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gboard

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Gboard v6.8 adds a handwriting keyboard and enlarges emoji, hints at new theme engine, Motion Stills integration, and more [APK Teardown]

As Cyber Monday was wearing down, Google was already winding up some app updates. A new version of Gboard began rolling out late in the afternoon, and with it comes the long-anticipated handwriting support, meaning we can finally uninstall the separate handwriting keyboard. There are also some tweaks to the emoji picker. As we look to the teardown, there are signs of a new theme system with a few new options for more visual control, a new autospace feature, integration with the Motion Stills app, and more.

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Gboard update adds support for 40 additional languages, sticker packs

Gboard—the virtual keyboard app from Google—has received an update adding support for 40 additional languages, including Japanese. Although Google has long offered a separate input method for Japanese and other languages which do not have a writing system based on Latin script, support for additional languages has been added in gradually since Gboard launched on Android in December 2016. With this update, Gboard now covers over 120 languages.

This update also adds support for stickers by default.

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Google Indic Keyboard reaches 100 million downloads, despite being eclipsed by Gboard

When an app reaches 100 million downloads, it's usually very easy to see why. Often it's an app whose popularity is clear, but sometimes it's a little harder to see why. That might be the case with the Google Indic Keyboard. At first glance, it's understandable as Indic languages cover numerous countries in the Indian subcontinent, the population of which is massive. What's surprising about it is that Gboard has surpassed the Indic Keyboard in every way, and yet people are still going for an option with fewer features.

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Google adds so-called "Greeklish" transliteration support for Greek to Gboard

The latest buzzword for language input is transliteration. And, it's actually a pretty big deal. By typing the way something sounds instead of the way it's spelled, you can write in a language, even if you only know how to speak it. SwiftKey and Google have both been pushing the technology hard, and today Google has rolled out support for "Greeklish" or transliteration for the Greek language via Latin characters. 

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[Update: It's official] Gboard Beta 6.5 adds support for Bitmoji and stickers [APK Download]

Last year, Gboard was updated with the ability to insert GIFs directly into any supported app. This initially only worked on Android 7.1 or higher, but was soon expanded to older versions as well. Google has now gone one step further with the latest Gboard beta, as you can now insert stickers and Bitmoji as well.

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The Google app and Gboard can now understand 30 more languages

Speech recognition is one of the most powerful aspects of many Google products, particularly in the Google app where Voice Search relies on being able to understand what we're saying. The same is true of Gboard, which is capable of typing up entire messages based on what you dictate to it. We may take it for granted somewhat these days, but it truly is a marvel. Now, this feature can be enjoyed by many more around the globe as Google has added support for 30 further languages.

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InBrief
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Gboard for Android TV is now available on the Play Store, so far only for Android O [APK Download]

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Gboard 6.4 brings incognito mode to Marshmallow and Nougat, with other small changes [APK Download]

A new version of Google's Gboard is rolling out today to the beta channel with one interesting feature in tow and plenty of small interface tweaks. The biggest change is an incognito mode that appears when typing in Chrome's incognito mode, but there is more to discuss so let's jump right in.

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Facebook is rolling out a dedicated button for adding GIFs to comments

Sending a GIF through Facebook's Messenger app is pretty easy. It's long been possible to send GIFs quickly using the dedicated button, and the app recently added support for GBoard's GIF search feature, giving you even more choice. Sending a GIF in the main Facebook app has been a little trickier, however, first having to find a one elsewhere and then copy/paste it in. To celebrate 30 years of GIFs (I had no idea they were that old, either), the Facebook app now also includes a GIF button right in the text field, allowing you to search for and send one without leaving the app.

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[Update: Out of beta] Gboard v6.3 beta is rolling out with improved search interface, search emoji by drawing, and more [APK Download]

There's a new version of Gboard hitting devices tonight, right after Google accidentally sent an internal v6.3 "dogfood" test build out to some users. Oh well, the version that's rolling out in the Play Store right now (also v6.3) is the proper consumer build, and it has some cool new stuff. Searching is now quicker and more powerful, whether you're looking for a webpage, emoji, or a GIF.

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