With all the limited-time testing and server-side changes Google makes to its keyboard app, it's tough to figure out what's new, what's not, and what will only be sticking around for a short while before disappearing again. The latest Gboard changelog includes a number of things that may or may not be new, so we sorted through to see what's what.
Before we go on, here's the full changelog from the Play Store:
• Support for Emoji 12.0 in Android Q
• Sticky preferences for emoji skin tone and gender
• Clipboard: quick access to your favorite snippets
• Import / export personal dictionary words
• Long press to delete search history
• Vertical scrolling for expressions (Beta)
The first two points in the changelog pertain to emoji. Devices running Android Q should now see support for the newest set, Emoji 12.0, including my personal favorite and spirit animal the sloth, as well as an adorable otter, and some falafel. Google's new gender-neutral options are also present for me, but that could be thanks to Android Q rather than Gboard itself. Sticky preferences for emoji skin tone and gender are also live, although seemingly only for individual emoji and not across a selection. It's worth noting that we're seeing varied mileage with these in the AP team, however, with some seeing the changes and some not. They could be server-side changes that haven't quite reached everyone yet.
New Emoji 12.0 additions include the sloth and Google's new gender-neutral emoji are now the default for some selections.
Probably the most attractive user-facing change isn't even in the changelog — the navbar will now be colored to match the theme you've chosen. This even works on gradient themes, but sadly not with images, somewhat understandably. The navbar could only be black or white before, so this is a significant visual improvement.
The changelog mentions the clipboard, which has been appearing and disappearing for a while now with Google's many server-side tests — it seems to be probably, definitely, maybe, present for everyone now, we think. The ability to long press to delete search history is in there, but we're unsure how new it really is. Vertical scrolling for expressions is something we've been seeing for a while now, so that's not new. None of us here at AP have yet got the option to import or export our personal dictionaries.
So it's a mixed bag in terms of these features actually being new or being live for everyone, such is Google's scattergun approach to updating the app through the Play Store and via server-side flags. The latest stable version you should be on is 220.127.116.11053488 — if not, you can download it from APK Mirror.
- Nick Cipriani,
- Oliver Kehm,