Gboard 8.2.2 hints at custom GIF creation going away, prepares for new privacy controls and automatically enabling the floating keyboard in split-screen mode

Gboard 8.2.2 hints at custom GIF creation going away, prepares for new privacy controls and automatically enabling the floating keyboard in split-screen mode

Gboard version 8.2.2 is rolling out in the beta channel on the Google Play Store. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be many changes. As usual, there are a lot of changes under-the-hood that are waiting to be discovered. While there aren’t any major new features, there are a few notable tweaks to the privacy controls and design of the settings pages. Most importantly, however, is a hint that Google may soon be ending support for the GIF creation tool.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by Google in a future build.


The end of the GIF Camera feature

Last year, Google rolled out a GIF making tool with version 7.2 of Gboard beta. The tool lets you record a 3-second clip of yourself to turn into a GIF which you could then send through the “My GIFs” section in Gboard. It’s a fun tool to send silly GIFs to your friends and family.

Making a GIF in Gboard. Credits: Joe Fedewa//XDA.

Sadly, new strings suggest the feature will disappear in a future Gboard release. On the bright side, Google will give you the opportunity to save your existing GIFs before the feature is taken away.

<string name="makeagif_dep_banner">The GIF Camera feature will go away soon.</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_button_retry">RETRY</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_button_review">REVIEW</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_button_save">SAVE</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_general">The GIF Camera feature will go away soon.</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_mygifs_done">The GIF Camera feature will go away soon. Any custom GIFs have been saved. Send Feedback by pressing here.</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_mygifs_error_permission">We need permissions to save your GIFs</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_mygifs_error_save">Error saving your GIFs. Please try again</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_mygifs_needsave">The GIF Camera feature will go away soon. Save your custom GIFs</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_mygifs_saved">Save Completed</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_mygifs_saving">Saving your GIFs to the gallery</string>\n<string name="makeagif_dep_mygifs_unused">The GIF Camera feature will go away soon. Send Feedback by pressing here.</string>

Automatically Enabling the Floating Keyboard

Using the keyboard in split-screen mode can be a pain, so Google is working on a new feature to automatically toggle the floating keyboard mode when you enter multi-window, freeform mode, or landscape mode.

<string name="pref_key_disable_auto_floating_keyboard_in_freeform">disable_auto_floating_keyboard_in_freeform</string>\n<string name="pref_key_disable_auto_floating_keyboard_in_landscape">disable_auto_floating_keyboard_in_landscape</string>\n<string name="pref_key_disable_auto_floating_keyboard_in_multi_window">disable_auto_floating_keyboard_in_multi_window</string>

I managed to activate the feature with help from XDA Recognized Developer Quinny899. I recorded the video below to show Gboard automatically entering its floating mode when I focus on a text input box while in split-screen.

Better Privacy Controls

Google is testing new and better privacy settings in the Advanced settings page. Turning off personalization will stop Gboard from adapting to your typing habits while turning off Federated Learning will disable the on-device model that helps show relevant queries through the in-app Google search widget. Lastly, a new setting in testing will let users delete all words and data that Gboard has collected on them.


Material Theme Settings

A minor tweak to settings brings Gboard more in line with the rest of Google’s app suite. The settings pages are getting redesigned to follow the Google Material Theme guidelines. There are no more lines separating preferences, the header background is now white while the text is black, and the text font is now Google Sans.

Above: Old settings design in Gboard 8.1.8. Below: Material Theme settings in Gboard 8.2.2.

You can download the latest Gboard beta from the Google Play Store below or from APKMirror. Once we see signs that any of these changes are going live for users, we’ll let you know.

Gboard - the Google Keyboard
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

About author

Mishaal Rahman
Mishaal Rahman

I am the former Editor-in-chief of XDA. In addition to breaking news on the Android OS and mobile devices, I used to manage all editorial and reviews content on the Portal.

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