Tag Archives: Android Keyboards

Microsoft’s Hub Keyboard Quickly Copies Info from Other Apps, No App Switching Required

Android: It’s kind of a pain to switch from the app you’re in just to grab some info in another app to paste in. Microsoft’s new Android keyboard, called Hub keyboard, ends this inconvenience and also includes a translation tool.

The icons in the top of the keyboard give you quick access to your contacts, OneDrive files, and clipboard, so you can tap and search for the information you need without leaving your current app. Perfect if you need to text someone a friend’s phone number or there’s information in a report you want to easily copy into an email.

The translate button lets you convert your text to another language, and the cliipboard icon gives you a list of your previously copied texts to choose from.

Microsoft’s experimental Garage group is on a roll lately with new apps for Android and iOS. This one seems worth a try if you hate switching between apps.

Hub Keyboard app from Microsoft Garage makes it easy to multitask from one mobile screen | Microsoft via The Verge

SwiftKey Now Predicts Two Words at a Time So You Can Type Faster

SwiftKey Now Predicts Two Words at a Time So You Can Type Faster

Android: Our favorite Android keyboard, SwiftKey, is getting a big update today. The app can now predict your next two words at once. In addition to double-word prediction, SwiftKey also has also added new themes, languages, and more.

The double-word prediction is the biggest new feature and should help reduce the number of times you have to peck at your on-screen keyboard. They’ve also revamped the emoji panel and settings screens and added 34 new themes in six new theme packs. Finally, the keyboard now supports five new languages: Yoruba, Igbo, Zulu, Xhosa, and Breton.

Check out the improvements highlighted on SwiftKey’s blog post or just head to Google Play to download or update the app. (The update isn’t available for me yet, so you might have to wait to see the new features.)

SwiftKey (Free) | Google Play

Modded Google Keyboard Adds a Number Row For Easier Numerical Entry

Modded Google Keyboard Adds a Number Row For Easier Numerical Entry

Android: If you need to enter phone number or other digit-based data with your handset’s keyboard, it is time-consuming to switch between numerical and alphabetical keyboards. This modded version of the standard Google keyboard makes life much easier with the addition of a dedicated number row.

This feature already exists in many third-party keyboards, but if you’re a fan of Google’s offering, XDA Forum member medoooooo’s tweaked app gives the best of both worlds. You’ll need to permit the installation of apps from unknown sources on your handset first—head the Security section of Settings and tick the Unknown sources box.

If you have manually installed the official Google keyboard app, remove it from your handset using the Application Manager. Go to Settings > Apps > Google Keyboard and tap uninstall. If you have Nexus with Google Keyboard you will need to root your handset to remove this as it is considered a system app—take care if you do go down this route.

Download a copy of Google Keyboard With Numbers and run through the installation. Launch the app and run through the configuration wizard to get started.

This new keyboard works in exactly the same way as the regular Google keyboard, but there’s an extra row on top for you to work with. Hit the link below to download it.

Google Keyboard With Numbers | XDA Developers Forum via WonderHowTo

SwiftKey, Our Favorite Android Keyboard, Is Now Free to Download

Android: Swiftkey is our favorite Android keyboard, and it’s been getting better with consecutive updates. Now, the service is shedding its $4 price tag and going free for all users. In exchange, there’s now an in-app "store" for more themes and personalization options.

SwiftKey’s move opens the door to anyone being able to make use of its custom keyboard layouts, Evernote syncing options, cloud storage and cross-device sync for custom dictionaries, "flow" gesture typing, and of course, its famous predictive text engine. All of the features that made SwiftKey a great keyboard are available in the free version.

Today’s update also beings some new features, including a new default theme, emoji prediction, access to an optional number row at the top of the keyboard without having to switch layouts, and some improvements to that prediction engine we mentioned. As before, SwiftKey uses everything you type to learn more about the words you use, so it can offer better suggestions for the next word you plan to type. If you want, you can connect it with your email or social accounts so it can learn even more about your typing habits and word choices.

Users who previously paid for the app haven’t been forgotten: Paid users will get a free "premier pack" of 10 themes and customization options that’s available in the store for $5. You can grab the latest version of the app at the link below.

SwiftKey Keyboard (Free) | Google Play via SwiftKey

Multiling is a Light, Customizable and Privacy-Friendly Keyboard

Android: If you are using an Android device with limited memory and processor power, you’d know that apps like Swype and SwiftKey don’t always run smoothly. Multiling offers similar customizability and features while protecting your privacy and being light on resources.

Like SwiftKey and Swype—two of our favourite Android keyboards—you can swipe-to-type and the predictive text gets better the more you use it. It’s also pretty customizable, lets you change the layout, use different types of keyboards (like Dvorak and Azerty), supports several languages and much more.

But the two points where it’s very impressive is the low memory usage and app permissions. Where Swype and SwiftKey were using 41MB and 32MB respectively on my phone, Multiling was using just 7MB. I tested it on a low-powered Android device (dual-core A7 processor, 512MB RAM) and Multiling was much faster than any of the other keyboards, including the stock Android one.

Apart from that, Multiling requires much fewer app permissions than any of the other keyboards, asking only to read and write the user dictionary and access control vibration for haptic feedback. Meanwhile, Swype and SwiftKey will want to read everything from your text messages to your contact book. The down side is that you have to input contact names the first time in Multiling and it doesn’t learn them smartly, but that’s a small price to pay for privacy.

Multiling (Free) | Google Play Store via MakeUseOf

Flecksy Brings Its Flexible, Invisible Keyboard to Android

Flecksy Brings Its Flexible, Invisible Keyboard to Android

Android (4.1+): Previously mentioned Flecksy has been in private beta for a while now, but now it’s available at Google Play. Whether you just want to customize the keyboard, or turn it invisible so you can see behind it as you type, Flecksy works well.

The beauty of Flecksy is that it sports some impressive auto-correction, and the whole goal of using the keyboard is that ultimately you won’t have to keep looking at your fingers as you type; you’ll get a feel for where you should put your fingers and Flecksy will handle the rest. The same autocorrection is available in Android, and after a short tutorial where you’re introduced to the app (It may take a little getting used to for people more familiar with traditional keyboards), you’ll find yourself touch-typing in moments.

The other nice thing about Flecksy is that it can be configured to use multiple themes, or even to be completely invisible so you can type through it, or just save a little screen real estate while you use your phone or tablet. Hit the link below to give it a try, it’s free.

Flecksy (Free) | Google Play via CNET

SwiftKey Adds Custom Keyboards You Can Resize, Move Around the Screen

SwiftKey Adds Custom Keyboards You Can Resize, Move Around the Screen

Android: SwiftKey, our favorite Android keyboard, unveiled a new public beta today with customizable keyboards you can resize and move anywhere on-screen. You can choose from three preset modes, make your own changes, pick your theme—whatever suits your typing style.

SwiftKey is calling the new feature "layouts for living," which really boils down to the fact that you can change the keyboard design and layout and put it wherever your fingers are most comfortable typing on-screen. Most of us are pretty accustomed to having our keyboard on the bottom of the screen, but if you prefer it in the center, or off to one side, you can have that. You can also make the keys as large or as small as you choose, which is great for making sure your keyboard doesn’t cover up the field you need to type in.

The new version comes with three preset keyboard modes: compact (ideal for smaller phones, typing with one hand, or using swipe-to-type gestures), full (ideal for large screens, complete with cursor keys and a full backspace key, ideal for two-handed typing), and thumb (like SwiftKey’s old tablet version, features a two-piece keyboard with half on either side of the screen. Ideal for landscape or thumb typists.) You can toggle any of them at any time to try them out or see which one works best for you.

Past that, the new version also consolidates SwiftKey into one package, so no more separate downloads for tablets and phones—it’s all one app. Hit the link below to read more or grab today’s update.

SwiftKey Beta

SwiftKey Adds Cloud Sync for Your Dictionaries, Is On Sale for 50% Off

Android: SwiftKey, your favorite Android keyboard, added a new feature today called SwiftKey Cloud that backs up your language profile so you can access it on other devices. It’s also on sale for $1.99.

SwiftKey Cloud has been in beta for a little while, but today it graduates and is available in all versions of SwiftKey. Enable it and you’ll be able to sync your SwiftKey data between devices, perfect if you have a phone and a tablet (or if you upgrade to a new device). If you haven’t tried SwiftKey yet, it’s also on sale for $1.99 (down from $3.99), so it’s a good time to check it out.

SwiftKey Keyboard | Google Play via SwiftKey Blog

SwiftKey Tablet Keyboard | Google Play