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On my Android phone I have installed the Gboard keyboard. After some small use, I see that it has accumulated 20 MB of data!

Why can a keyboard app accumulate 20MB of data?

  • I have the same question, and I find the current answers to be lacking and inaccurate. I tried Google's Gboard app with the app blocked from internet access via a firewall. I also turned off all of its learning functionalities. Even when doing all this, Google's Gboard keyboard accumulated megabytes of new data from my Android device. – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Oct 14 at 19:53
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Keep in mind that GBoard provides a lot of language specific functionalities like automatic word correction or offline speech recognition.

It seems like GBoard downloads these language specific data on first use. For example the directory com.google.android.inputmethod.latin/files/superpacks/delight seems to contain the offline language specific speech recognition data file(s).

Therefore a user data of 20MB seems to be reasonable even if GBoard has not been used for a long time. Most of this storage space seems to be occupied by language specific downloaded data.

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    +1 I guess in 10-20 years, maybe keyboard apps with more AI involded, live languages processing, plus images (gifs, emojis, stickers, and who knows videos from keyboards :) , that size wiill keep increasing. – Reddy Lutonadio Oct 14 at 11:52
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    @ReddyLutonadio: "Relax, its only using a couple Terabytes. Barely even noticeable." – Mooing Duck Oct 14 at 18:58
  • @MooingDuck Until you ask yourself: "But where is all my memory gone?" :) – Reddy Lutonadio Oct 14 at 19:20
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Remember that current keyboards are a bit different from keyboards from 10-15 years ago. Back then, their main purpose was just typing and writing. With time, emojis and gifs images became features also provided by keyboards, plus learning from your habits.

If you have a file explorer that is able to read/view /data/data/com.google.android.inputmethod.latin/cache, there is a folder named image_manager_disk_cache. It contains many files. You can copy some files found there to another folder. Then change their extension to jpg for example. You will notice they are images. That folder (at least in my case) is close to 30 MB. My example might not be conclusive as I have not given links to official Google or GBoard documentations or sources. However from my checking the folders, I think the images are the reason why GBoard is taking so much spaces.

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Depending on its detailed content, a keyboard app could accumulate every stroke you make.

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    I don't doubt that a keyboard app can potentially accumulate every stroke/tap made by the user and therefore, act like a keylogger. But it would be nice if you could mention a keyboard app from the real world which does this as well as publicly accepts/features it too! :-) – Firelord Oct 16 at 9:15
  • @Firelord Are you asking Alex, me? – Robbie Goodwin Oct 17 at 16:00
  • I am asking you. – Firelord Oct 17 at 18:35
  • Well why, for Goodness sake? it would be at least as "nice" if you yourself could mention a keyboard app from the real world which does this, whatever "publicly accepts/features it too" means. Could you re-read the Question? – Robbie Goodwin Oct 17 at 18:38

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