Boring old gray keyboards are so lame. Google, however, knows this, and is rolling out a new version of the Google Keyboard for Android that comes with a much better theme selector.
The new keyboard was originally shown off as part of Android N, however it seems as though the keyboard itself is rolling out ahead of the Android N release. As with many of Google’s app rollouts, the new keyboard is rolling out in stages, so if you don’t have it yet, hold tight and you should get it in the near future.
As mentioned, the major change in the new keyboard is the ability to choose themes. You can select from a number of different colors for the keyboard, and even use your own image to act as the keyboard background. From that same theme select menu, you’ll also be able to toggle borders — a feature that was already available, but will now be accessed from the theme menu.
Last but not least, Google Keyboard 5.1 will come with support for Unicode 9 emojis, which allows users to select the skin tone of the emoji. It’s important to note that feature does not work on Android Marshmallow — you’ll have to have Android N to take advantage of Unicode 9.
Thankfully, if you don’t want to wait for the new keyboard to roll out to your device — you can simply get it from APK Mirror, courtesy of the folks over at Android Police. You’ll have to make sure to get the right version for your device, and if you’ve never sideloaded an APK before, you should probably just stick to waiting for the official download to come through.
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