Android keyboard app shoot-out - Fleksy, Minuum, Swiftkey, and Swype battle for glory

And the survivors of our shoot-out are...


1. Look & feel - Swiftkey



This category is purely subjective, and we happened to fall for Swiftkey's variety of themes and dual visual identity. No matter whether you opt for the conventional layout with big, spacious keys, or for the stylish board-like one that will feel right at home on iOS 8, this keyboard delivers on the looks. The vista is complemented by fantastic touch response, nice customization options, and more emoji than you know how to deal with.

Download: Android

2. Control efficiency - Fleksy & Swype



It was, and it still is a heated duel between Fleksy and Swype for the medal in this category. If you like to tame your Android keyboard with gestures, Fleksy will have your fingers flexing intuitively in all directions, while dealing superbly with your typing. If gesture control isn't your thing, however, absolutely consider Swype. Swiping letters, pressing keys, voice commands - this is the one to have them all, and each works very smoothly. Of course, Swiftkey and Minuum are supremely efficient keyboards too - it's just that they are more focused on the typing itself, and less on how exactly you'll get to each letter.

Download Fleksy: Android
Download Swype: Android

3. Typing efficiency - Minuum



What can we say? When we saw how Minuum shrunk the big ole' keyboard to a tiny, cramped row of characters and handled our "I don't know which word I'm typing anymore!" writing like it was a walk in the park, our jaws dropped. Minuum doesn't literally read your mind, but it feels like it, because it did read the minds of many, many people in usability and typing tests. Like we said, Minuum makes other keyboards look archaic, and it's also the only one fit for a smart-watch. Being so efficient in typing while relying less on the user's fingers and more on prediction algorithms launched Minuum far in the stratosphere above its competitors. It doesn't have fancy looks, it has no swiping, and its novel approach won't suit everyone, but Minuum is next generation touch-screen typing.

Download Minuum: Android

4. Misc features - Fleksy



With its colorful badges and included Guinness World Record Challenge, punching in characters on your touch-screen with Fleksy literally becomes a game. The 'Invisible Keyboard' mode might be questionably practical, but it is "look at me typing ike this!" fun for the whole family. The resizing options, the extended social network integration, and the cool infographic of your typing achievements all add up to the most delightful package of misc functionality among the top four Android keyboards.

Download: Android

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26 Comments

1. yonith

Posts: 228; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

I stopped using Swiftkey because of it's horrible lag and missing keystrokes. At first I thought it was my phone (overclocked SGS3) but then I upgraded to the LG G2 and it was still occurring. I switched to the Android L keyboard and haven't looked back. It never misses a beat.

6. bestmvno

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

Never experienced such a thing on either Nexus 5, SGS2 or SGS3. Are you sure you are not thinking about swype? Swype at one point used to suffer these problems. My swiftkey issue is that it's not the best at swiping or "flowing", although the latest update has improved things.

12. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

I agree on lag with my nexus 5 and nexus 7 2013 and SwiftKey . Some days I start typing and find that it has missed 90% of what I typed.

14. bestmvno

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

Hmmm. I've had the nexus 5 since February and have not experienced this ever. Are you using Davlik or ART for a run time? I'm using ART.

8. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Android L keyboard is the best by far.

13. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

Is Android L keyboard available for free?

15. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Of course. :)

11. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

I always go back to stock/vanilla keyboard in the end, which is the most lag-free of all.

19. saiki4116

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

The prediction engine in SwiftKey is very aggressive, it assumes that most of times you would mistype, it had been issue for me as I type my mother tongue in English. I am also using Android L keyboard

23. ideal_josh

Posts: 34; Member since: Nov 26, 2012

go to SwiftKey settings and change it. lol

2. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Swype, for me. Since 2010 (Symbian times).

3. surethom

Posts: 1691; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Swiftkey is my fav but with swift turned off. I have tried so many but swiftkey is the best i find & love the number keypad layout.

4. CaptainManlyMan

Posts: 12; Member since: Jan 31, 2014

I'm using Fleksy, and have never looked back. I love this keyboard. XD

5. ghanemsam

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

SwiftKey is the best

7. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

Google keyboard does the job perfectly for me in all my devices! Its gesture typing is fast, accurate and fluid! It's better optimized than the above keyboards!

10. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

I'm not so happy with it. It works most of the time, but it can also be sluggish and incorrect at times. Besides, what's with it inside comboxes? It seems to lose half of its functionality when typing in them on Chrome.

9. Max_Boost

Posts: 101; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Swiftkey >>> *

16. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Weird. How can fleksy been on the apple app store since July of 2012 when apple didn't allow 3rd party keyboards???

18. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1245; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Exactly what I was thinking.

20. luis.d

Posts: 354; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Fleksy launched as a stand-alone keyboard app. Basically, you type your stuff, and go paste it in Facebook and Twitter. Today, there are Fleksy-integrated apps on the app store which use its SDK to have it built-in as their custom keyboard. Swiftkey also did something similar with its Swiftkey Note app.

17. sirrichard unregistered

I have an LG G3 and am using ai type plus keyboard (last two phones) and really love it. I don't know why it is not considered among the best.

21. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Using Swype now. Bored with swiftkey after using it for a year. Was good. But I need a change. Swype is good for me now.

22. Even4steven

Posts: 45; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

Swype has taught me that input method is an underrated component of the whole phone experience. I struggle to understand how Apple users have hung in there without keyboard choices and the usefulness of alternatives.

24. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

I prefer Minuum because standard QWERTY keyboard suck on my small screen ;)

25. Caspid

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

I really wanted to like Flesky, but it was terrible compared to SwiftKey. The predictions weren't nearly as accurate. You can't click on them and swiping down to try the next prediction is horribly slow/cumbersome. It seems a lot less forgiving of errors than SwiftKey. There's no keyboard indication for symbols. Trying to type numbers is excruciating without a dedicated number row. There are no next word predictions. You can't swipe to type at all (I do this when i have to text one-handed). On top of all this, it's not even free. I'm guessing Fleksy's world record for speed was set without predictions allowed, as nothing could be faster than simply tapping on SwiftKey's next-word predictions.

26. leoavi94

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 24, 2015

Swift key's auto correct and prediction are useless except for English.. Since I use hinglish there is not a single keyboard that can predict and work better than swype.. But I don't know why it lags a lot. I wish it was smooth like swiftkey.. But when I have to type in English I use Fleksy.. Hands down it is seriously the best and fastest keyboard on the planet.. It reminds me the days of physical QWERTY keyboards. I don't have to even look at my phone while typing I just keep tapping my fingers and voilĂ .. I got it free through an offer at Amazon app store :D Who don't like freebies :P

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