One of the third-party keyboards that Google offer, called Gboard, has been updated to version 6.2 in beta. This beta update brings some new features to the app such as a floating keyboard and GIF suggestions.
One of the main new features in the Gboard update is the floating keyboard. The floating keyboard allows you move and resize the keyboard so it is easier for you to type with on your display. After activating single-handed mode in the settings, a new button is added to the bottom of the keyboard to activate the floating keyboard. However, when you are using the floating keyboard, the space where the keyboard usually is, has been greyed out. This should disappear, so that you only have a keyboard that is literally floating on the screen. Maybe in the next update?
Another new feature is the the editing toolbar. Once you tap the “G” on the keyboard, one of the new buttons that comes up in the tool bar is a cursor. After you have pressed the cursor, the keyboard is replaced with specific keys (like those on a computer keyboard). These keys allow easier editing of text you have typed, instead of trying to highlight parts of the text.
Finally, Gboard now includes contextual GIF suggestions. This is like predictive typing with words or emojis, just with GIFs instead. It won’t be able to suggest a GIF for complex phrases, but simple sentences such as “I’m excited” or “Cool” will trigger a GIF to be suggested.
The beta is only available for download on Android devices via the Google Play App Testing service, but the update should be rolled out within the next few weeks to Gboard on the iOS App Store, and on the Google Play Store.
You can sign up for the beta here.