Google may be planning to launch a number of new features to its in-house keyboard, Gboard. The company has already added code references to these upcoming features hinting that it may already be testing them internally. According to a detailed APK teardown by Android Police of the latest Google Gboard beta for version 7.3, the company is likely to increase the capabilities of its keyboard in a big way. For people who don’t know, an APK file is also known as Android Application Package which really is an installation file for a particular Android app.
As part of the teardown, developers try to find what is new and hidden inside the installation files that could hint at the things to come. One thing to note here is that Google may change or remove some of the features at a later date without any notification. According to the teardown, the primary features include possible support for OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which may allow users to select any image from the internal storage of their smartphone to scan and search for text content or take new images from the camera to quickly scan them for text. This will make it easier for users to copy text from their surroundings and then quickly use in on their device.
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As pointed out by the report, this is not a new feature as Google Lens already allows for a similar feature. However, it is likely that this implementation will make the process faster and more user-friendly. Google may also be planning an Annotation feature for GIFs which is likely to allow its users to add a small message on the top of those GIFs. Users have the option to select from seven colors for the message.
The company may also be planning to add new effects while users are making a new GIF directly from the keyboard. More strings from the internals hint that Google is planning to bring support for “Battery Saver” mode without any user input. According to the internal code, Gboard may shut down stickers and bitmoji from the keyboard when it detects that the device is running on a low battery.
This automation will extend to the automatic dark mode in the battery saver mode to produce less light. Last but not the least, the company is planning to add a number of new languages to the keyboard.