In July, a disassembly of Gboard v7.4 revealed Google's intention to add a floating keyboard to the experience. With v7.6, it seems that the keyboard is ready for prime time. There are also signs of upcoming Halloween GIFs, in addition to quite a few new languages.
The floating keyboard works like similar floating keyboards we have seen in the past. Using a handle located at the bottom, it can be placed anywhere on the screen; and after moving, there are handles in the corners to change the size to fill as much or as little space as you want. If the keyboard is inactive in the same place without touching it for long enough, it will fade to approximately 50% opacity to allow part of the screen space behind to be displayed.
The keyboard is fully functional in floating mode and all operations seem to work normally, including planing typing, suggestions, different keyboards, etc.
To enable the floating keyboard, open an application that allows the keyboard to show hints and use the small arrow on the left side to open a function, then press the 3-point overflow menu to see all of them. The last item in the list should be called Floating. Touch that and you're ready. Note that the items in this list can be pressed for a long time and placed in the top menu (so you do not have to press the 3-point menu). Interestingly, the lever is not on the operation screen with one hand, which seems to be an equally good place to have it.
Note that a couple of people have reported that the floating keyboard was only available briefly to them in the application before it disappeared several minutes later. It is likely that Google will keep it secret while the tests are completed, and then it will be enabled for everyone. If you want to test the floating keyboard without fear of fade immediately, install this update while your Wi-Fi and cellular data is disabled, or simply turn on the airplane mode, and do not turn them on again until you do. I have played with the keyboard again. Even after re-enabling connectivity, it still works on my phone after about 15 minutes later, therefore, mmm.
The APK is signed by Google and updates your existing application. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Instead of waiting for Google to download this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it like any other APK.