Google's home-brewed keyboard, the aptly dubbed Gboard, is all set to receive dedicated dark mode and Lens AI integration. That's based on a recent teardown of the app's version 9.6 APK performed by 9to5Google.
The biggest of the two changes is arguably the integration of Google Lens. The AI-driven feature is among the most innovative pushed by Google in recent years. As its name implies, Lens is a tool for quickly identifying, searching, or translating things via the camera and artificial intelligence.
That can be performed on just about anything users can point their camera at. And words highlighted in those images can also be copied and pasted. That makes it both powerful and versatile.
In the teardown, Lens integration is spotted in the keyboard's shortcuts — just above the standard keys. That's also joined by a Google Assistant icon, hinting at deeper integration across both AI platforms.
What else is new with Gboard?
Secondary to that, Google is also giving Gboard its dark mode theming treatment. While not quite as impactful as some other recently-spotted Gboard features, it's going to be a big deal for some users.
Now, the app already has selectable themes built-in. But now users will be able to switch between dark and light modes automatically with system-level settings. And the feature changes how the coloration is displayed too.
Now, it doesn't use a lighter grey for almost all of the keys — except for the six lower corner keys. Instead, those latter keys are now lighter while the majority of the keys has been darkened. The background of the keyboard is, of course, darker in color still.
This won't necessarily arrive soon
Now, as noted here, the latest features were spotted in a teardown. That doesn't necessarily mean that they'll be arriving sooner than later. Instead, that simply implies that Google is working on them behind the scenes. These aren't user-facing just yet. In fact, they may never ship in their current form at all. Especially if the team finds any underlying bugs or vulnerabilities.
The best chance of seeing this feature first is going to be to sign up for the app's beta program. That can be found on its Google Play Store page, near the bottom on its own dedicated card. And that's typically where the newest features show up first.