Gboard UI Upgrade Makes Selecting Skin & Gender Variants Easier


Google has been working hard to upgrade its Gboard UI. As reported by 9to5Google the company has made it much easier to select skin tone and gender variants for emojis.

This comes as part of many an upgrade to Gboard not just in its UI. In recent days the smart completion and undo autocorrect became full-time features. Even more recently, Gboard made the real-time translation and real-time transcription live.

Clearly it has been a busy and productive few weeks for Gboard as the app receives significant upgrades. In itself, this one may seem relatively minor. However, for many, the ability to quickly and easily chose skin tone and gender will be a great addition to the app.


UI upgrades come to Gboard

The upgrade comes with 55 new skin tone and gender variants alongside a more friendly UI. Now once you hold down on the emoji you are presented with a table.

Instead of a spectrum, the first line corresponds to the first person and the second line. As shown below this is a much more intuitive system. It also allows for greater representation and makes it easier to select the correct emoji.

Compared to the old system which is also featured below this is a clear improvement.


On top of this clearer visual display interface, there are more functional improvements. After you long press the table remains up until you press of it or select an emoji. Previously, you would have to continue to long press and drag your finger across to make a selection.

As you can see the grid is also much better organized than before. Using this system is much quicker rather than having to look at each emoji individually to select the right one. That was very difficult at times given the size of the emojis!

For emojis that are just of a single character, nothing will change. This is because there is no need for them to benefit for the new system.


Gboard’s new table emoji picker on Android is available on several devices running version 9.7. It is currently in Beta. We expect this to be ready comfortably for Android 11's launch.

It is great to see Google taking a proactive approach to such a subject. For many, not being able to select an appropriate emoji is a real problem. This makes the whole system a lot simpler and intuitive. Adding a number of emojis is also a positive move and should be applauded.