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Gboard could soon let you use generative AI for proofreading and emojis

These features are currently hidden behind experimental flags, but could be soon released to the public.

Published onAugust 10, 2023

Gboard on Nothing Phone 2
Damien Wilde / Android Authority
  • Gboard’s latest beta includes several generative AI features, such as proofreading, emoji generation, and tone suggestions.
  • The beta also includes improvements for stylus support, with new gestures and the ability to scribble text directly into text fields.

Gboard is an excellent Android keyboard and my primary choice across all my phones. It’s one of the best free Android apps you can install on any phone, with many helpful features like multilanguage support, Emoji Kitchen, and more. Gboard is about to become even better, as Google is working on adding many generative AI features such as proofreading, emojis, and more to the app.

Gboard v13.3 beta includes new functionalities, as spotted by 9to5Google and the GappsMod Flags Telegram channel. These include generative AI features such as proofreading support, emoji generation, and more changes. There are also several new gestures for stylus input. These features are added to the beta for testing and are hidden behind experimental flags, but they could be released in the stable channel in the future.

Proofread with Gboard

Proofread with Gboard is an upcoming feature that leverages generative AI to help you spot errors in your writing.

While Gboard has spelling checks and autocorrect that we are all familiar with, Proofread with Gboard goes one step ahead as it claims to use generative AI. From demos, we can see how it presents a string of corrections across your entire typed message, correcting spelling, grammar, and punctuation along the way. The proofread feature within this beta is available in US English only.

As the dialog box mentions, your interactions with the feature will be sent to Google and stored on their servers for 60 days.

Emogen: Generative AI stickers

Similarly, Google appears to be using generative AI to let you create emoji-style stickers.

Essentially, users can describe the sticker they want, and AI will est to generate something from that prompt. The feature within this beta is available in US English.

Gboard’s existing Emoji Kitchen feature merges two existing emojis. Emogen may take it many steps further, creating emoji stickers from descriptive text prompts. So if you ever found yourself not amused by the humorous combinations on Emoji Kitchen, you can create something out of thin air with Emogen.

Generative AI ‘tone’

Yet another way that Google could leverage AI on Gboard would be to use it like Gmail’s “Help me write” feature. You can write out your initial text and have Gboard suggest changes to suit certain tones, like making the text more formal or informal.

Stylus handwriting and gestures

Gboard is also working on making the virtual keyboard friendlier for large-screen devices that use a stylus. There is a new “stylus handwriting” and several new stylus gestures.

Gboard already has a “Handwriting” mode that converts your handwriting into text. But the “Write in text fields” option lets you do this and more in the new beta. It enables you to write directly in any text field, making using a stylus across the UX easier.

Other new gestures in the beta include:

  • Scratch out a text to delete: Use your stylus to scratch out a letter, word, or phrase to delete.
  •  Insert: Use your stylus to draw a caret or arrow where you’d like to add new text.
  • Join: Draw vertical lines to join separate words.
  • New line: Draw down, then left with your stylus to move text to a new line.
  • Circle text to select: Draw a circle around a letter, word, or phrase to select it. Then tap the selection to see more options.

You can see a demo of the features here:

These new features are exciting! Some would mainstream AI by reducing the steps needed to use generative AI to help with everyday conversations. Hopefully, these features make their way to the stable release of Gboard soon.

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