Fast: When was the final time you considered the keyboard app in your telephone?
In the event you’re something like most individuals, the reply might be someplace between “a ridiculously very long time in the past” and “by no means.” And it is no marvel: Keyboard apps are simple to neglect! You put in one — or follow no matter got here loaded in your telephone by default — after which use it to enter textual content when it is advisable to. It is simply there, and until you are a weirdo who spends hours making an attempt out totally different keyboards to see how they examine (after which making an attempt ’em all out once more months later to see how they’ve advanced and what different choices have come alongside), you are by no means gonna know what you are lacking.
Nicely, excellent news, my good friend: I am that weirdo. Someway, it is my job. (Loopy, proper?) And I’ve simply completed assessing all the important Android keyboard apps of their present incarnations to see what they’ve to supply in 2021 and the way they stack up.
Lemme inform ya: These once-unassuming typing instruments have come a good distance. The highest Android keyboard apps now supply virtually absurdly polished and refined textual content enter experiences — and that is simply the tip of the iceberg. Android keyboards as we speak are overflowing with all kinds of superior capabilities that go manner past their authentic functions. And which means it is extra vital than ever to seek out the correct setup on your private productiveness wants.
So let’s get into it, we could? These are one of the best Android keyboard apps round, damaged down by the place they excel and for whom they take advantage of sense.
One of the best all-around Android keyboard app for most individuals
Gboard – the Google Keyboard (free)
In the event you simply desire a stable, thoughtfully designed keyboard that works effectively and is nice to make use of, Google’s personal Gboard is hard to beat. Gboard is nice for correct swipe-based typing — the place you slide your finger from one letter to the following with out lifting it — and it does an honest job at tap-oriented typing, too, with its built-in typo correction and next-word prediction capabilities.
Past the fundamentals, Gboard helps quite a lot of probably helpful superior productiveness options. As an illustration, you may search Google proper from the keyboard after which paste in outcomes — issues like instructions to a enterprise or a hyperlink to an online web page — instantly into the textual content discipline, wherever you might be. You may also activate an built-in Google Translate mode that’ll translate something you sort from one language to a different on the fly.
Different noteworthy components embody a handwriting mode, which transforms your on-screen scribbles into common textual content as you write; a floating keyboard possibility, which makes it simpler to entry the keyboard on a large-screened gadget; a built-in clipboard, which makes it fast ‘n’ easy to seek out and paste any just lately copied content material or completely pinned objects; quite a lot of themes to make the keyboard look any manner you want; and a sequence of hidden shortcuts for extra-speedy textual content enter.
Whether or not you benefit from all these prospects or not, although, Gboard is a well-rounded keyboard that permits you to sort shortly, precisely, and with minimal trouble in your Android telephone. If you haven’t any particular necessities and simply desire a commendable all-around keyboard that will get the job finished, Gboard is the app for you.
One of the best Android keyboard app for tap-based typing and predictive textual content
Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard (free)
End up typing largely by tapping out phrases? The now-Microsoft-owned SwiftKey is the Android keyboard app you need. SwiftKey is in a league of its personal in the case of ease and accuracy of tap-based typing, and its next-word prediction is second to none. (The app can deal with swipe-based typing as effectively however is much less distinctive in that area.)
SwiftKey has loads of bells and whistles, too, together with a characteristic that permits you to share your actual location (or any location round you) with a pair fast faucets; an possibility to attach the keyboard to your calendar after which flick thru your agenda and share particulars about an occasion or time slot into any textual content discipline; and an built-in net search system that makes it doable to view total net pages in an overlay window and even seize and share screenshots with out ever switching away out of your present app.
All in all, SwiftKey is a elegant and viable various to Gboard. It additionally, not surprisingly, depends totally on Microsoft companies over Google companies, by default, for issues like search and translation. In the event you are likely to sort largely by tapping — or if you happen to’re closely invested within the Microsoft ecosystem and need your Android expertise to revolve around that world — it is effectively value giving a whirl.
One of the best Android keyboard app for writing perfection
Grammarly Keyboard (free with non-obligatory $140-a-year subscription for premium options)
In the event you’re much less involved about how you are typing and extra fearful about what you are typing, the appropriately named Grammarly Keyboard is likely to be simply the reply for you. Grammarly, as its identify suggests, is targeted on watching your phrases and making clever recommendations about your grammar, spelling, and different potential points as you enter textual content in your telephone.
To that finish, the keyboard pops up corrections about your writing inside its higher bar in actual time and as a part of an ongoing listing of recommendations. Even in the case of one thing so simple as a misspelled phrase, it outshines different keyboards by ensuring an error catches your consideration each when you’re actively typing it and after you have moved previous the problematic textual content, because of a lingering alert within the keyboard’s upper-left nook. And it does the identical with grammatical points, too — one thing most different keyboards do not try in any respect.
Grammarly additionally gives up synonyms on your most up-to-date phrase everytime you cease typing, which might be each helpful and useful. Or, shall I say, efficacious. (Thanks, thesaurus!)
In the event you actually wish to go all out, Grammarly can provide you detailed recommendations about bettering your writing — suggestions for all the pieces from clarifying sentences to fixing wordiness and even making you sound extra assured (a service I certain may’ve utilized in highschool) — as a part of a $140-a-year premium subscription. The worth is a bit steep, however it does embody an identical set of advantages throughout Grammarly’s browser extensions, native Home windows and Mac utilities, and Phrase-, Outlook-, and Docs-specific capabilities. (Staff-based enterprise plans are additionally accessible beginning at $12.50 per person monthly.)
Writing enchancment apart, Grammarly’s Android keyboard is completely effective. It helps each tap- and swipe-based enter and works effectively on each fronts. It lacks many of the extra superior components and choices Gboard and SwiftKey present, however it offers you an terrible lot of different worth in return.
One of the best Android keyboard app for privateness and ease
Simple Keyboard (free)
On the flip facet to the extra elaborate Android keyboard choices is the bare-bones, basic-as-can-be Easy Keyboard — an app whose identify tells you a lot of what it is advisable to know concerning the expertise it offers.
Easy Keyboard offers you, sure, a easy keyboard, with assist for tap-based typing — and that is just about it. There is not any textual content correction system, no next-word prediction, and no assist for swipe-oriented enter. There’s not even entry to Google’s system-level voice-to-text system, which each and every different app on this listing offers. Heck, except for a humble set of easy choices, Easy Keyboard has no bells and whistles in any respect. It’s, fairly merely, a keyboard. And that is all it aspires to be.
So why would you need such a frills-free typing expertise when so many wealthy, feature-laden alternate options exist? Nicely, you may not need any of these added components, for one, and is likely to be content material to have one thing that simply helps you to faucet in phrases as wanted. However maybe extra prominently, Easy Keyboard’s lack of lofty ambitions offers it one highly effective characteristic no different keyboard can match: privateness — in-built at its core, with a ground-level assurance that nothing you sort may ever be transmitted off your gadget by the keyboard itself.
Just about each different Android keyboard app, y’see, requires perpetual community entry so as to function. And whereas many of the main gamers say they’re going to by no means do something nefarious along with your information, there is not any denying that they do on the very least have the means to look at and transmit it. (The necessity for web entry might be defined in quite a lot of completely official methods, together with the bold choices these apps have for performing web searches and even simply studying your typing habits over time so as to present higher predictions — however nonetheless, if most privateness is a prime concern of yours, that will not be sufficient to make it acceptable.)
Easy Keyboard, in distinction, requests no stage of community entry. In truth, the one permission it requires is the power to regulate your gadget’s vibration motor. (You’ll be able to see this for your self by opening the “View particulars” hyperlink beneath the “Permissions” header on the app’s Play Store page. On Android, an app is barely allowed to entry system capabilities and forms of information that it explicitly requests and that you just explicitly authorize in some unspecified time in the future alongside the way in which.) Which means there is not any life like manner the app can log what you are typing after which switch that information off of your gadget — for any cause. This system’s code is even completely open source, if you happen to’re tech-savvy and wish to affirm precisely what it is doing.
Most individuals will want the added creature comforts supplied by the opposite apps on this listing, however for the privacy-conscious and simplicity-seeking amongst us, Easy Keyboard is a precious and weird contender that performs an vital position on this keyboard assortment.
This text was initially printed in March 2019 and up to date in February 2021.