Google appears to be testing GIF suggestion and Gmail-style sentence completion features for its popular keyboard app.
Tweets shared by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong showed the two new features in action, and they look pretty handy.
Related: Best smartphone
The first image shows a nice demonstration of Google’s apparently incoming sentence completion feature. It shows the word “excited”, presumably typed by Wong herself, followed by Gboard’s automatic suggestion, “to see you”.
The sentence completion feature actually seems very reminiscent of Google’s own Smart Compose for Gmail, which uses machine learning to predict what you’re trying to say as you type your message.
In both Gmail and the apparent new Gboard update, the suggested text appears as a faint grey that you only need to click to confirm or – if Google is way off the mark – continue typing over to dismiss.
Wong also created a GIF to showcase Gboard’s new GIF suggestion feature. Meta. In the clip, we see Wong type words like “sad”, “happy” and “angry” only to be met with corresponding gifs, from sad bunnies to fireworks to Steve Carell glaring you down.
It isn’t entirely clear on what basis Google decides whether to suggest words or GIFs based on the short video Wong posted, but we did spy the beginning of a sentence suggestion when Wong types the word “happy” and is met with the word “to” shortly before the clip cuts off.
Related: Best Android phones
Google is no stranger to introducing new features to its virtual keyboards. Back in February, the company brought haptic feedback to iPhones by introducing an Android-style buzz every time a user taps a letter.
The feature has long been a popular one among Android enthusiasts, the keyboard offering a reassuring shake every time you tap a letter, so it was exciting to see Google bring something that Apple hadn’t yet to the default iPhone keyboard.