Gboard rolls out smart completion and undo autocorrect on backspace, tests new Google Assistant dictation

Gboard rolls out smart completion and undo autocorrect on backspace, tests new Google Assistant dictation

In a recent teardown of Gboard v9.7, we discovered strings of code regarding a couple of new features making their way to the popular keyboard app. These included a new Ask Assistant button to trigger the Google Assistant, smart completion support, and a feature that would undo auto-correct on tapping backspace. Now, Google has started rolling out some of these features in the latest stable release of the Gboard app.

Gboard v9.7.03 has started rolling out on the stable channel and it brings smart completion support to the app, along with a new undo auto-correct on backspace toggle. Our Editor-in-Chief, Mishaal Rahman, has shared the following screenshots of the new features in action.

As you can see in the attached screenshots, there’s a new ‘Smart completions’ toggle in Gboard settings that you can enable to turn on the new feature. Much like the Smart Compose feature on Gmail and Google Docs, Smart completions in Gboard makes use of machine learning to provide suggestions to help you complete a sentence. The suggestions appear right next to whatever you’re typing in the text box and you can swipe right across the suggested sentence to autocomplete it.

Along with the Smart completions feature, the Gboard update also brings an ‘Undo auto-correct on backspace’ setting. Once enabled, the setting will let you easily revert back to the original text by tapping the backspace key when Gboard’s autocorrect messes up.

Additionally, Gboard has also started testing a new Google Assistant-powered dictation feature which was first showcased at Google I/O 2019. Strings related to the feature were spotted in a recent teardown of Gboard v9.6.3 beta and it now seems to be rolling out to a few users. While the feature wasn’t available on any of our devices, @TotalSecurily on Twitter has shared the following clip of the feature in action.

As you can see in the clip, tapping on the mic icon in Gboard brings up a new Google Assistant dictation interface that lets you enter text using just your voice. The feature also lets you send the message by saying send or delete whatever is typed out by saying delete. Once you’re done using the feature, you can also close it by simply saying close.

The new Google Assistant is currently only available for the Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, and Pixel 4a, so this feature will likely be limited to those devices at launch. Our tipster actually got this feature on his Pixel XL, but he told us that he used a mod to spoof the Pixel 4 XL and he also edited a few feature flags in Gboard to get this to work.

The other two new features mentioned above seem to be a part of a server-side test and they’re only available for a handful of users at the moment. While Google hasn’t released any information regarding a wider rollout, we expect the new features to reach all users in the following weeks.

About author

Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.