You might be happy with the stock Android keyboard - and for good reason, it's a solid and dependable option. That doesn't necessarily make it the most fun, easy to use or most productive option available. So we've put together a list of some of the best Android keyboards available for download today.
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We use our smartphones so much, finding the right keyboard for you can really make a difference. All those little conveniences really add up. The following all have certain advantages that make them the best keyboards available for Android right now.
You're probably familiar with, or at least know about, SwiftKey's Android keyboard app. The main bulk of what you should know though is that it offers predictions for key-by-key and swipe input and a variety of different sized keyboards to fit all needs, you can't freely resize it though, as you can on some.
SwiftKey for Android has just received an update to version 7.0. One of the new features is a toolbar that allows users to quickly call up stickers and GIFs for a timely and witty visual response. You can even use your own pictures to create custom stickers. To use the new Toolbar, just tap the “+” on the left of the prediction bar.
The 7.0 update also adds a bunch of new languages: Ayizo, Aymara, Bariba, Bavarian, Bicolano Central, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Kirundi, Latin, Lombard, Mam, Miskito, Nahuatl, Pangasinan, Tongan, Tulu, Upper Sorbian, Yucatec Maya.
There's also a good range of default themes you can apply to the keyboard, and if you want more there's a whole theme store where you can buy them individually or in packs. You can also choose to enable a separate number row across the top of the keyboard, or integrate the numbers into the top row of letters. SwiftKey is also a good option if you need to install a number of different languages too.
The thrust of its appeal, however, is in the accuracy of predictions, which will continue to improve as you use it. SwiftKey isn't the most exciting option on this list, but it's been around a long time now and provides a dependable, customizable option.
Add in stats for most frequently used words (and which categories they come from) you can see how much time you've saved by using SwiftKey, so there's enough to warrant checking it out if you haven't recently.
BlackBerry branded handsets that run on Android can benefit from the BlackBerry Keyboard app. The main appeal of the virtual QWERTY keyboard isBlackBerry's flick typing: users can see different possible choices for the next word in their sentence, and flick it with their finger into the text being written.
The app has just received an update that among other things, automatically capitalizes the first letter of a new sentence, allows you to customize the number pad to include symbols and emojis, and adds missing characters to Chinese and Indian language settings.
Yes, yes, it is the second keyboard from SwiftKey in this list but it also happens to be one of the better emoji keyboards available on Android. While it's not the same feature-laden affair the main app is, it does offer up predictive emoji based on the words (and context of the words) as you're typing, which comes in handy if you find yourself using them a lot. While it's not perfect, it's pretty good for a free app.
It doesn't offer access to the same level of customization as with SwiftKey, though you can still select from preset color schemes or enable a Dark Mode at night. You also get some of the same stats available in the main SwiftKey app, like taps saved, words swiped, etc.
As with the main app, for the best predictions you'll need to sign in, give it permission to access your messages and use it for a while.
Minuum is a little different to others in this list, as rather than employ a swiping method in conjuction with a predictive word engine that's really pretty smart. Its main way of doing this is by reducing the multi-line qwerty into just two lines of characters, which is where the smart predictions come in handy as this means you don't need to hit the right letters very often.
You can, of course, use Minuum in its non-minimized mode too. Here you get the full keypad and numbers, but the main thrust of the keyboard is that small row of minimized keys. You can also access different emoji from both expanded and minimized keyboard modes, and switching between modes is as easy as dragging the keyboard up or down.
It's a potentially unnatural way to use a keyboard when you first try it but, providing you stick with it, you'll almost certainly get faster. Whether or not you'll be able to go back to a normal keyboard so efficiently is a different question. It does offer support for a range of languages and the ability to change the keyboard theme too, and there's an option that changes multiple times throughout the days automatically.
Now for the stinger: it's not free. Well, there's a free 30 day trial, but if you want to keep using all the features after that you'll need to pay $2.99. You should be able to work out if it's useful to you within 30 days though.
Chrooma is one of the lesser known keyboards in this list but it's definitely one of the most customizable. That said, you'll need to either pay for individual in-app purchases or opt for a one-off fee of $2.49 if you want to unlock all of the options. If you do choose to pay for those features or perhaps just want to sync your preferences between devices, you'll need to sign in with a Google account.
Even if you don't pay for anything or sign in with your Google credentials, Chrooma is still fairly customizable in different ways and provides a wide feature set that makes it a good all-rounder. For example, you can input letters individually or use swipe input without needing to change any settings and the word predictions are fairly solid, though not always perfect. Plus it has all the staples like emoji support and a simple night mode.
Perhaps best though is the thought that's been put into accessing the options. Yes, you can go to the main Settings menu within the app, but you don't need to thanks to gesture support for common functions, like switching between one-handed mode with just a swipe of the keyboard in either direction or changing the keyboard color without switching themes.
Tenor GIF is probably one of the most fun keyboards in this list, and that's because (as the name implies) it's all about GIFs. That, however, doesn't make it unique. What does make it unique its ability to show them to you really quickly, which means no more waiting around to for GIFs to load only to find you need to tweak your search terms.
It's different to the others ones on the list as it doesn't provide its own keyboard as such. You use whichever one you prefer and Tenor GIF extends the functionality by allowing you to search and insert a GIF by typing the # and then a search term. It supports searching by GIF too.
In this instance, as is my preference, I've used it alongside Swiftmoji. This means I've got access to GIFs, emoji, swipe or type input and a few customization options all within my keyboard setup. You might prefer a more productivity-focused approach though.
If you don't use Swiftmoji, you can still search by GIF by tapping the icon next to the trending tap in the Tenor GIF popup.
The Google keyboard offers a simple and clean interface, but also many smart features. In addition to a modern look, the text-to-speech function allows you to write messages with your voice, and it recognizes many different languages. This keyboard is found by default on Nexus and Pixel smartphones. Just like Swiftkey, Google's keyboard remembers everything you type and is able to optimize its suggestions.
Looking to add some style and flair to your everyday keyboard? Cheetah has all of the traditional features such as improved predictive texting, autocorrect, and the integration of an online dictionary to provide accurate suggestions. But, as well as this, you can have a lot of fun with it with voice inputs, GIFs, memes and emoji all at your fingertips.
Cheetah keyboard stands out for its visual customization options, with 3D reactions and supports DIY themes that you can put together from hundreds of of different fonts, sounds, and backgrounds to make a keyboard that really looks unique.
Fleksy allows you to write messages quickly, without sacrificing your desire to personalize your phone. Forget the old and boring black and white keyboards! Say hello to color! Many themes are available free of charge from the application, or there are paid ones if you so desire.
Fleksy, also allows you to send emoji, stickers and GIFs directly from the keyboard. You can also select predicted words as you type or customize the size of the spacebar to suit your needs. Finally, you can swipe to access different features, like autocorrect.
What's your favorite Android keyboard? Let us know in the comments below!