gboard100711859orig

Gboard 6.1 beta refines voice input, GIF search

Last week we told you about some minor improvements coming to Gboard by way of the most recent beta: easier language translation and a better theme picker. Well, Google's not really to roll it out to the masses just yet. The latest beta of Gboard 6.1 adds some really welcome improvements to the way voice typing works and makes looking for a GIF easier.

In the current Gboard, when you tap the little microphone icon to input text via voice, the whole keyboard disappears and turns into a pause button. In the 6.1 beta, it now just lights up the microphone icon, and leaves all your regular keys there. It's a much simpler experience when you mix voice and keyboard typing.

Android Police

The keyboard no longer disappears when you start voice-typing.

Google has similarly streamlined GIF searching. The built-in GIF search is one of Gboard's best features, and it's now supported by and increasing number of messaging apps. But to get to it, you have to hit the emoji button at the bottom, then the GIF button. It's just buried too deep.

In Gboard 6.1, there is now a GIF search item on the word suggestion bar. Type a word and you're one tap away from a related GIF search. For those that use GIFs a lot, like I do, it's a faster and more straightforward way to get what you're after.

Android Police

The word suggestion bar now includes GIF searching, which really brings that feature to the fore.

Finally, one final minor tweak: When you begin a search by tapping the G icon in the upper left, you're shown that day's Google Doodle, if there is one. 

The best gets better: There are plenty of great keyboards on Android, but Google's own Gboard is top of the heap. It has the best combination of speed, features, and design. These are the sorts of tweaks necessary to stay on top, because Swiftkey and and others never stop innovating. Gboard is in public beta, which you can attempt to join here, though it usually says the beta is full. If you're brave and careful, you can sideload the APK from APKMirror.

IDG Insider

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« IBM fits a bit on an atom, eyeing ever-smaller devices

NEXT ARTICLE

Senators push FCC to keep its net neutrality rules »
author_image
IDG News Service

The IDG News Service is the world's leading daily source of global IT news, commentary and editorial resources. The News Service distributes content to IDG's more than 300 IT publications in more than 60 countries.

  • Mail

Recommended for You

International Women's Day: We've come a long way, but there's still an awfully long way to go

Charlotte Trueman takes a diverse look at today’s tech landscape.

Trump's trade war and the FANG bubble: Good news for Latin America?

Lewis Page gets down to business across global tech

20 Red-Hot, Pre-IPO companies to watch in 2019 B2B tech - Part 1

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?