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.
Gboard’s incognito mode first made its appearance in Android O on Chrome Dev, but it later showed up in Chrome 59 stable as well. At the time, we thought this was an exclusive O feature, but that doesn’t seem to be the case as it’s now there on Android 6.0 and above with the latest Gboard.
If you’re browsing in incognito mode on Chrome, you’ll see a new incognito background on the keyboard. That’s likely to mean that the words you type won’t be remembered or learned from and won’t stay in your Gboard history, which makes sense in this context. I’ve tried other text fields, like passwords and login screens, but none seem to trigger the same incognito mode on Gboard, so the feature appears to be limited to Chrome so far. There’s no telling if it will make it to other apps in the future.
Gboard 6.3 (left) and 6.4 (right). Notice the incognito background.
GIF shortcut in toolbar
Google has been tinkering with more functions in the Gboard toolbar and this version has one new shortcut that you can add and organize: a GIF button. Sure, this means that you now have 3 ways to find and insert GIFs in Gboard (emoji keyboard, toolbar, search), but you can easily hide this one at least.
Toolbar shortcuts in Gboard 6.3 (left) and 6.4 (right) with the added GIF option.
Tweaked theme page
The theme page has received a few…
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