Google has launched a new update for the Gboard beta keyboard application, pushing it to version 6.5 and adding a number of small changes to the user interface. More importantly, Gboard version 6.5 now integrates stickers with applications including Bitmoji, and other areas including the Themes settings page have gone through some minor visual changes as well.
Stickers in Gboard beta version 6.5 can be accessed in two ways. First there is a new ‘stickers’ icon that’s been added to the Google suggestion strip, and secondly, there is a new stickers tab next to the usual emoji and GIF tabs. Speaking of which, the sticker gallery is presented in a way similar to the list of GIFs, in that they can be browsed through and selected via a carousel. However, it should be noted that at the time of writing, sticker integration works primarily with Bitmoji. The latest Gboard version does allow users to access stickers that have been previously downloaded from other applications including Google Allo, but as yet stickers don’t seem to be properly integrated with other platforms besides Bitmoji. This is likely the result of Gboard version 6.5 being available only through the beta channels, so the integration of stickers is bound to improve by the time the update will be ready for a widespread public release. As for other additions, the new beta update introduces a few small changes to the keyboard’s user interface, with both the ‘shift’ and ‘backspace’ on-screen buttons being redrawn and the ‘enter’ key having been recolored from green to blue. Furthermore, it appears that the Dictonary panel no longer accommodates add-on dictionaries, and lastly, the Settings and Themes pages have also suffered a few visual tweaks.
Gboard version 6.5 is currently available for download through the Google Play Store by users who have previously joined the Gboard beta program. Otherwise, these latest features should eventually be added to the public version of the app once they will pass the testing phase. There’s no telling exactly when this might happen, however as a point of reference, Gboard beta version 6.3 was introduced to the testing channels near the beginning of June and was publicly released near the end of the same month. Having said that, a stable release for Gboard version 6.5 could follow in the coming weeks.