For most users, their Android device’s built-in keyboard app is good enough but apart from autocorrect, stock keyboards have little to no extra features. This is where alternative keyboard apps come into play.
If your fingers are too big to tap on the right letters, some of the following keyboard apps will let you swipe for better accuracy. Others learn the way you use words and can even predict your next letter based on your favorite words. If you’re a fan of customization, there are apps that will let you personalize the look of your keyboard, including the background or even the QWERTY layout.
If any of these features interest you, here are 10 of the best keyboard apps for Android. Some of them are free while some are paid apps with free trials available.
Siine is a shortcut keyboard where you can set up shortcuts for commonly used greetings or phrases. It also has built-in clock and calendar views that allow you to quickly input text related to dates and times. You can also create custom emoticons and use them quickly using emoticon shortcuts.
This multi-touch keyboard app supports swipe input. It also learns and corrects as you type, and features next word prediction on top of Emoji support. One of the app’s best aspects is the theme support. There are over 60 different themes to choose from, with more added on a weekly basis. The app supports 39 languages and multiple keyboard layouts.
Swype is the original swipe input keyboard. It has features like Living Language, which updates your dictionary with the latest trending words. It also has next word prediction and adapts to the way you swipe. Also, it allows you to perform quick tasks such as Select All, Cut, Copy, and Paste simply by swiping on the keyboard. Swype supports more than 60 languages and 20 dialects.
This keyboard app features comprehensive text prediction and correction abilities. It suggests, completes, and corrects words based on what you’re typing. It can also correct your input so you don’t need to worry about typing accurately. Additionally, it allows you to customize your keyboard by changing the colors, fonts, themes, and background image. A.I. Type Keyboard Plus supports more than 35 languages.
Adaptxt Keyboard is a clean and minimalistic app with three different autocorrect modes, plus a TextExpander-like feature and a Share Key that allows you to post directly to your social media accounts. It also has a swipe input option and a classic T9 phone keyboard option. The premium version ($0.99) allows further customization of the keyboard. Adaptxt Keyboard supports 81 languages, and can enable up to 5 dictionaries at once.
SwiftKey Keyboard [$3.99, with 1-month free trial]
This alternative keyboard has advanced text-predicting capabilities which learn and adapt to the way you type on your Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo, and blog, to improve its predictions. It also has a swipe input to type entire sentences in one motion by gliding over the spacebar in between words. This keyboard app supports more than 60 languages.
MessagEase changes the way you type by using a tap-and-slide interface. The most commonly used letters are strategically placed on 9 large keys, while the other letters are activated with slides. A game is provided to help you adapt to the keyboard faster. The app also features gestures for basic operations like Select All, Copy, Cut, and Paste to let you type more words in less time. MessagEase claims to be language independent, and supports 18 keyboard layouts.
Kii Keyboard [Free; $4.25 upgrade for full features]
This is the keyboard to beat! With support for alternate layouts like Compact QWERTY, T9, Dvorak, AZERTY and Colemak, Kii also features numbers in an extended top row. It supports GO Keyboard themes, Better Keyboard themes, and CyanogenMod10 themes. You can also customize the font, colors, and background image of the keyboard yourself. Kii Keyboard supports 35 languages.
Perfect Keyboard Pro aims to provide a fully customizable keyboard. It allows you to change the colors of the keyboard buttons, background, text, as well as the word suggestion font. You can also customize the layout of the keyboard itself, the intensity of the haptic feedback, as well as the style and volume of the keypress sounds. The app supports more than 35 languages.
This alternative keyboard offers both tap and swipe input. It also has a feature called TouchPal Wave, which allows you to write a complete sentence in seconds simply by dragging the first word down to the spacebar, then swiping between the suggested words that appear over the keys. It can also integrate with Twitter so you can tweet directly from the app, and has support for Emoji, as well. The keyboard supports more than 70 languages.