Google’s incredibly popular Gboard keyboard is getting a Material You boost, offering more color on more devices for more users. That’s based on recent reports following an update to the app.
The change itself is subtle. Or at the very least it will be for those who aren’t paying attention. It also won’t be big news for those who already use Pixel devices on the latest update version. That’s because what this adds is a bit more personalization on third-party smartphones in the app.
What does the latest update bring to Gboard on Material You theming?
Specifically, the updated app — using at least beta version 12 — changes the navigation bar. That’s the bar tucked just below the row of keys containing the spacebar and enter key. Typically, that contains an icon for minimizing the keyboard. But, depending on the use and device, it also sometimes contains system navigation keys and keyboard options. For example, the back, home, and recent apps icons.
Prior to the update for Gboard, Material You theming only impacted the keyboard itself and not the navigation bar. The navigation bar remained set to the standard stock colors. Typically, that’s a black background with white or gray icons. After the update is applied, that bar will no longer be presented in such stark tones.
Instead, Material You colors will be applied to that bar-shaped UI when Gboard keyboard is open and displayed. As shown in the sample images below, provided by the source. That means, for instance, that if the user’s theme is set to a red or blue hue, the navigation bar will be shown in that hue too.
For now, as hinted above, the change is primarily appearing in the beta variant of the app. So users shouldn’t worry too much if it doesn’t show up for them just yet. Typically, it’s only a very short period of time between features appearing in beta versions of apps and those features making the jump to the stable release.