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Gboard 7.3 beta preps battery saver theme/mode, OCR tool, and more [APK Insight]

After adding the ability to quickly “Make a GIF” and a new sticker gallery last month, the latest Gboard beta is rolling out this morning. Version 7.3 reveals development on a number of exciting features including a battery saver theme and a possible OCR tool that could be used to extract text from images. 

About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Battery saver theme

Gboard might soon gain a battery saver theme that can be enabled manually by the user or automatically by the device when the corresponding Android battery saver mode is enabled. Refered to as a “dark theme,” power savings could come from disabling various expressive features that are heavy on animations and switching away from a bright keyboard theme.

<string name=”pref_key_enable_battery_saver_theme_switching”>enable_battery_saver_theme</string>

<string name=”setting_battery_saver_theme_switching_title”>Switch to dark theme in battery saver mode</string>

<string name=”system_property_enable_battery_saver_theme_switching”></string>

Disable battery saver

Similarly, when the system battery saver mode is enabled, Gboard could soon disable stickers and Bitmoji to save power. To use these features, you will have to manually turn off the battery saver.

<string name=”sticker_battery_saver_error_button_text”>DISABLE BATTERY SAVER</string>

<string name=”sticker_battery_saver_error_message”>Please turn off battery saver to use stickers in Gboard.</string>

<string name=”sticker_battery_saver_error_title”>Battery Saver Is Turned On</string>

<string name=”bitmoji_battery_saver_error_message”>Please turn off battery saver to use Bitmoji in Gboard.

Low storage warnings

All the recently added expressive features have an impact on storage. As such, Gboard will now inform users when there is not enough storage space to download more Bitmoji or sticker packs.

<string name=”bitmoji_low_storage_error_message”>Please free up some space to use Bitmoji in Gboard.

<string name=”sticker_low_storage_error_button_text”>FREE UP SPACE</string>

<string name=”sticker_low_storage_error_message”>Please free up some space to use stickers in Gboard.</string>

<string name=”sticker_low_storage_error_title”>Your Storage Space Is Low</string>

OCR tool

Gboard is working on sort of optical character recognition capability that would appear as one of the tools alongside Google Translate, GIF, and sticker shortcuts. One possible application would be launching it and snapping a picture, with Gboard working to grab the text for copying and pasting. Such functionality already exists within Google Lens, but would be very convenient directly in Gboard.

<string name=”id_access_point_ocr”>ocr</string>

Universal media shortcut

Meanwhile, that quick access strip above the keyboard could also soon be home to the “Universal media” tab that features the combined panel of emoji, stickers, and GIFs.

<string name=”id_access_point_universal_media”>universal_media</string>

<string name=”label_access_point_universal_media”>Universal Media</string>

Favoriting stickers

Following the launch of a new sticker gallery last version to access over 500 stickers, Gboard might soon begin suggesting to users stickers they might like, with the ability to favorite them for quicker access.

<string name=”favorites_prompt_message”>”You might like these. Add new stickers as favorites and they’ll show up here.”</string>

<string name=”cd_favorites_prompt_banner_close_icon”>Double tap to close the prompt.</string>

Beta: Autospace after punctuation

Gboard 7.1 from March added a new “Autospace after punctuation” option that quite conveniently inserts a space after punctuation. This Correction is now considered a “Beta” and “only available in US English.” To enable the toggle, head into Preferences and then the Text correction Menu

Image annotation?

Gboard might possibly gain the ability to annotate images through doodling on them or overlaying multi-colored text.

<string name=”ink_color_black_content_desc”>Black</string>

<string name=”ink_color_blue_content_desc”>Blue</string>

<string name=”ink_color_green_content_desc”>Green</string>

<string name=”ink_color_purple_content_desc”>Purple</string>

<string name=”ink_color_red_content_desc”>Red</string>

<string name=”ink_color_selected_a11y”>%s selected</string>

<string name=”ink_color_white_content_desc”>White</string>

<string name=”ink_color_yellow_content_desc”>Yellow</string>

<string name=”ink_font”>sans-serif-black</string>

How to update?

You can sign-up for Gboard’s beta program here or by heading to the Play Store listing on Android and scrolling to the bottom. The latest beta version of Gboard is immediately rolled out by Google when it’s available.

We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model moving forward is perilous given upcoming system-level changes from Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.

Dylan contributed to this article

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: