After our first discovery in August, Gboard is now rolling out an “enhanced voice input” experience with the new Google Assistant found on the latest Pixel phones. However, it doesn’t work for most users.
Pixel 4 / XL, Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 users these days are experiencing the “New!” banner after opening Gboard and tapping on the microphone icon. This feature is considered to help you “Save typing time” by taking advantage of the Assistant.
For example, you can say “Delete” to delete what has been transcribed instead of having to use the backspace key manually. That seems to be the only order available today, although “Send”; must be another order as well.
In addition to Gboard’s “Speak now to command” prompt, the new Google Assistant light bar slides in from the edges of the screen before lumping together at the bottom to provide visual confirmation. The indicator in the upper right corner works as before.
In the Voice Input menu in Gboard settings, the “Advanced” option appears:
Enabled enhanced voice input with voice commands provided by the Assistant.
There is also an option to “automatically add punctuation while dictating.” With previous experience, users had to say ‘dot’, ‘comma’ or ‘question mark / exclamation mark’ themselves. It can be turned on / off independently of key capabilities. In our brief test, it performed quite well.
This new option coincides with last year’s “faster voice input”, downloads an offline model to your device and works in real time.
Starting today, the feature will roll out to Pixel phones with the “new Google Assistant” with the latest Gboard beta installed (version 10.0+).
While the enhanced voice input UI came out, it didn’t work on our two devices. We were just lucky to use the new feature on a Pixel 5, which suggests this wasn’t a full launch. Navigate to the settings (third screenshot above) and turn off that second switch to return to the previous experience.
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