Gboard update brings handwriting keyboard and larger emoji

Google is rolling out a new Gboard update for Android that gives users a brand new way to type. Version 6.8 delivers the long-awaited handwriting keyboard, as well as larger emoji that are easier to see.

If you still prefer to scribble rather than tap, using a virtual keyboard may be a necessary evil. But not if you use Gboard. Its latest update lets you type by writing words and letters with your fingertip. You’ll have to enable it manually by adding the handwriting keyboard as a new layout.

You can do this by going into Gboard’s settings, selecting Language Settings, and then choosing “Add keyboard.” Find the language you wish to write in, then choose the handwriting option. Switching between the handwriting keyboard and the normal keyboard is as easy as changing languages.

Google has also made its emoji characters significantly bigger so that they’re easier to see. Details are more obvious, and there’s no longer so much unused space in the emoji picker. However, it seems that your keyboard height dictates whether you see the larger emoji, so you may need to make yours taller.

There are also signs of new features in this update that haven’t yet been activated. A teardown has revealed evidence of Google’s work on a new theme engine, a fullscreen handwriting keyboard, the ability to turn Motion Stills into GIFs, and an auto-space after punctuation function.

You can download the latest version of Gboard from the Play Store now by tapping the button below.

Gboard for Android