Google rolls out automatic dark/light mode switching to Gboard beta users

Keyboards on two Android phones
Keyboards on two Android phones (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Gboard users are set to get a new theming option.
  • Google is currently rolling out a new 'System Auto' theme that will mirror your phone's system-wide dark mode settings.
  • It's currently only available to beta users.

While Google's Gboard will likely never be as colorful and customizable as something like the Chrooma Keyboard (opens in new tab) app, the company is now rolling out a new theming option that many of you will no doubt appreciate.

The new Gboard beta (version 9.7) now includes a 'System Auto' theme that automatically detects and mimics your system-wide dark mode settings (via 9to5Google). This switches the keyboard's background color to white when you're in light mode and a dark grey when you're in dark mode.

For that convenience, however, you do lose out on some customizability, as you cannot, say, choose to have a neon green background when in light mode, something custom skins do offer. You do get the option to enable/disable key borders so...that's something, I guess?

In that vein, it really is a shame that Google's joining the party with Gboard this late in the game, given that many third-party apps have offered contextual dark mode for ages; better late than never, I guess?

If you don't see the option on your end yet, make sure to sign up for the Gboard beta in the Play Store (opens in new tab). Google also seems to be engaging in a partial rollout at the moment, so you may not see it even then.

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1 Comment
  • I'd like to know why google decided to kill one of the most useful features in gboard, indeed the signature feature they advertised when they announced the app. That is the ability to search from the keyboard itself. Without it, gboard is really not that special.