Gboard tests offline voice typing and a Sand theme to match the Pixel 3
Everybody is talking about the Google Pixel 3, for better or for worse. It’s Google’s latest flagship, and as such takes precedence over all other Android smartphones within the ecosystem. As Google’s flagship phone, it will not only get the fastest updates, but Google apps will also be updated specifically with it in mind. Google is testing a brand new “Sand” theme for Gboard that matches the Not Pink variant of the Google Pixel 3, and even better, they are also testing offline voice typing support. Note that Sand was the codename of the Not Pink variant.
Gboard offline voice typing
However, offline voice typing is the bigger topic here. Previously, your phone relied on a consistent data connection so that you could type messages by speaking aloud. Admittedly, most of the time when you would be texting is when you have a data connection, but there are times when you may not have one. For example, what if you want to write a message that will send when you do have a connection? Or what if you just don’t want your voice data sent off to Google in the first place? Gboard’s offline voice typing promises to not do that.
As you can see, it works surprisingly well. It doesn’t take up much storage either, clocking in at around 85MB. There’s a reason Google hasn’t pushed this feature out yet, so it’s possible that there may be bugs or other issues. The existence of the Sand theme was first pointed out to us by @argraur in our Telegram group, with both features then getting enabled by XDA Recognised Developer Quinny899. We’re sure we’ll be seeing both arrive soon. For many, the ability to not have their data sent to Google will be a godsend, as using an Android device it appears that users have little choice a lot of the time.