The best alternative keyboards for Android
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You can grant the keyboard access to your texts, Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as RSS feeds, for instance, and SwiftKey will learn from the way you type there.
Not long after starting to use it, you will notice that not only can it predict your whole sentence without having to type more than a few letters, but it has also adapted to your writing style and most used words as well. How good is it? Well, it's been a constant in the top three paid apps in the Play Store for a while now, and always an Editor's Choice. It recently went completely free, so it's march towards the top gratis app there is a given as well.
The learning curve is steeper than with the more orthodox keyboards so far, but it only takes a little while to get used to, and then saves you a bunch of screen space for multitasking, plus the more you type, the better Minuum gets. Unfortunately, it is paid after the 30-day free trial, as most good things are, and doesn't sport a whole lot of language support for now, but the most popular ones are covered.
You don't even need to be precise, it'll still get it, and that's the best part of this input method, making entering text input faster than anything, even a physical keyboard. You can now even enter words from two languages at once, and you can adjust the long-press delay, vibration duration, keyboard height and mini left/right keyboards in landscape mode. The thing is that, while Swype was a pioneer, many 3rd party keyboards, and even Google's stock Android one, offer this feature, while Swype keeps charging for its app in the era of the free keyboards.
11. GO Keyboard
It also has a dizzying array of options how GO Keyboard can look and behave, which are somewhat perplexing, though, and the keyboard is not that stable on many devices, plus it skimps on the Google Voice input for now.
Automatic punctuation and correction fix those somewhat, but it's an entirely different story when the fat split layout of Thumb Keyboard is under your fingers. Helpful in portrait, but perfect for landscape mode, this keyboard can be used on phones and tablets alike with great precision, and has a regular mode too. The drawbacks are the lack of a trial version, and limited updates as well as language support, compared to other offers.
1. SleepingOz (unregistered)
Swiftkey is still the best for me.
2. hassoups (Posts: 273; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)
true, but i think their themes could really use a makeover
4. SleepingOz (unregistered)
Yeah but it doesn't really bother me much, the neon blue works just fine for me. You can still try Smart Keyboard or TouchPal X for better looking themes. We should actually be happy to have the freedom to choose and customize every aspect of our smartphones to make Android such a unique experience, unlike some sub-par OSes.
18. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3934; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
If Swiftkey made a theme that looked like the Google Keyboard, that would be great.
20. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
+1 A theme that fits the Android version would be amazing. I currently use Holo because it's the closest, but I really agree with the need to update the designs of their keyboard. Most of them are very dull, unsophisticated, and unprofessional.
36. RyanAtSwiftKey (Posts: 2; Member since: 17 Jul 2014)
We have since added 30 new themes! Check them out if you have not.
3. Technobri (Posts: 71; Member since: 10 Dec 2012)
Fleksy is really gaining ground on swiftkey
5. Stuntman (Posts: 711; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
I recommend Kii Keyboard. I find that this keyboard works best for me. I like it because I like Kii's landscape layout more than any others that I have tried. I simply make fewer errors typing with this keyboard compared to others.
17. McLTE (Posts: 639; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
I vote for Kii as well. I had A.I. for a while but it really started making me mad with it's suggestions. if I mistype a word, it will take it and start suggesting it constantly.
Kii has been good so far.
6. AfterShock (Posts: 2489; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
I prefer the Google one myself.
Simple and works well enough for me.
9. ihavenoname (Posts: 1307; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
Yeah, me too. Looks good, works fantastic, and very intuitive. (I also like Swiftkey, too)
11. Augustine (Posts: 667; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)
Yes. In its latest spin, it's almost as good as Swiftkey, which I tried before, but, with its stupid coupling with Dragon, made it bloated and sluggish. And I can switch languages quickly even in the middle of a text. Too bad it's not available for anything older than Jelly Bean, I think.
7. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2911; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
Swype best for me. The Pioneers of swipe gesture typing. Btw google keyboard is not that good as it seems
23. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2911; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
I change my words.
Swype is still a champion for me. But the latest Google keyboard (holo grey theme) is awesome and an easy recommendation for anyone wanting a free yet fast and smooth typing experience. :)
8. Planterz (Posts: 650; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
I got Swiftkey when it was on sale for 99 cents, but after using it for a few years, I'd be happy paying the $3.99 for it. It's not perfect; my one complaint is when it autocorrects things I don't want corrected, but it makes up for that fact by NOT correcting it the second time I type it, because it realizes I didn't make a mistake. So often you see damnyouautocorrect entries where a person sends the wrong word several times. Not an issue with Swiftkey.
I might have to give Flesky a try though...
10. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 690; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)
Google Keyboard for phones, Tablet Keyboard (forgot the name of the app) for...tablets
13. steelew (Posts: 48; Member since: 04 Jun 2012)
Ultra keyboard is the best all-a-round keyboard IMO. It has a lot of the features of these other keyboards and some features that they don't. I've been using it since I started using android and none of these listed here can match up.
14. Boybawang (Posts: 30; Member since: 02 Jun 2013)
I tried them all and the best virtual keyboard in the world is "MESSAGEASE". I swear nothing comes close to it.
22. Stuntman (Posts: 711; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
I did try to learn to type with MessagEase, but I just felt that the learning curve was too much. I'm just too used to the QWERTY layout that such a nonstandard layout required too much time and effort for me to achieve proficiency at a reasonable level.
16. tweetgadget (Posts: 11; Member since: 05 Feb 2014)
on smartphone ..fleksy Is the best .. thumb keyboard is the best for tablet
21. lovemasterbaba (Posts: 10; Member since: 20 Nov 2013)
I'm going to try the aii keyboard, swiftkey now cost $5 in the play store too expensive i'm not buying. I'd try fleksy too.
37. RyanAtSwiftKey (Posts: 2; Member since: 17 Jul 2014)
SwiftKey is now free if you have not heard. =D
24. TheOldOne (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
best one is Samsung Note 3 keyboard: has the swipe, has the handwriting recognition.
25. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2375; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
Holy shiet that's an annoying voice in video #2
26. ciprian.ruse (Posts: 48; Member since: 13 May 2014)
I love Swiftkey but if you use hangouts and click on the emoji button on the keyboard and start swiping through emojis it's super slow(Note 3) compare to android L keyboard but best predictions goes to swiftkey.
27. Firedrops (Posts: 215; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)
IMO Fleksy's overrated. I trialed it for 2 weeks with high hopes, really loved the "invisible" keyboard and gesture inputs features.
However, I went back to Swiftkey in the end as Fleksy's autocorrection engine was just plain useless, even after 2 weeks of manually learning and letting it learn from my social apps. It can't even detect spelling errors like "eevn" or "samrt".
Minuum has a good concept, but my thumbs get pretty uncomfortable having to bend at such angles to keep them at the absolute bottom of the screen all the typing time.
29. Neo_Huang (Posts: 326; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)
Also, Go Keyboard allows you to set your own background.
30. Anonn (Posts: 43; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)
A.I.Type Keyboard. The only one I know with Undo and Personal Shortcuts. Dont care about swipe stuff and prediction.
31. Stuntman (Posts: 711; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
I'm seeing comments from February. Did PA just recycled this article?
32. azfar (Posts: 14; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)
google android L keybaord with material theme suit best for me.
35. harimura (Posts: 10; Member since: 14 Jun 2011)
Swype because its one of the few swipe keyboards that supports Japanese input.
Their Japanese dictionary is terrible though as it seems to leave out a number of characters used for local place names.