Gboard is constantly under construction as Google keeps finding ways to improve one of the most used tools on our phones. The latest experiment looks extremely similar to an earlier test that added GIF and sticker suggestions for emoji last year. This time, the company is experimenting with stickers that put one emoji’s emotion on another emoji’s shape, and the results can be hilarious.
Left: The empty strip before you choose an emoji. Middle & Right: Some of the creations.
Much like the GIF and sticker suggestions from last year’s experiment, this new test creates an additional strip on top of the keyboard when you switch to the emoji picker. It will be populated with stickers once you select a smiley. That doesn’t work for all emoji, though — only some with faces will prompt suggestions. Still, this creates many new opportunities to express your feelings and thoughts, all without wasting time on words. Ever thought something looked lovely, but you weren’t sure how you felt about it? Use the thinking face/heart eyes combination. Ever wanted to send someone an evil kiss? There’s a sticker for that. You’re freezing, but you also feel like laughing? Right, create that sticker.
Note the attention to detail in the screenshot in the middle: The swear words turn into hearts.
The test first surfaced on the 18.104.22.1680777105 beta release of Gboard, but a server-side switch is involved, too — several of us at Android Police couldn’t replicate the suggestions. If you’re using this version, you can try heading to Gboard’s settings and see if you can already find the Emoji browsing suggestions entry under Preferences. The toggle next to it should let you turn on or off the strip.
Look for the Emoji browsing suggestions entry on the left.
Even if you don’t see the suggestions yet, switching to the beta release might help you become part of the test. You can get the latest version by signing up as a tester on the Play Store or by grabbing it from APK Mirror. I hope this experiment will end up being included with the keyboard for everyone as it creates hilarious results. Maybe we’ll even see more combinations in the future, like those created by the emoji mashup bot on Twitter.
Rolling out to beta users
The new mash-up emoji have started to roll out more widely, but it looks like they’re still limited to people who use the Gboard beta for now. We’ve managed to take a lot more screenshots of the feature, which you can find below.
I must report with much sadness that even though there are mash-up stickers for the cat, panda, rabbit, koala, pig, mouse, reindeer, and more, there are none for the dog, as pointed out by my distressed colleague Rita.