For years now, Google’s keyboard – cleverly named “Gboard” – has remained pretty much unchanged. To be fair, it doesn’t really need to be tweaked much. In fact, it’s one of the absolute best keyboards on the Google Play Store, and it’s baked into many Android devices out of the box now.
After a quick update to my Pixel 6 Pro today, I noticed that a new four-grid square appeared in the top left of my keyboard’s screen space. Upon clicking it, I was met with a brand new layout for extended keyboard toolbar options!
As you can see, instead of housing several circle-shaped icons with a ton of empty space between them, we now have neatly packed rounded rectangles in what looks like a Material You-inspired theming. Along with these is a message telling the user to “Hold and drag to customize”.
Outside of the redesign, it functions pretty much the same – just press and hold, and drop a big rectangle into the top-aligned toolbar identified by the smaller rectangles. Once you do this, you can tap the grid square on the left again to close the toolbar customization.
Calling up your tools while swyping or typing will then show you just and only what you’ve dragged into that toolbar. You can still customize it at any time, but now it’s just more pleasing to the eye with clearer separation between the items and their background. Your options for the toolbar include a floating keyboard, one-handed mode, text-editing, sharing, clipboard, a language switcher, emoji, GIFs, stickers, translation, options, and themes.