- Android keyboards are plentiful as third-party downloads in the Google Play Store.
- You can install many keyboards on your phone to get features like swipe typing, spell checking and translation.
- Here are seven of the best keyboard alternatives you can add to your Android phone.
- Visit Insider’s Tech Reference Library for more stories.
One of the best reasons to get an Android phone has always been for customization. You can replace almost any software on your phone, including the onscreen keyboard. And there’s no shortage of good keyboards with smart, time-saving features, gestures and input controls. Here are seven of the best Android keyboards you can install on your phone to work faster and more efficiently.
the ai.type keyboard is a capable replacement for your phone’s original keyboard, outfitted with seemingly everything under the sun. You get sliding typing (where you keep your finger on the keyboard and swipe from letter to letter to spell words) as well as traditional typing, word prediction, and auto-complete. There’s built-in emoji art and GIFs, plus a handy trackpad to quickly move the cursor wherever you need it. Moreover, it is one of the few keyboards with a row of numbers at the top, like a real physical keyboard. ai.type also has a large theme market, where you can customize the keyboard with a huge library of custom themes. You can buy it for $2.99, and there are additional in-app purchases, such as custom themes.
If your Android phone does not come with Google’s Gboard keyboard pre-installed, you should definitely add it to your keyboard inventory. It’s a great example of a well-made simple keyboard. It has a minimal, polished look and supports swipe typing along with a top row of quick access buttons for emoji, GIFs, settings, voice recognition, and more. Gboard also has some innovative features, such as built-in Google Translate which converts your text to a different language as you type. Gboard is free.
Fleksy is a somewhat minimalist traditional keyboard. You don’t get swipe-based input, though there are a handful of handy swipe gestures (you can swipe right to add a space or left to delete a word, for example). To compensate for the lack of swipe typing, it offers excellent predictive text suggestions. You can also theme the keyboard, though most add-on themes cost extra, which is only natural since the keyboard is free.
Grammar is a good choice if you already use Grammarly online spelling and grammar checker browser plugin. Grammarly has integrated its advice into a keyboard, with its advice appearing in a row at the top of the keyboard – Grammarly checks words as you type, making suggestions for spelling, grammar, punctuation and synonyms As things progress. The basic keyboard features are free, but like the Grammarly browser plugin, you can upgrade to the premium version for additional smoothness suggestions that can help with clarity, tone, and formality.
Microsoft Swift Key
SwiftKey is one of the most popular Android keyboards, and for good reason. Originally developed independently, it was purchased by Microsoft and is still a great option (not to mention free). You get a powerful slider keyboard with superb predictive typing. SwiftKey not only supports a massive number of languages, but like Gboard, it can also perform real-time translation between languages as you type. You can also float the keyboard anywhere on the screen, tilt it sideways for one-handed typing, or split it for two-thumb typing.
There are few keyboards that look like something Minimum, and using this keyboard is certainly an acquired taste. The name is a play on the word “minimum”, as it contains a standard QWERTY keyboard down to mostly a single row of letters, arranged irregularly and unevenly. To use the keyboard, you will do a lot of gestures to enlarge the part of the keyboard you are in so that you can make a selection. The advantage is that you recover a lot of space for your screen to display the document which is traditionally covered by the keyboard. The good news is that a two-finger tap instantly transforms the keyboard into a full-size QWERTY keyboard, and another tap shrinks it back down again. The bad news is that the learning curve is steep and particularly awkward until you master the whole thing. After the 30-day trial, Minuum costs $3.99 to purchase.
By type avoids traditional square keys for hexagons. Larger targets, according to Typewise, are easier to hit and increase your accuracy. The honeycomb look of the keyboard isn’t the only new thing here; Typewise also relies on a handful of gestures to boost your typing speed. Swipe up to capitalize a letter, long press to trigger a special character, and swipe left to delete. There’s no glide typing here – it wouldn’t work well with keyboard gestures – but once you get used to the input methods, Typewise is pretty fast in its own way. You can try this keyboard for free, but after that it’s $1.99 per month or a lifetime one-time fee of $24.99.