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Gboard 8.7 adds more keyboard heights, handwriting speed and stroke settings [APK Insight]

The latest beta of Google’s keyboard app is rolling out today with two features that are already live. In Gboard 8.7, there are two new keyboard height choices and settings for handwriting speed and stroke width.

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.

More keyboard height options

Gboard 8.7 introduces an “Extra-short” and “Extra-tall” keyboard height option. There are now seven in total: Extra-short, Short, Mid-short, Normal, Mid-tall, Tall, and Extra-tall. To customize, visit Settings > Preferences > Keyboard height.

Handwriting settings

In Gboard 8.7, the Handwriting keyboard adds two settings for speed and stroke width. Options for the former include Very slow, Slow, Mid-slow, Normal, Mid-fast, Fast, and Very fast. The latter is similar: Extra thin, Thin, Mid-thin, Normal, Mid-thick, Thick, and Extra thick.

Symbols key vibration removed

The symbols key (?123) in the bottom-left corner of the screen no longer vibrates when tapped. It’s not clear if this is a bug as the “ABC” button when returning back to the main keyboard provides haptic feedback.

Rich symbol keyboard

The “Symbols keyboard” we spotted in the last release has been renamed the “Rich symbol keyboard.” It’s not yet live in Gboard 8.7 and should appear alongside GIF and stickers. Over 300 Unicode symbols will be included and a partial list is below:

<string name=”unicode_0027″>Apostrophe</string>

<string name=”unicode_002F”>solidus</string>

<string name=”unicode_005C”>reverse solidus</string>

<string name=”unicode_005E”>Caret</string>

<string name=”unicode_005F”>low line</string>

<string name=”unicode_0060″>grave accent</string>

<string name=”unicode_007B”>left curly bracket</string>

<string name=”unicode_007D”>right curly bracket</string>

<string name=”unicode_00A2″>cent sign</string>

<string name=”unicode_00A4″>currency sign</string>

<string name=”unicode_00A5″>yen sign</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.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

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