8 best alternative keyboards on Android
One of the great strengths of Android is undoubtedly can customize the interface of the phone simply by means of an application to install. Functionality over by Apple in 2014 for iOS 8, third party keyboards are generally very popular with users. Here is a selection of the most relevant perspective.
The Google Play Store is full of alternative keyboards. Some are content with the bare minimum, others follow the trend or betting on personalization themes. Finally, the last downright attempt to revolutionize the way we write on mobile. It is above all a matter of taste and habits, but perhaps this list exhaustive or ranked in order of preference, may she help you build you a first opinion.
1. The official Android keyboard
It was not until 2013 with the release of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean that Google has decided to offer its native keyboard on the Play Store to enable anyone to enjoy, even when the manufacturer has decided to replace it with a homemade, often cumbersome and inaccurate (at least at the time). It is still positioned as one of the references on the subject, even if it does not reinvent the wheel.
Nice to look at as to use with its four proposed themes, automatic corrections and gesture typing, Google Keyboard provides the bare minimum to compete with its competitors. It lacks however still some details, such as the ability to add an extra row dedicated to numbers, but perhaps future updates will resolve this problem they. Meanwhile, it remains as light as effective, and these are two qualities that we often search for these kinds of applications.
2. SwiftKey: headlining
Launched in 2010 , SwiftKey is one of the pillars of alternative keyboards for Android and is very often the first city search. Free, “smart” and learning from its user, it saves on typing speed. SwiftKey anticipates the next words or emoji you want to use based on your habits (either long or after scanning your emails and social networks) and proposes you to make your entry even faster.
More than just a smart keyboard, SwiftKey is easily configurable. Basic, it offers nearly two dozen different topics, others are accessible from the SwiftKey Store. Then free to user to set the layout of the keys, the keyboard size and even its position by lifting the bottom of the screen.
Finally, the icing on the cake for the followers of useless statistics, SwiftKey displays some fun numbers, like the distance the finger “Flow” mode, the number of errors corrected or the number of predicted words. For the curious, it can even generate a heat map of the keyboard showing the most used keys.
3. Swype: the precursor
Even before SwiftKey integrates, gesture typing was introduced by Swype here a few years ago. For that alone, it deserves its place in this selection. Fee (1.12 euro) and customizable (many themes are available, including one dedicated to Star Trek), Swype is more sober than SwiftKey, but less comprehensive in its options and less effective in its proposals for words.
It brings a touch of originality in this ecosystem by offering its own voice recognition system (Dragon Dictation) rather than resting on that of Google. Ideal for those who want to emancipate themselves as much as possible from the search giant.
4. Fleksy: the original
If you are looking for something different, Fleksy may well meet your needs. Unlike the others, does not bother Fleksy a gesture typing, so you will ask to press all the letters. However, the automatic corrector is the part which is the navigation which is realized by sliding his finger across the screen. A move to the right inserts a space, adds a second point, a shift down or up can change the last word for the different proposals of the keyboard and a gesture to the left removes the word.
Customization is also omnipresent with not only the themes and the size of management, but also an additional bar located above the keyboard that can accommodate conventional tools (copy, paste, navigation arrows …), numeric characters GIFs and emoji, and more. Finally, you can add some visual effects such as color changing buttons for each word or highlight shaped hearts. Yes, it is totally unnecessary, and that’s what makes it indispensable.
Fleksy is difficult to understand if you type long on a traditional keyboard, but with a little determination, you could find a very interesting and practical keyboard.
5. Minuum: unusual
Your screen is small? Your touch screen only works on its low end? Like trying new concepts? Like to use the “split screen” of your smartphone? Minuum is for you. If it can be used like any other keyboard – which loses much of its interest in this position since it does nothing more than its competitors – Minuum stands out for its “Mini” mode.
Reduced on a line, Minuum offers its own smart seized mode. It takes some time to adapt, to be sure, but with a few shortcut navigation and understanding of words (effective both in English and French). 2016 obliges the emoji are also present.
6. GO Keyboard: the chameleon
At one time, GO Keyboard was a must for those who wanted to put a little color on their keyboard. This was the time when sobriety was streaked with yellow polka dots and a colorful interface where decorated by Benetton was the standard of aesthetic finesse. Since GO keyboard is still there, along with its more than 10,000 subjects more or less good taste.
And that is the whole GO Keyboard force. Besides its very (too?) Many themes GO Keyboard can be customized, from its dimensions to the typography used through the clutter, and even add plugins and download emoji or additional stickers.
Apart from this significant advantage, GO Keyboard is resource intensive, overloaded with information (and advertising) and word recognition in a slide using poor. His marker remains effective for those who use the keyboard more traditionally.
7. Kika Emoji Keyboard: the new kid so 2016
Those who have experienced the beginnings of the commercial Internet still use smileys, these little faces ASCII symbols to notify his mindset. Younger – or more for at least page – are in turn passed to emoji, little more varied designs and especially so the meaning is less difficult to decipher. And animated GIFs. And stickers. Or kaomoji, these Japanese designs that look without turning his head (one of the best known being the “table Fliping” (╯ ° □ °) ╯( ┻━┻, or the more recent “meh”: _ (ツ) _ / ¯).
Kika Emoji integrates all these new ways to communicate in addition to providing the usual gimmicks such as voice input (via Google Voice) or sliding, and an additional bar located above the keyboard up numeric characters, the last emoji used. Finally, it is very fluid use and also offers a condensed positioning on the side to fit a one-handed operation even on larger screens.
Real good surprise, Kika Emoji seems to be a compendium of the best ideas from competitors to suit all styles.
8. Microsoft Wordflow: the challenger coming
It is not yet available on Android, but some are already looking forward to unfeigned. It must be said that Windows Phone users eagerly boast their keyboard is practical, lightweight and efficient. Best of all, it has a well thought out compact mode that has the letters in concentric arcs around the corner.
Microsoft Wordflow should arrive soon on iOS and Android. Meanwhile, it will simply list given by The Verge and the Windows version.