Google is launching a new beta version of its Gboard application previously known as Google Keyboard, bringing along a handful of new features, shortcuts, GIF support, and a couple aesthetic changes. The new Gboard version 6.2 also includes a ‘pop-out’ mode allowing users to drag and resize the on-screen keyboard manually, and as expected, the latest version is available for download to all users who may want to participate in the app's beta program.
Possibly the biggest aesthetic change introduced by Gboard version 6.2 lies in the addition of key borders. Unlike the latest public Gboard version featuring a flat on-screen keyboard with no key borders, Gboard 6.2 adds borders and rounded corners to each individual on-screen button. Furthermore, tapping the Google icon in Gboard 6.2 will now reveal a different on-screen keyboard with large directional buttons, along with “Select” and “Select all” buttons, as well as keys for copying and pasting text. This additional keyboard seems to have been designed for making text editing more convenient on touchscreen devices. Moving on to another new feature, Gboard 6.2 will now suggest GIF searches on the leftmost edge of the suggestion bar when typing a word in a compatible application. Last but not least, the latest update introduces a new pop-out mode, which can be accessed by tapping a new button found within the existing one-handed mode. Once this feature is enabled, users will have the option of moving the on-screen keyboard as well as resizing it by dragging its corners. Typing space is reduced when using this new pop-out mode, which can become useful for one-handed use, though the on-screen keyboard doesn’t actually ‘detach’ or float above each application, and is instead surrounded by a blank background. Whether or not this will change before version 6.2 will be ready for a public release is unknown.
In any case, Android users who are interested in trying out the latest beta build of Gboard can do so by following the sign-up button below. Keep in mind that beta versions are still under construction and may contain bugs, though previous beta builds of Gboard were relatively stable and mostly bug-free.