In August, Gboard was spotted testing hands-free voice typing on Pixel phones. According to a new 9to5Google report, the software giant seems to be rolling out the feature now.
The new ‘enhanced voice typing’ leverages the power of next-gen Google Assistant. In case you’re out of the loop, next-gen Assistant is still limited to Pixel 4 series, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. If you own one of these phones, you can enable the feature from the ‘Voice typing’ section of Gboard’s settings. Google will also prompt you to try out the feature through a new banner.
Thanks to Google Assistant, you can use voice commands to control the whole voice typing experience. For instance, you can just say ‘Clear’ to delete the contents and start over. Similarly, you can say ‘Send’ to send the message.
Once enabled, you will see a ‘Speak now to dictate’ prompt in the word predictions space of the keyboard. As detailed in August, Google Assistant’s light bar will show up to offer visual feedback. You can also choose to enable the auto punctuation toggle to let the keyboard automatically add punctuation while you’re dictating.
According to the report, the feature is currently limited to the beta version of Gboard. In addition, there seems to be a server-side component linked to the rollout, which means you may not necessarily have the feature even with Gboard beta. If you have a Pixel phone with next-gen Assistant, you can try out your luck by enrolling in Gboard’s beta program.
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