by Joe Hindy, 2 weeks ago
April was an exciting month in the world of Android. We saw some flagship phones get released, we are starting to get more excited about Google I/O 2013, and best of all, winter is over…
There are a lot of great advantages about using a smartphone and tablet for all your daily needs. Unfortunately, writing/typing isn't one of them. Yes, a quick SMS, a reminder note, even a reply to an urgent email are easy enough and convenient, especially when you're on the move. But, would I be writing an article like this on my tablet? Probably not.
That being said, the tablet is slowly becoming the medium that many consumers use to create notes, presentations, and articles. There's a long way to go before this becomes the norm, but it's definitely a growing trend. Features such as auto-completion, word prediction, and auto-correct are going a long way in making “writing” on a handheld device simple, fast, and accurate.
There is no shortage of third-party tablet keyboards available on the Google Play Store, with some, obviously, being better than others. More importantly, each keyboard introduces a set of unique features that suits the user's individual needs.
Following our video comparison of the best Android keyboards for smartphones, we have another video comparison up for you! This time, it's the best Android tablet keyboards available on the Google Play Store. Making the shortlist are the Adaptxt, FloatNSplit, Swiftkey 3, and Thumb keyboard apps. Let's take look!
The latest version of the Adaptxt Tablet Beta keyboard, from KeyPoint Technologies, introduces for the first time a new “split” keyboard layout, along with some unique capabilities not available on competing apps. Features of the Adaptxt keyboard include:
As you can see, the Adaptxt Tablet Beta keyboard boasts a lot of features, with the most intriguing being handwriting recognition. The handwriting feature brings a whole new level of interaction to the device, and just looks to be fun! Of course, it's probably faster to tap away on a keyboard than to write each letter individually. But this feature is still in its experimental phase, and could be a huge plus point once out of testing.
Another extremely helpful feature in the Automatic Text Replacement (ATR). You can assign a short text which acts as a shortcut for a complete phrase, easily accessible from the ATR shortcuts menu. There are also a lot of customizations and tweaks available to you, such as the repositionable suggestion bar, above or below the keyboard, depending on whichever suits you the best.
You can check out the Adaptxt Tablet keyboard from the Google Play Store here.
FloatNSplit, by A.I. Type, introduces a unique “floating” keyboard layout, taking ease-of-use to a whole new level. Other features include:
Of course, the best part about this keyboard is the “floating” layout. The split keyboard floats and each half can be moved to any part of the screen, giving users full control over keyboard placement. This gives you the ability to place your keyboard wherever you're most comfortable. Apart from this unique feature, “standard” features such as text prediction, auto-correct, and word completion work great as well.
Numerous settings, themes, and other options, along with the “FloatNSplit” feature sets the bar for other tablet keyboards.
You can check out the FloatNSplit tablet keyboard from the Google Play Store here.
The Swiftkey 3 Tablet keyboard, by Swiftkey, is one of the most popular Android keyboards available on the Google Play Store. The upgrade from Swiftkey X to Swiftkey 3 brought some new and improved themes and extra functionality. Features include:
Although Swiftkey 3 doesn't have any particularly special features compared to the other keyboards on this list, the reason for its popularity is its extreme ease-of-use. Word prediction is one of the most advanced I've seen. With personalization through social profiles and SMS, more often than not, you don't even have to type the next word. When you do have to type, the keyboard layout is perfectly spaced and with large keys, making typing very convenient.
Swiftkey deservedly won the Webby Awards People's Voice for Innovation 2012 as well as the Mobile World Conference Award for Innovation 2012.
Swiftkey 3 Tablet keyboard is available from the Google Play Store here.
Thumb Keyboard by Beansoft has been around for a while and is the go-to keyboard for a lot of users. Best suited for thumb-typing, this keyboard features the one of the best split keyboard layouts available. Features include:
Thumb keyboard has one of the best tablet keyboard layouts for thumb-typing, which makes typing very easy and convenient. Unfortunately, this particular keyboard does not access the native dictionary of the tablet, which makes word completion and word prediction almost non-existent. So while you can type easily, you're not going to be skipping ahead as often as you'd like. The Thumb keyboard also features a reduced Settings menu compared to the other keyboards featured on this list.
Thumb keyboard is available from the Google Play Store here.
You can check out Clayton's comparison of the best Android tablet keyboards here:
As expected, it is quite difficult to choose the best Android tablet keyboard among all these amazing choices. Each has unique features and capabilities which can be customized to suit your requirements, while making typing easier, faster, and accurate.
It's now time for your voice to be heard! Because at the end of the day, its your opinion that matters the most to us. Which is your favorite Android tablet keyboard? Let us know in the comments section below.