A new version of Gboard hit last night and it appears to be taking a second run at enabling the clipboard that began going live a few months ago. Unfortunately, there are still some problems. Gboard is also taking a run at adding a feature to help your friends and family enable additional languages on their devices, and a tool for exporting your personal dictionary. And as usual, there are dozens of new languages supported for people from around the world.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • Clipboard manager

Alternate Emoji screen

Emoji interface updates

Left: Older style. Center + Right: New style.

Reports have come in a few times about an alternate layout for the emoji keyboard. The new arrangement places the category icons from the bottom of the list up to the top and spreads them out to fill the entire width of the screen. The emoji themselves are also enlarged to fill in the blank space between each other.

Like many other features in Gboard, this is rolling out somewhat randomly at this time. I still don't have it, but it seems to be hitting more people than the last time it appeared. We'll have to wait to see whether it continues to roll out to everybody or reverts back to the old look again. There are some other similar tests that bring visual tweaks to this portion of the keyboard, so you may see some other changes popping up.

  • Thanks:
  • Taras

Clipboard returns, perhaps

We've seen months of development on a clipboard manager feature, and for a very brief stint, it was even live for a few users before vanishing again. Now it looks like things are starting up again as the v8.0 update begins relaunching the clipboard manager, but things may have to turn around again.

  

To find the clipboard feature, hit the little arrow at the far left of the row of suggestions, then hit the overflow button on the right side of the menu that appears, then you'll find the clipboard icon in the group below. Like all of those items, you can long-press and drag to move them into the main list of items above. Tap on the clipboard and you should get the welcome card.

Thanks, Moshe.

The clipboard will keep any recently copied piece of text in its memory for one hour. You just have to open it with the steps above — again, you can drag it into that menu bar for faster access — and you just have to tap on a clip to paste it into your current application. Clips can also be preserved for longer by pinning them, which can be done by hitting the pencil icon in the corner.

If you turned on the clipboard and decide that you don't want it on anymore, just open it up and tap the little toggle next to the pencil icon to turn it off.

 

This all sounds great, but unfortunately, it's not working for a lot of people. For starters, a lot of devices simply won't have the clipboard feature yet because Gboard uses staged rollouts to enable it, and there's often a delay of a few minutes to several hours even if your device is chosen to get it.

However, the bigger issue is that the clipboard is broken for a lot of users. While it can be opened, clips never actually appear in the list, nor can they be added manually. Various tricks like force closing or restarting the device don't help either. I haven't been able to pin down a definite reason the clipboard works on some devices and not others. It doesn't appear to be linked to any particular OS version, OEM, or geography, so maybe there's a link to some other installed software, or just an entirely random bug. We can probably expect to see an update rolling out in the next few days that fixes the issue for the rest of us.

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.

Promoting Gboard's language capabilities

Gboard is working on an interesting new twist for a classic promotional feature. We're all used to the idea of apps that encourage you to share them with other people. Most of these offer nothing more than a convenient way to spit out a link to download the app and a short promotional message, and Gboard will basically do the same on the surface, but it will be doing a bit more than that.

The message Gboard crafts will read like this (with whichever languages you're using):

I'm using Gboard to type in English and German. You can try it at: https://gboard.app.goo.gl/(something)

For users without Gboard installed, the link will probably direct them to the Play Store (or the App Store on an iOS device) where they can download Gboard.

What makes this special if the recipient already has Gboard installed. Tapping the link will redirect users back to Gboard where they will be invited to enable the languages mentioned in the message.

strings

<string name="first_run_sharing_description">Enable these languages that were shared with you</string>

<string name="gboard_link_receiving_title">Enable the languages that were shared with you in Gboard:</string>
<string name="gboard_link_receiving_share">Want to share with others?</string>
<string name="gboard_link_receiving_select_language_text">&lt;b&gt;&lt;linkable&gt;Add more languages&lt;/linkable&gt;&lt;/b&gt;</string>
<string name="gboard_link_receiving_continue_button_label">Continue</string>
<string name="gboard_link_receiving_positive_button_label">DONE</string>

<string name="gboard_sharing_description_source">Share these languages so they can type in these languages:</string>
<string name="gboard_sharing_negative_button_label">Cancel</string>
<string name="gboard_sharing_positive_button_label">Share</string>
<string name="gboard_sharing_subject">Type in your language with Gboard</string>
<string name="gboard_sharing_title_source">Share Gboard to others</string>
<string name="label_sharing_access_point">Share</string>
<string name="id_access_point_sharing">sharing</string>

<string name="setting_sharing">Share Gboard</string>

<string name="sharing_app_chooser_dialog_title">Share through</string>
<string name="sharing_content">I\'m using Gboard to type. You can try it at:</string>
<string name="sharing_content_all_enabled">You\'re already using Gboard.</string>
<string name="sharing_content_all_enabled_variant_1">You\'re already using Gboard in %1$s.</string>
<string name="sharing_content_all_enabled_variant_2">You\'re already using Gboard in %1$s and %2$s.</string>
<string name="sharing_content_variant_1">I\'m using Gboard to type in %1$s. You can try it at:</string>
<string name="sharing_content_variant_2">I\'m using Gboard to type in %1$s and %2$s. You can try it at:</string>
<string name="sharing_link_receive_activity">com.google.android.apps.inputmethod.libs.sharing.SharingLinkReceiveActivity</string>
<string name="sharing_notice_app_whitelist" />

<bool name="enable_one_tap_to_share">false</bool>
<bool name="enable_sharing">false</bool>
<bool name="enable_sharing_link_receiver">false</bool>
<string name="pref_key_has_user_shared">has_user_shared</string>

<activity android:name="com.google.android.apps.inputmethod.latin.LinkReceivingLauncherActivity" android:exported="true" android:label="@string/ime_name_ref" android:theme="@style/SettingsTheme.Transparent">
<intent-filter>
<action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
<category android:name="android.intent.category.BROWSABLE" />
<category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
<data android:host="gboard.app.goo.gl" android:scheme="https" />
</intent-filter>
</activity>
<activity android:name="com.google.android.apps.inputmethod.libs.sharing.SharingLinkReceiveActivity" android:exported="false" android:theme="@style/AppThemeSelector.NoTitle" />
<meta-data android:name="module:com.google.android.apps.inputmethod.libs.sharing.ISharingExtension" android:value="@xml/extension_sharing" />
<meta-data android:name="module:com.google.android.apps.inputmethod.libs.sharing.ISharingLinkReceiveModule" android:value="@xml/extension_sharing_link_receiver" />
<meta-data android:name="module:com.google.android.apps.inputmethod.libs.sharing.ISharingNoticeModule" android:value="@xml/extension_sharing_notice" />

Now, you might be wondering why this is special. The short answer is that this makes it easy for users to help friends and family turn on more languages.

For those that aren't technically proficient, Gboard's settings aren't very easy to find. If somebody didn't already know they could get there by long-pressing the comma (,) button, or through the app drawer (assuming Gboard isn't hidden), the only other place to look is in a phone's Settings app. While that will eventually lead to the right place, it's still very unintuitive; and once you do find Gboard's settings, enabling a new language can also be a little complicated.

Basically, imagine talking to your technologically-challenged multilingual parents. You could go through explaining step-by-step how to get to the right screen and turn on a new language and hope they don't get mixed up along the way... Or you could open Gboard and send a single message, tell them to tap a link and then confirm the languages they should add.

Personal dictionary export

If you've ever considered switching away from Gboard, or perhaps you're just trying to make some backups, you might have been a little agitated that your personal dictionary was locked inside of the app. Short of manually copying every entry one-by-one, there wasn't much else you could do. A new line of text suggests there will be an export function added that will make it possible to get the data out for use elsewhere.

<string name="personal_dictionary_preference_title_export">Export</string>

This may or may not really be done, given that there's no sign of an import function. In all likelihood, this is going to become a tool for moving shortcuts lists between phones in cases that automatic sync can't be used, or for sharing shortcuts with other people, and both of those scenarios necessitate some type of import function. We'll be keeping an eye out for more.

New languages

With new versions comes support for more languages. 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 as a result of software that doesn't support all alphabets, which is why they have question marks or boxes in your browser.)

Language tag

  • Assyrian [aii]
  • Limbu [lif]
  • Ojibwe [oj]
  • Mundari [unr]

Localized names for sub-locales

  • Bahasa Ambon [abs_ID]
  • ܣܘܪܝܬ [aii_SY]
  • بلوچی مکرانی [bcc_PK]
  • بلوچی مکرانی [bcc_XT]
  • بلتی [bft_XT]
  • महासू [bfz_XT]
  • رخشانین بلوچی [bgn_PK]
  • رخشانین بلوچی [bgn_XT]
  • بلوچی زبان [bgp_XC]
  • بلوچی زبان [bgp_XT]
  • Rumeli Türkçesi [bgx_TR]
  • ભીલી [bhb_XU]
  • Betsimisaraka [bzc_MG]
  • Cuyonon [cyo_PH]
  • فارسی [fa]
  • فارسی [fa_XT]
  • Fulfulde [fub_CM]
  • Pulaar [fuc_SN]
  • Gbɛ̀po [gbo_LR]
  • আ\'চিক [grt_XT]
  • तमु क्यी [gvr_XT]
  • Itawit [itv_PH]
  • کھوار [khw_XT]
  • Kankana-ey [kne_PH]
  • ከምባት [ktb_XF]
  • پارڪري ڪوۯي [kvx_PK]
  • ଖୋଣ୍ଡା [kxu_IN]
  • Lama [las_TG]
  • ᰛᰩᰵᰛᰧᰵᰶ [lep_IN]
  • ᤕᤠᤰᤌᤢᤱ [lif_XF]
  • याक्थुङ [lif_XT]
  • اَچُمی [lrl_IR]
  • मगही [mag_XU]
  • Melanau [mel_MY]
  • Melayu Makassar [mfp_ID]
  • Muaba [mfq_TG]
  • Wamba Wuna [mnb_ID]
  • IPA [mul_XI]
  • Masenrempulu [mvp_ID]
  • کوہستانی ایندوس [mvy_PK]
  • ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᒧᐎᓐ [oj_XF]
  • شینا [plk_PK]
  • Malagasy [plt_MG]
  • Vax [prk_MM]
  • Ngambay [sba_TD]
  • شینا‬ [scl_XT]
  • Sa'dan [sda_ID]
  • ၵႂၢမ်းတႆးယႂ်  [shn_MM]
  • سرائیکی [skr_XU]
  • Supyire [spp_ML]
  • Silt'e [stv_XA]
  • Tày [tyz_VN]
  • Munda [unr_XA]
  • ମୁଣ୍ଡା [unr_XF]
  • વાસવી [vas_XU]
  • Wolaytta [wal_ET]

subtype-locales

  • Ambonese Malay [abs_ID]
  • Assyrian (Iraq) [aii_IQ]
  • Southern Balochi [bcc_PK]
  • Mahasu Pahari [bfz_IN]
  • Western Balochi [bgn_PK]
  • Eastern Balochi [bgp_XC]
  • Balkan Gagauz Turkish [bgx_TR]
  • Southern Betsimisaraka Malagasy [bzc_MG]
  • Montenegrin [cnr]
  • Cuyonon [cyo_PH]
  • Persian [fa]
  • Adamawa Fulfulde [fub_CM]
  • Pulaar [fuc_SN]
  • Northern Grebo [gbo_LR]
  • Gurung [gvr_NP]
  • Itawit [itv_PH]
  • Kankanaey [kne_PH]
  • Kambaata (Ge\'ez) [ktb_XF]
  • Parkari Koli [kvx_PK]
  • Kui [kxu_IN]
  • Lama [las_TG]
  • Lepcha [lep_IN]
  • Limbu (Devanagari) [lif_XD]
  • Achomi [lrl_IR]
  • Melanau [mel_MY]
  • Makassar Malay [mfp_ID]
  • Moba [mfq_TG]
  • Muna [mnb_ID]
  • International Phonetic Alphabet [mul_XI]
  • Duri [mvp_ID]
  • Indus Kohistani [mvy_PK]
  • Ojibwe (Syllabics) [oj_XF]
  • Kohistani Shina [plk_PK]
  • Plateau Malagasy [plt_MG]
  • Parauk Wa [prk_MM]
  • Ngambay [sba_TD]
  • Toraja-Sa'dan [sda_ID]
  • Shan [shn_MM]
  • Supyire [spp_ML]
  • Silt\'e [stv_XA]
  • Tay [tyz_VN]
  • Mundari (Latin) [unr_XA]
  • Mundari (Odia) [unr_XF]
  • Wolaytta [wal_ET]

Variants

  • Abron [abron]
  • Akoose [akoose]
  • Avar [avar]
  • Balinese [balinese]
  • Basa? [basaa]
  • Batak Mandailing [batak_mandailing]
  • Cebaara Senoufo [cebaara_senoufo]
  • Coptic [coptic]
  • Crimean Tatar [crimean_tatar]
  • Dangme [dangme]
  • Efik [efik]
  • Ewondo [ewondo]
  • Fon [fon]
  • Khutsuri [georgian_khutsuri]
  • Javanese [javanese]
  • Kalami [kalam_kohistani]
  • Kok Borok [kok_borok]
  • Komi-Zyrian [komi_zyrian]
  • Laki [laki]
  • Mende [mende]
  • Nias [nias]
  • Northern Min [northern_min]
  • Nupe [nupe]
  • Pahari-Pothwari [pahari_pothwari]
  • Saraiki [saraiki]
  • Shina [shina]
  • Tati [tati]
  • Temne [temne]

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