_category_string_halloween">halloween</string>
<bool name="enable_halloween_gif_category">false</bool>

New and updated language support

As usual, there are also a bunch of new languages, dialects, and variants supported in the new update. While it's hard to identify each and every one, I can at least show the list of the names added and hopefully you'll recognize one that matters to you or those in your life. (Sorry, some names and letters are lost during extraction, which is why they have question marks or boxes in your browser.)

Sub-locales

  • Tosk?risht [als_AL]
  • Pangcah [ami_TW]
  • Mapudungun [arn_CL]
  • Basa Bali [ban_ID]
  • ???? [blt_VN]
  • ???????? [bs_XB]
  • Sahap Simalungun [bts_ID]
  • Cakap Karo [btx_ID]
  • Alas [btz_ID]
  • West-Frysk [fy]
  • ???????? [gag_XB]
  • Basa Gayo [gay_ID]
  • Ibibio [ibb_NG]
  • L?tzebuergesch [lb]
  • ????? [lez_RU]
  • Lak??tiyapi [lkt_US]
  • ??????? [nod_XF]
  • Chinyanja [ny]
  • Pidgin [pcm_NG]
  • ???????? [pnt_GR]
  • ???????? [pnt_GR]
  • Chanka runasimi [quy_PE]
  • Qusqu qhichwa [quz_PE]
  • ????? [rkt_XE]
  • Davvis?megiella [se_NO]
  • ???????????? [sou_TH]
  • Dzwa Tiv [tiv_NG]
  • ????????? [tts_TH]
  • Chitumbuka [tum_MW]
  • Kamtok [wes_CM]
  • IsiXhosa [xh]
  • Iyaka [yaf_CD]

Localized names for sub-locales

  • Tosk Albanian [als_AL]
  • Amis (Taiwan) [ami_TW]
  • Arabic (Ta\'izzi-Adeni) [ar_DJ]
  • Arabic (Libya) [ar_LY]
  • Arabic (Hejazi) [ar_SA]
  • Mapuche (Chile) [arn_CL]
  • Balinese (Indonesia) [ban_ID]
  • Tai Dam [blt_VN]
  • Bosnian (Cyrillic) [bs_XB]
  • Simalungun (Indonesia) [bts_ID]
  • Karo (Indonesia) [btx_ID]
  • Alas (Indonesia) [btz_ID]
  • Gagauz (Cyrillic) [gag_XB]
  • Gayo (Indonesia) [gay_ID]
  • Ibibio (Nigeria) [ibb_NG]
  • Javanese (Latin) [jv]
  • Lezgian (Russia) [lez_RU]
  • Lakota [lkt_US]
  • Northern Thai [nod_XF]
  • Nigerian Pidgin [pcm_NG]
  • Pontic Greek (Greece) [pnt_GR]
  • Central Malay (Indonesia) [pse_ID]
  • Ayacucho Quechua [quy_PE]
  • Cusco Quechua [quz_PE]
  • Rangpuri (Bengali) [rkt_XE]
  • Southern Thai [sou_TH]
  • Tiv (Nigeria) [tiv_NG]
  • Isan (Thailand) [tts_TH]
  • Tumbuka [tum_MW]
  • Cameroon Pidgin [wes_CM]
  • Yaka [yaf_CD]

Variants

  • Dagbani [dagbani]
  • Godwari [godwari]
  • Gujari [gujari]
  • K?lsch [kolsch]
  • Korku [korku]
  • Kutchi [kutchi]
  • Maasai [maasai]
  • Meadow Mari [meadow_mari]
  • Merwari [merwari]
  • Mossi [mossi]
  • Northern Luri [northern_luri]
  • Pokot [pokot]
  • Southern Luri [southern_luri]
  • Swiss German [swiss_german]
  • Tabasaran [tabasaran]

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

Gboard - the Google Keyboard
Gboard - the Google Keyboard
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
  • Thanks:
  • Moshe