8 Top Android Keyboard Apps
Back when smartphones were just beginning to emerge, I remember telling myself that I’d never like an on-screen keyboard. I was convinced that they’d never be as efficient as a physical keyboard. Obviously, I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Android’s openness supports and encourages end-user customization, which has thankfully resulted in many great options for Android keyboards. Really, there’s something for everyone.
Check out the 8 Top Android Keyboard Apps listed below:
Employs advanced AI (Artificial Intelligence) to make typing “smart, fast, and personal.” Next word prediction, which auto-learns the more you use it, can save you a tremendous number of keystrokes. You can even allow SwiftKey to learn from your text messages, to make its predictions that much more accurate. As an example, I can now type, “I will be home around 5” in 7 keystrokes. Invaluable time-savings. Price: $2.99
Enables text input by tracing the word with a single continuous finger motion. Even better, the built-in intelligence allows you to correctly generate the intended word without exactly hitting each letter. Swype is extremely easy to learn because it utilizes a standard QWERTY keyboard. Many newer Android phones like the Galaxy S and MyTouch 4G have Swype pre-installed. Swype is currently in Beta (still, which is closed), so if you haven’t downloaded it already, you’ll have to be patient. Price: Free (Beta closed)
Utilizes similar text input method as Swype; slide along letters to form words. The great benefit to this Android keyboard app is its extensive support for other languages (available for free download from the Android Market). Additionally, you can quickly switch between language keyboards for efficient communication with multiple parties. The suggestion bar above the keyboard is also more convenient and accessible than the popup utilized by Swype, although it does occupy more screen real-estate. Price: ~$8.15
An innovative keyboard which adjusts the size of certain letters depending on what you’ve already entered. This enlarges/highlights the letters you are likely to type next, while shrinking those you aren’t. It employs the predictive technology you’ve come to expect, but in a unique fashion. While it aides textual input by making the desired keys easier to find, it can also take some adjusting to as letters may seem to “move” from the accustomed location. Price: Free
A fully-featured “standard” Android keyboard with a clean interface. Supports a large number of custom skins and languages that enable extensive personalization. Bottom line, the true value in this app manifests itself in the great number of options. Price: ~$2.65
Very similar to Smart Keyboard in that it offers support for many languages and a huge list of available fonts and themes. Predictions, smooth input, and full customizations. This Android keyboard has been around for quite some time and has quite a large support base. Price: $2.99
A fancy take on the Android keyboard, with multiple layout options, tracing support like in Swype and SlideIt, and within-app translation support. It’s surprisingly easy to use all of the features that are packed into this app. If you can’t decide whether you like typing or tracing letters to input text, Ultra Keyboard is a convenient compromise that’ll efficiently let you perform both.
A gratuitous addition to this list of top Android keyboard apps, 8pen is an innovative, imaginative method for on-screen text input. In essence, think of a modern-day version of the rotary dial phone. You start at the center, enter a quadrant, then “rotate” to select the letter you want, and return to the center. Repeat this for each letter. Conveniently, an additional display is shown above the input area, so that you can see what letter is currently selected. This display serves as an excellent learning tool. Eventually, you’ll be able to enter text without looking, although the learning curve is very steep (and this will deter many new users). Price: Free
Presented above are 8 of the best options for Android keyboard apps, although there are undoubtedly more options. Each offers its own interface, set of features, variation on text-input, etc. In order to narrow this list down further, it’ll depend on how you use your on-screen keyboard, as well as personal preference. Do you use the Android keyboard most in landscape or portrait mode? With one or two-hands? Some of these options will be best in one format but not the other. Test each out and let us know what Android keyboard you decide on!
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