The Android operating system is one of the few that supports external keyboard apps, and that’s a great thing.
Imagine if we’re all stuck up on the default Android Keyboard. Gosh, that would be pretty slow and tiring.
The default Android Keyboard is highly limited in features. It is impossible to change the background color or image. It is limited in emojis and it is also impossible to swipe-type, making it difficult to actually type less and write more.
All thanks, the keyboard was not forced on us, and we could easily change it. The real deal now is, how do you change the Android default keyboard to a better keyboard without actually damaging your phone, or collecting your information for hackers.
This should be a priority because the keyboard apps for Android that you use can negatively impact your digital life. The keyboard can record your keystrokes and send them to a server somewhere that can be accessed by the developers.
The developers can then decide to sell off the information to hackers and internet fraudsters. Remember, you use your keyboard to type your passwords and credit card details.
To prevent giving out your information to hackers, you should either continue the default Android Keyboard or you choose from one of these keyboards that I actually use.
Before I get talking, here’s a table of contents to jump you around.
Keyboard Apps for Android
Gboard is actually the keyboard I use for everything on my phone. This may not be due to the fact that it is created and owned by Google, but due to the fact that it is free to use and offers exclusive features.
For example, you can actually create a custom emoji directly from the Gboard keyboard interface. This emoji can be inserted into any service that supports image insertion.
Gboard supports GIF insertion. You can search for GIFs from inside the app and insert it directly into the app you’re typing into.
It also supports swipe-typing, which enables you to type less and write more. Using swipe-typing is very easy, but I feel it really slows you down if you’re a fast typist. For this, I always resort to typing more and writing more each time.
To swipe-type on Gboard, you move your finger smoothly over the letters contained in the word you’re typing. This uses AI to detect the word that best fits the context and inserts it there. Note that the word has to be in your dictionary to be used.
Gboard also uses speech recognition technology to enable you to type by saying it out. When you tap on the microphone icon at the top right, it initializes and asks you to “Speak Now”. Anything you say afterward will be transcribed and input into the text you’re typing.
A downside to speech typing is that you can’t punctuate while using it, making it almost unusable. Stopping by at every comma and full-stop could tremendously slow you down.
The clipboard makes it easy to copy and paste multiple text content simultaneously as it reserved space for more than a chunk of text, as opposed to the default.
The one-handed mode makes it easy to type while holding your phone on one hand, especially when it’s a tablet. It tilts the keyboard to one side of the screen to make the letters more accessible.
Also, if you’d like to research as you type, Gboard offers the Google search engine without exiting the keyboard right inside any app. It displays the results as cards that you can click to get directed to a regular browser.
If you don’t like the white interface, Gboard actually allows the changing of the theme. You can use any color or background image.
So much said, Gboard is a keyboard app I’ll always use as long as I use an Android phone. It’s extremely easy to use, offers a lot of features and it is also owned by Google, the most trusted tech giant in the world right now.
In short, it is one of the best keyboard apps for Android.
PS. I forgot to mention that it has the Google translate feature embedded.
PPS. I just discovered that it supports a floating keyboard, which places your keyboard in the middle of the screen, for ease of typing.
The name sounds suspicious, isn’t it?
I don’t use this keyboard that often, so I may not be familiar with many of its features.
However, I will never forget why I downloaded the keyboard.
I was creating my Fiverr account and I had to confirm my phone number. A four-digit pin was sent to my phone to type into Fiverr for the verification. What left me surprised was that after typing the four numbers, the box failed to turn green for me to confirm the authentication.
I have no laptops then, so I had to scour Google for some answers. As usual, I got some very stupid answers which actually wasted my data, but a guy (who I didn’t trust based on his picture) suggested using Hacker’s Keyboard.
Out of desperation, I downloaded the keyboard and retried, and it worked. I was thrilled and I never deleted the app anymore, although I never used it again after that. Today, I opened up the app again to find the features hidden in the app. It was surprising to discover that it has no special features apart from the fact that it has a PC interface and a lot of icons that would be normally missing in an Android keyboard.
Also, it can also help you’re a freelancer and you need to create a Fiverr account from your phone, although, I don’t know why it works.
It lacks the swipe-typing and speech input features anyways.
The last keyboard on this list.
Bitmoji keyboard is automatically installed onto your device once you install the Bitmoji app. Do you know what the Bitmoji app does?
If no, the Bitmoji app is used to create personalized emojis. It is so popular among Snapchat users.
A reason why Bitmoji keyboard is included here is not for its features, it is solely because I use it. Why do I use it?
I don’t use Snapchat, but I like the Bitmoji app a lot. It creates emojis with better likeness than that of Gboard. Therefore, I save my Bitmoji emojis as pictures and share them on my WhatsApp statuses and Facebook status updates.
One day a friend (name protected) sent me a Bitmoji sticker on Whatsapp as a sticker. I was surprised and I thought she created the WhatsApp sticker herself.
The next day, before I could even ask, she walked up to me and asked if I received the sticker. Then she explained she wasn’t a WhatsApp sticker creator.
That was when she explained that the sticker she sent was directly from the Bitmoji app.
The Bitmoji app enables you to insert the pictures generated from within the app into your WhatsApp messages as stickers, into your Telegram messages, Samsung messages, Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger.
Try it, and your friends will be wowed and they’ll ask how you did it!
Apart from that, the Bitmoji keyboard has no special features that are worthy of mention here.
Android keyboards are great to use, as they offer you a typing experience different from what was built-in with the device.
They usually pack in a lot of features different from what you should usually get using an Android keyboard and, –they are super customizable.
Come on, get one of my keyboard apps for Android and start typing out words like a professional wordsmith.