Google is adding a ton of new proactive features to Gboard, making texting easier than ever for users. Features like smart replies, sticker recommendations, and GIF search recommendations based on the last sent text are now rolling out for some Gboard users.
According to a new report by Android Police, Gboard now suggests replies to a question. You can see the new functionality in action in the screenshot below. After a question is asked, three one-word answers – "Yes," "No," and "Yeah" – are recommended, much like the suggestions you see in notifications. These smart replies sit in bubbles close to each other, unlike the word suggestions that you usually see on top of your keyboard.
Next up is sticker recommendations. As you type out a message, Gboard might suggest a sticker based on the tone of your text. The recommended sticker appears on the top bar of the keyboard. You can tap on it to get a bigger preview which also contains a send button.
If you tap and hold it, a pop-up menu will appear with options to "show more items" or turn off the sticker suggestion feature altogether. Since stickers are usually standalone messages, it's unclear how exactly this feature will work when you're typing a long message.
Last but not least, Gboard is getting a new GIF search recommendations based on the last text you've sent. Following a text like "This is amazing," GIF search recommendations for "joy" and "love you" show up. Likewise, if you send a sad-sounding text, you might see GIF search recommendations something like "sad" or "upset."
New Gboard features further enhance texting experience
Google regularly adds new features to Gboard, making texting more fun and effortless. Podcast suggestions and suggestions for clipboard content are some of the recent additions that enhance the texting experience on Gboard.
Now, with the addition of the three new features we discussed above, Google is making it easier than ever for users to communicate. None of these features are rolling out widely for users yet, but if everything goes right, they'll certainly do in the coming weeks or months.
As of now, Google appears to be testing the features among a small group of Gboard users. The features are rolled out via a server-side update and, unfortunately, you cannot opt for that. You can try your luck by downloading the latest beta version of Gboard, though. The keyboard app is available on Google Play Store.