Gboard on the Pixel 2XL.

Eagle-eyed Android users are great at catching upcoming app updates before their public release. App reverse-engineering guru Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) recently posted a series of tweets that reveal some of Google’s future app updates. Wong highlighted updates coming to Gboard, Digital Wellbeing, and Google Contacts.

Gboard is getting smarter


Perhaps the most exciting update mentioned is one coming to Google’s keyboard app, Gboard. It looks like Gmail’s Smart Compose functionality will soon no longer be exclusive to the email client and will be coming to Gboard as well.

This sentence completion technology uses machine learning to predict what the user is going to type next. Since Google appears to be baking Smart Compose into its keyboard app, it should be available whenever you use Gboard. However, we will have to test it out before we can say for certain or not.

It also looks like Google will include GIF suggestions based on what emotion the user types. According to Wong’s tweet, typing things like happy, angry, or sad reveals a series of related GIFs that the user can then include in the message.

Digital Wellbeing and Google Contacts to receive usability tweaks


Digital Wellbeing should also receive updates in the near future. Android 10 bought a new feature to Digital Wellbeing called Focus Mode. Soon, users will supposedly be able to pause Focus Mode for 5, 15, or 30 minutes thanks to its new “Take a break” feature. Users will also be able to pause and unpause individual apps, giving them granular control over which ones can get their attention.

Google Contacts doesn’t see radical updates very often. The app’s next update will reportedly be no different, but it should be one of its bigger ones. Google is experimenting with a few UI tweaks and feature improvements.

Most notably, users will be able to search for contacts in other messaging apps like Telegram and Facebook Messenger. This will make Google Contacts a one-stop hub for all the user’s contacts across all services.

On top of that, the contacts shortcuts UI will shift down for easier access, Google is revamping the contacts sharing functionality, and migrating contacts between Google accounts will be easier than ever. There look to be more updates coming to contacts, but we will have to wait for an official release to get our hands on them.

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