Best Android keyboard apps

News Marin Perez 12:21, Oct 25 2012

Android keyboard apps are plentiful and we round up some of the best for your devices

One of the reasons I switched from the iPhone to Android is that Google's operating system provides you with much more flexibility and control over your device, and that includes being able to replace the keyboard with a third-party alternative. Let's take a look at some of the best alternative keyboard apps on the Google Play store. 

If you do pick up one of these alternative keyboards, be sure to dive into your settings and change your default text input. 

SwiftKey 

This is by far my favorite keyboard app for Android because SwiftKey is probably the most intelligent learning keyboard I've seen yet. The great thing about SwiftKey is that it actually does learn your typing tendencies and vocabulary to make it easier and quicker to input text. You can even hook in your social network to give SwiftKey a better idea of how you like to write and it will incorporate that into your keyboard.

I'm used to typing every single word in precisely, so it does take a little bit of time to get used to SwiftKey being able to predict your next words for you. But once you get into the groove of SwiftKey, it will save you time and make your typing experience so much better. 

The team is also continuing to improve its offerings and it will soon be rolling out a feature called SwiftKey Flow. This enables you to trace your words out on screen. The Flow feature will be rolling out over the next few weeks to the SwiftKey VIP community and you can sign up for it here.

Download SwiftKey for your Android device from the Play Store here (free and paid versions available).

Swype

 

Swype is probably the best-known Android keyboard and has taken a radically different approach to inputting text: You type by using continuous tracing motions. This was created by one of the original inventors of T9 input (remember that?) and it was so popular that the company was eventually sold to Nuance. 

Because it's so different, Swype will take a long time to get used to. I really didn't get it when it first came out, as I could type much faster by just tapping with my thumbs. When you start to trust Swype though, it makes text a breeze, especially with one hand. 

Swype continues to get better, too. I used to hate how it acted when you wanted to use it like a normal keyboard but updates have made it much better. The Nuance acquisition also means you can look forward to even better voice-dictation features. 

 

You can get Swype for you Android phone from the company's website (free).

Thumb Keyboard 

As I mentioned before, I like to use my thumbs to type so it makes sense that I'd like the Thumb Keyboard.

As you would expect, the Thumb Keyboard is ideal for those who want to tap away with their thumbs. This app will give you a keyboard that can be a split panel and I've found it performs quite well. It's comfortable, quick and it really scales up nicely on a tablet. In fact, I probably like it better on a tablet than on an Android phone. 

Check out the video below for an idea of what Thumb Keyboard offers. 

Download Thumb Keyboard for your Android device from the Play Store here ($1.99). 

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