Gboard image pasting is now live, Lens replaces Google Search
Earlier this year, we discovered in an APK teardown that Google was preparing to add image pasting to Gboard. This allows you to copy and image and paste it from your Gboard clipboard. That feature finally appears to be rolling out along with Google Lens integration.
As you probably know, Gboard currently allows you to copy and paste text with the built-in clipboard. There have been signs of Google working to add the ability to also copy and paste images. This would be a great time saver as the best way to share images right now is to copy a URL or download the image directly.
There are a couple of different ways you can add an image to the Gboard clipboard. Chrome 84 for Android (10 and 11) adds the option to copy an image when you long-press. In Android 11 only, you can do this from anywhere (not just Chrome) by opening the Recents screen and long-pressing an image to tap “Copy.”
The next step is actually using Gboard to paste the image. This worked in 21 apps when it was discovered earlier this year (listed below). We’re not sure how many other apps have been added since then. All you need to do is select the text field, open the Gboard clipboard, and select your copied image.
- AOSP messaging
- Google Docs
- Google Messages
- Messenger Lite
- Motorola Messages
- Samsung Messages
Next, Google is removing Google Search from Gboard in favor of Lens. Search has been a core feature of Gboard since its inception, but not many people use it. Now it’s being replaced with Google Lens, which is arguably more useful. Once you select Lens from the menu, Gboard instantly opens the text scanning more. You can then select text and tap the “Send to keyboard” button. This adds it to your clipboard.
Both new features appear to be available via server-side switch in Gboard version 9.5.11 and newer.
Source: Android Police