New Gboard Beta Adds URL Field Suggestions and Handwriting Support

New Gboard Beta Adds URL Field Suggestions and Handwriting Support

Google Keyboard, Google’s keyboard for Android, relaunched as Gboard last year. It was a top-to-bottom redesign that integrated Google search, brought support for image searches, and added a dedicated number row. Since then, the keyboard has been updated with a number of other features, including emoji and GIF suggestions, improved voice typing, Google Translate, RTL enhancements, cursor control, and cut/copy/paste buttons. It’s fair to say that with its fast-growing collection of utilities, Google’s keyboard is one of the most feature-rich keyboards in Android. And it’s still getting better.


This week, a Gboard beta update (version 6.8.8) added handwriting support which lets users write equations, symbols, and more by hand. It’s worth noting that Google has a separate handwriting app—Google Handwriting Input—but Gboard’s native integration saves you the trouble of having to switch between keyboards. To use handwriting in Gboard, head to Language Settings, select your language, and choose handwriting as the layout.

The beta update also adds suggestions in URL fields, bringing it up to par with competitors such as Microsoft’s SwiftKey. Up until now, the stable release of Gboard didn’t offer spelling and grammar suggestions in URL fields, which meant you couldn’t take advantage of autocorrect.

The new beta has a “fast delete” feature, too. Moreover, it’s got Hinglish-style support for 19 more Indian languages, and brings support for 20 new languages including: Awadhi, Bambara, Bundeli, Emilian-Romagnol, Fulani, Gilaki, Hiligaynon, Jamaican Patois, Kumaoni, Lambadi, Lombard, Madurese, Minangkabau, Mazanderani, Nahuatl, Neapolitan, Norwegian (Nynorsk), Piedmontese, Sadri, Santali (Devanagari and Bengali), Sicilian, Sylheti, Venetian and Zazaki.

To opt into the Gboard beta, download Gboard from the Play Store and head to this link. Tap the “enroll” button, and you’ll get the newest beta release within a few hours.

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

Via: Testing Catalog

About author

Idrees Patel
Idrees Patel

Idrees Patel is a smartphone enthusiast from India. He has been an Android user since the time he got the LG Optimus One in 2011. He has a bachelor's degree in Management Studies. The subjects in which he is interested are mobile processors, real-world UI performance, in-depth camera quality analysis, and many more. Contact him at [email protected]

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