Google started rolling out the Material You redesign to Gboard not too long ago. As part of the latest update, Gboard is getting circular key popups (via 9to5Google). In its current form, enabling the “Popup on keypress” option on Gboard reveals a rectangular box when long-pressing an alphabet or character.
But with Android 12, the rectangular box changes to a circle. This complements the recently added Material You design elements on Gboard. Additionally, the alphabet or character that you’re holding down on doesn’t disappear but instead has a hue around it.
The same function takes place when long-pressing the comma or period keys which open up settings or additional punctuation options. The update is currently available as part of Gboard beta version 10.9. With this update, Google’s Material You redesign for the Gboard app is nearing completion.
Google is updating its apps with Material You elements ahead of the Android 12 update
Google recently introduced Dynamic Color for Gboard as part of the broader Material You redesign of the app. This feature captures the prominent colors from your phone wallpaper to merge the UI with that color. Simply put, this would allow for UI colors to change based on the wallpaper you’ve chosen. Dynamic Color also applies to cards, menus, and even some Google apps.
All of these design changes are part of Android 12 which is currently in the final stages of development. The stable version of Android 12 will be available by mid-September with Pixel devices getting the update first. The aforementioned Material You upgrade takes a cue from Samsung’s One UI in making the interface more accessible on larger phones.
Android 12 will also bring an all-new Privacy Dashboard that lets you keep tabs on app permissions. The dashboard will also include new indicators to let you know when the camera or microphone is being accessed. A similar feature has existed on iOS for quite a while.
Google talked about the introduction of Android Private Compute Core with Android 12. This is a walled-off portion of Android for artificial intelligence and machine learning tasks. This effectively stores the relevant data on the phone instead of the cloud, thus making it secure.