Best Android tablet keyboards compared: Adaptxt vs FloatNSplit vs Swiftkey 3 vs Thumb keyboard [video]

July 12, 2012

tablet keyboard

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!

Adaptxt Tablet Beta

adaptxt tablet beta

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:

  • Text prediction, word completion, auto capitalization, and error correction.
  • Word learning to dictionary and personalization based on social profiles.
  •  Handwriting recognition.
  • Over 50 free language packs and over 35 industry-specific dictionary packs (Finance, Medical, IT, etc.)
  • Multi-lingual suggestions
  • URL suggestions
  • Automatic Text Replacement
  • New thumb-friendly keyboard layout for tablets
  • Repositionable suggestion bar

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 

FloatNSplit, by A.I. Type, introduces a unique “floating” keyboard layout, taking ease-of-use to a whole new level. Other features include:

  • Context-sensitive word predictions and error correction
  • Word completion and auto capitalization
  • Automatically learns commonly used words and typing styles. Called MyType.
  • Unique themes
  • Full customization capability including background images, colors, etc.
  • Multiple keyboard layouts
  • Language pre-dictionaries allow for text prediction for Spanish, German, Italian, French, Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew.
  • Keyboard layout support for over 35 languages.

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.

Swiftkey 3 Tablet 

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:

  • Smart Space – incorrect spacing detection
  • Advanced prediction technology
  • Multiple language support
  • Split keyboard layout
  • Different theme options
  • Accuracy tracking feature

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

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:

  • Intelligent split design
  • 10 different layouts to suit different typing needs
  • Auto-correction
  • Bigram word prediction (next word prediction)
  • Fully customizable – height, width, colors, fonts, and background images can all be customized
  • Multiple language support
  • Over 25 themes
  • Customizable long press symbols and characters
  • Voice input and text-to-speech feedback
  • Save often used phrases that can be typed with a single click

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.

Video

You can check out Clayton’s comparison of the best Android tablet keyboards here:

Wrap-up

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.

Comments

  • Leonel Macias

    Swiftkey for me :)

  • swtrainer

    I have found SlideIT about the most accurate “swype” style keyboard on both my Tablet (Acer Iconia a500) and on my phone (Motorola Atrix 4G). I would like to see the option to reduce the size to about 1/3 the size it is – that would leave it still big enough for ease of accurate data entry yet lessen arm fatigue having to scroll all the way across the screen in landscape mode.

    • OrozcO

      You can reduce the size of Slideit Keyboard, just keep pressed the + button until a floating menu appears and there ia the size indicator to reduce or increment the size of your keyboars. And thats a feature is not well known on Google Play about SlideIT.

  • trm96

    I use thumb keyboard on both my tablet as well as my Evo 3D

  • highway24p

    Adaptxt is refreshingly new n great with out of the box prediction experience

  • Atatistcheff

    The reason the Adaptxt kept thinking your “I” was a “d” is because you were making a cursive “d”. You start an “I” at the other end of the line (a vertical stroke that goes up first, then down to the right followed by the tail on the left). You did the the opposite which is a “d”.

  • buxtor

    i haven’t tried any of these yet on my tablet, but use swype on my phone and will never stop! tried some of the earlier keyboards and they were very cumbersome with splitting the keys and so on, but these look much better. i will try them out and report back!

  • TheBThing

    Hackers Keyboard is my current choice.

  • Joey Cagle

    Why is it never mentioned that there are Bluetooth keyboards you can get for tablets?

  • ray

    I was wondering if anyone knew of a docking keyboard for the Acer Iconia A700 or a universal one?
    Similar to the design of the Samsung keyboard dock for the Galaxy tablet.

    Please help!
    Thanks