The stock keyboard that comes loaded on your Android device is decent, at best. Rarely is there any word prediction, and a lot of the time it feels clunky to type with — the stock keyboard that is loaded on the majority of Galaxy branded devices is a great example of this. That said, we’re going to show you some great third-party keyboards that will blow those silly stock keyboards out of the water! As usual, if you’d rather watch the video, simply jump to the bottom of the article.
First up on our list is AI Type Keyboard Plus. This is versatile keyboard gives you a lot of options all inside of an eye friendly interface. The various menus in this keyboard app look really well designed, and the keyboard is fairly accurate too. It also tries to compete with SwiftKey in terms of word prediction, however, it’s not nearly as accurate.
The keyboard works really well, and if you’re not happy with its look you can theme it to an extent. This includes a transparent option where you can put an image in the background. You’ll be able to make that image whatever you want, however, if you’re looking for more customization beyond that, you’re out of luck.
Next on our list is Hacker’s Keyboard. This keyboard app has been around for quite some time and has been consistently popular among its somewhat small, but loyal fanbase. One of the really cool features with this app is that it has the ability to set up a keyboard like you could find on any Windows computer (i.e. function keys, control, alt).
You can resize the keyboard to four rows to make it look like your standard Android keyboard or you can set it independently based on rotation. So if you’re looking for a decent keyboard for portrait mode and a full-sized keyboard for landscape mode, Hacker’s Keyboard will do the job. It has a few other appealing features too — it supports smartphones and tablets, and you can theme it in a variety of ways.
Smart Keyboard PRO has been competitor in the keyboard market for a very long time now. While it may not look like much at first, it’s improved leaps and bounds compared to earlier versions of the keyboard in terms of functionality. However, one of its hallmark themes is still the Gingerbread keyboard, which may put some people off.
The options with Smart Keyboard are about as standard as you can get, though, Smart Keyboard has more than just stock keyboard offerings. You can also theme Smart Keyboard, however, it’s not as easy to do as it is with the rest of the keyboards on our list.
We’d certainly be crucified, hung, or even have a riot on our hands if we didn’t mention the award winning predictive keyboard SwiftKey. SwiftKey is very popular, so it’s likely that you’ve heard of it already. If you haven’t, we gave it a review a few weeks back, and thought it was a great keyboard.
Predictive text functionality in SwiftKey is considered some of the best in its niche. It’s also considered one of the best trace keyboards, and there’s even a few small things included that make SwiftKey a great all-in-one keyboard experience, such as stats on how efficient you are when typing and a truck load of theme options. Simply put, SwiftKey is one of the best keyboards you could ever use on your Android device. It’s so good that some OEMs are preloading it on their devices.
You’re probably familiar with Swype, as OEMs have been including it in their smartphones for years. The long-time champion of third-party keyboards is also now available in the Google Play Store on the off chance that you don’t have it.
Swype is the king of trace keyboards, as many prefer it over SwiftKey’s trace typing. Swype is so fast that one user was able to garner himself the Guinness world record for the fastest text message It’s a solid, stable keyboard, and on the off-chance that you haven’t used it, it’s worth giving a shot.
If you take a look at our leaderboard (image above) you can check out how these apps compete against each other. The ratings are based purely on Google Play Store ratings and downloads, so there isn’t any bias on our part.
Honorable mentions this time include GO Keyboard, Touchpal, SLideIT, Thumb Keyboard, and the vanilla keyboards from Android 2.3 and 4.2, both of which are available for download in the Google Play Store.
Some of these keyboards are great, but when it comes down to it, you have to pick a keyboard that works best for you. You may not even use a third-party keyboard, as you could be satisfied with the stock keyboard OEMs provide. However, if there’s a great keyboard that you think we should have included, be sure to tell everyone about it in the comments below!