Prepare Gboard more Material U: Shortcuts Bar

Last August, Google rolled out a handful of Material You blooms to Gboard for Android, and a few more are now coming to the keyboard, including the shortcut bar.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we have decompiled the latest version of an application that Google has uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we can see several lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Please note that Google may or may not provide these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We will try, however, to enable those that are almost ready to show you what they will look like in the event that they ship. Read on with that in mind.

At this point, tapping the chevron icon in the top left corner will reveal various tools, layout, and shortcuts. Today’s list includes: Settings, Theme, Text Editing, Clipboard, GIF, Float, One-handed, Translate, Share, and Sticker. There is also the split keyboard on foldable devices (but not on tablets).

Gboard 12.1 is rolling out to the beta channel today, revealing work on a Material You redesign of that bar that will friend of the site RKBDI successfully enabled. The corner button is still a circle, but now uses a 3×3 grid icon.

Meanwhile, the shortcuts (or “access point” items as they’re called) are now housed in rounded rectangles very reminiscent of Material You (MD3) chips. It’s not much different from the Voice Typing UI of the Assistant on Pixel phones (as seen in the cover image above). The background of each item is lighter than the keyboard, which is more pronounced with colorful themes.

You can now have another shortcut for a total of five in the bar, although Gboard is working on the ability to let users customize how many appear if they really only need one or two. However, the new maximum is due to Gboard removing the three dots/overflow on the right and using the existing corner button to enter.

Google has redesigned this view with a more compact grid that is no longer centered. This makes it easy to add more features in the future, while the text editing layout gets its own Material You modernization with rounded corners for each button.

Another material that you update is the settings. The master list keeps getting bigger, while MD3 switches are now used everywhere.

It’s not clear when Gboard will roll out the Material You bar and other design changes on a large scale.

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