Google Pixel 6 series likely to introduce Gboard's most requested feature

Gboard Keyboard Pixel 4 Hero
Gboard Keyboard Pixel 4 Hero (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google appears to be planning to make Gboard's enhanced voice typing feature available for Pixel 6 devices.
  • The feature has added a few upgrades to its functionality and interface in line with Google's Material You theme.
  • It was initially tested on older Pixel phones ranging from the Pixel 4 series to the Pixel 5.

Google looks set to finally roll out Gboard's enhanced voice typing feature as part of the upcoming launch of the Google Pixel 6 series, following a few months of beta testing on older Pixel phones before the experiment was suddenly halted.

XDA Developers' Mishaal Rahman spotted the Google Assistant-powered voice typing feature enabled by spoofing a device to appear as a Pixel 6 Pro, courtesy of the Google News group on Telegram. Based on the screenshots below, it appears that the voice typing feature has seen a significant improvement, at least in terms of its Material You design.

The microphone icon is now surrounded by a ring that pulsates when you speak, acting as a visual indicator. As part of the Material You theme, the ring also incorporates Google's signature colors. Gboard also shows suggested commands on top of the keyboard field, such as "clear" to remove the previous sentence and "undo" to reverse the previous action.

In terms of functionality, the voice typing capability has picked up a handful of updates. You can trigger the voice tying capability on a Pixel 6 by saying "Hey Google, type" or continue voice typing by double-tapping the mic icon. When you tap the icon again, it comes to a halt.

It can also now change the content of your email for you. For example, you can say "set recipient" to add a contact to whom the email is addressed, or "next" to jump to the next text field. You can also add an emoji by simply dictating the appropriate voice command that describes the emoji.

The voice commands first seen during the beta testing stage stick around in the new iteration of Gboard's Assistant voice typing. It's also noticeable that Google changed the feature's setting description from "enhanced voice typing" to "Assistant voice typing."

The feature was first shown off at Google's I/O event in 2019. Since November of last year until sometime in early 2021, Google tested the voice typing feature on some of the best Android phones such as the Pixel 5.

Seeing as Google already hinted at huge improvements with voice commands, translation, captioning, and dictation when it debuted its custom Tensor chip for the Pixel 6 devices, it's safe to assume that Gboard's smarter voice typing capability will make its way to the upcoming smartphone.

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Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.