Google has announced that Mini Stickers are now available in Gboard, on both Android and iOS, presuming you're running the latest version of the app, of course, even though this is a server-side change, but being on the latest update may be a requirement to get it. It is worth noting that this is a global release of the feature, not a limited one as we've seen a couple of weeks back. In any case, Mini Stickers, or Minis, as Google refers to them, use a combination of "machine learning and artistry" in order to create stickers based on your selfie. So, essentially, all you need to do is take a selfie, and the app will generate stickers just for you, based on your image. Mini Stickers come in two styles, says Google, Bold and Sweet. The former are "extra", as Google explains them, while the latter are here "for when you want a softer touch".
Here's how it goes, exactly. First, you take a selfie, then Gboard runs that selfie through Google's algorithms, in order to suggest skin tone, hair style, and accessories that you can fine tune. After that, you will need to choose a color for your hair, facial hair or different types of head coverings and eye wear. On top of that, you can add freckles or wrinkles, and there you go, your Minis are ready to go. Do keep in mind that you do not need to edit anything if you're happy with Google's creation. It seems like that's the only change that is rolling out to Gboard at the moment, at least the only one that Google mentioned in its blog post. If you'd like to access this feature, you'll need to hit the smiley icon in Gboard, and navigate to stickers. You will then see a new icon down below, and once you hit it, you will be able to take a selfie and proceed. A gif image that is included below this article will illustrate that perfectly for you.
Background: Back in August, it was reported that Mini Stickers are arriving to Gboard, but it seems like that rollout was extremely limited. Even Google talked about the feature for Gboard, but it seems like the company was testing it back then, as the global rollout did not start until today. We've received this feature on several of our devices that we've checked, so it should be available on yours as well, if not, it will be soon.
Impact: We've seen features like this on several other applications, Bitmoji app was amongst the first ones to push something like this to the public. At the moment there are a ton of apps that offer something like this, but considering how many people use Google's keyboard, it's way more convenient to have those emoji directly in the keyboard, as they're easily accessible when needed. In case you're not sure if you have the latest version of Gboard installed, we've included link down below for you, so that you can check, though you may receive this feature even if you're not on the latest version, Google did not really clarify that, but it's a server-side change for sure.