Emoji helps us better express ourselves through text messages, and now Google ‘s Gboard is testing a new “emoji bar” option to give users faster access.
We first spotted this new feature in Gboard in April, but it wasn’t live until now. On the latest beta update, our tipster saw the emoji bar pop up for the first time.
As shown below, the emoji bar in the Gboard appears above the keyboard and tool row, adding a bit more height to the keyboard itself. When it first appears, there’s a message that says, “Introducing the emoji bar! “And gives a very brief tutorial explaining what the feature is meant to do and how to use it.
Of course, tapping an emoji on the bar inserts it into the app you ‘re using, just like the standard Gboard emoji section does. We ‘re not sure if the bar changes its layout based on your personal use or context within the app you ‘re using, but in the example our tipster saw some of the most popular emojis show, including laughter, crying, heart, fire, thumbs up, and others.
The Gboard emoji bar also includes a shortcut to the rest of the emoji section — a bit repetitive if you ask me, given that the same button is lower on the screen — as well as a way to disable the bar. Swiping over the bar reveals the “remove” button to disable the functionality if you don’t want it. There’s also a setting in the Gboard Settings menu to turn it off.
Notably, our tipster has only been able to use this feature with Google Messages. It wouldn’t work with Telegram for any reason. It’s probably not the final behavior, though.
As mentioned in an another article, Gboard is also currently testing a feature suggesting sticker packs.