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gboard

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Update Notes for YouTube Music, Google Fit, Gboard, Keep, Calendar, and many more (Feb 4, 2018)

Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.

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Gboard Go starts rolling out to Android 8.1 devices with low RAM [APK Download]

Google is in the process of launching all the "Go" apps that will power the lighter, faster version of Android designed for low-power devices. We've already seen Maps Go, YouTube Go, and several more, but now there's Gboard Go. This app doesn't seem to have its own listing in the Play Store, but it's available to devices with low RAM and anyone running Android 8.1 who wants to sideload it.

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Gboard v6.9 prepares Smart Replies to messenger notifications, deeper Bitmoji integration, and more [APK Teardown]

Yesterday brought us a new version of Gboard, bumping the version number up to 6.9. There's not much in the way of changes that you'll see right away, but there is now a semi-hidden feature that will tell you about changes when they happen. However, a deeper look into the APK does reveal plans to add a feature that provides suggested responses to go with messaging apps that implement Direct Replies. Also, the MAKE A GIF feature from the iOS version is making the jump to Android, Bitmoji support is getting baked in, and there's a universal search feature in the works.

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[Update: Official changelog posted] Gboard v6.8 adds a handwriting keyboard and enlarges emoji, hints at new theme engine, Motion Stills integration, and more [APK Teardown]

As Cyber Monday was wearing down, Google was already winding up some app updates. A new version of Gboard began rolling out late in the afternoon, and with it comes the long-anticipated handwriting support, meaning we can finally uninstall the separate handwriting keyboard. There are also some tweaks to the emoji picker. As we look to the teardown, there are signs of a new theme system with a few new options for more visual control, a new autospace feature, integration with the Motion Stills app, and more.

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Gboard update adds support for 40 additional languages, sticker packs

Gboard—the virtual keyboard app from Google—has received an update adding support for 40 additional languages, including Japanese. Although Google has long offered a separate input method for Japanese and other languages which do not have a writing system based on Latin script, support for additional languages has been added in gradually since Gboard launched on Android in December 2016. With this update, Gboard now covers over 120 languages.

This update also adds support for stickers by default. Previously, Gboard included stickers only if Allo was already installed, and you made or downloaded stickers for use with that app. Now, four default sticker packs are included in Gboard, even if Allo is not installed.

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Google Indic Keyboard reaches 100 million downloads, despite being eclipsed by Gboard

When an app reaches 100 million downloads, it's usually very easy to see why. Often it's an app whose popularity is clear, but sometimes it's a little harder to see why. That might be the case with the Google Indic Keyboard. At first glance, it's understandable as Indic languages cover numerous countries in the Indian subcontinent, the population of which is massive. What's surprising about it is that Gboard has surpassed the Indic Keyboard in every way, and yet people are still going for an option with fewer features.

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Google adds so-called "Greeklish" transliteration support for Greek to Gboard

The latest buzzword for language input is transliteration. And, it's actually a pretty big deal. By typing the way something sounds instead of the way it's spelled, you can write in a language, even if you only know how to speak it. SwiftKey and Google have both been pushing the technology hard, and today Google has rolled out support for "Greeklish" or transliteration for the Greek language via Latin characters. 

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[Update: It's official] Gboard Beta 6.5 adds support for Bitmoji and stickers [APK Download]

Last year, Gboard was updated with the ability to insert GIFs directly into any supported app. This initially only worked on Android 7.1 or higher, but was soon expanded to older versions as well. Google has now gone one step further with the latest Gboard beta, as you can now insert stickers and Bitmoji as well.

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The Google app and Gboard can now understand 30 more languages

Speech recognition is one of the most powerful aspects of many Google products, particularly in the Google app where Voice Search relies on being able to understand what we're saying. The same is true of Gboard, which is capable of typing up entire messages based on what you dictate to it. We may take it for granted somewhat these days, but it truly is a marvel. Now, this feature can be enjoyed by many more around the globe as Google has added support for 30 further languages.

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InBrief
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Gboard for Android TV is now available on the Play Store, so far only for Android O [APK Download]

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