The stock keyboard that comes on a device is usually passable, but always seems to leave one wanting something more. The good news is there is a lot of third party keyboard options and some of them are pretty spectacular. Which keyboard is best for you? We don’t know because everyone’s typing needs are different but in this list, we’ll explore the best third party Android keyboard options and hopefully that helps you find one that’s right for you. If you’d rather watch, we have a video above. Do note the list has been updated since the video came out so the most up to date list is below.
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 and it’s fairly accurate. The theming is top notch and it’s worth a shot.
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 which includes things like the function keys, alt, tab, ctrl, etc. 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.
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 has 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. It can be themed although the process is a little difficult. It’s a solid keyboard and worth looking at.
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. There are also tablet keyboard options and an option to move the keyboard to one side for use on larger phones.
You’re probably already 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 for those that may not have it yet. It features wickedly accurate gesture typing and a very clean, smooth interface. This is one of the few keyboards that people prefer to Swiftkey on a regular basis and you can try it before you buy it.
Of course we give the obligatory nod to the official Google Keyboard. This is the keyboard you’ll find on Nexus devices and, technically, qualifies as the stock keyboard. Even so, it has a lot of nice features like gesture typing, sentence gesture typing, and emoji support. It’s free and it’s pretty basic but if that’s all you need, this is all you’ll need.
TouchPal X Keyboard has been around for a while but only over the last year or so has it begun to distinguish itself from the pack. In recent updates, there is now sentence gesture typing, better emoji support and access, and support for 70 languages. Add to that the existing theme options and features and you have a really solid keyboard that’s worth checking out.
Kii Keyboard may not be the most unique keyboard on this list, but it’s still a very solid keyboard. It has the standard features like text prediction, emoji support, some theme elements, and gesture input. It also includes things like multiple keyboard layouts and 80 languages. At first glance it seems like just another keyboard but it is anything but that. If you’re looking for a solid option, look no further.
GO Keyboard suffers from the same stigma as other GO products. Some people absolutely love it and some people absolutely hate it. That said, GO keyboard is a fun option if you like your keyboard to look really busy. There are themes galore along with things like emoji support. The only issue is that it is really busy almost to the point of being cartoony. It is free, though, and that’s always a big plus.
[Price: Free / $0.99]
Adaptxt Keyboard is the last on our list and it’s one of the most unique. It has your standard options like text prediction and emojis so it’s a solid keyboard on its own. Its claim to fame, though, is its theming. You can theme literally every part of this keyboard on your own. So you can change the text color, font, keyboard color (or background if you’d like to use a picture), the trace color, and everything else. It’s an amazing option for people who like to theme. It’s free to try but to get everything you’ll have to pay $0.99 inside the app. For many, it’ll be worth it.
[Price: Free / $3.99]
We intentionally didn’t include Keymonk before because the developer stopped supporting it sometime ago. However, after learning that a lot of people still use the keyboard –including our very own Josh Vergara– we decided to include it here. Keymonk is unique because it is the only keyboard that allows you to swipe with multiple fingers. Unlike Swype and Swiftkey, with Keymonk you can swipe words using two thumbs instead of one which ostensibly allows you to swipe out words even faster and with more comfort. Like many unique twists on the keyboard, it does take some getting used to but once you do, it’s an unusually speedy way to enter text.
[Price: Free / $3.99]
Minuum is a newer keyboard that takes a different spin to typing. Instead of the traditional QWERTY keyboard, Minuum relies on a proprietary keyboard set up that, after you get used to it, can meet or exceed your current typing speed on the traditional layout. Its claim to fame is the ability to take up less than half of the screen real estate of regular keyboards and allow for a more sloppy typing style. It’s unique and if you’re not sure you want to drop the $3.99 on the full version, you can always give the free demo a try to see if it’s for you.
Multiling keyboard is one of those apps that has always drifted right on the cusp of mainstream attention. It’s good enough to be included on this list but hasn’t managed to gain the attention of people like Swype or SwiftKey has. Multiling has a myriad of features including more than 130 languages supported, floating keyboard functionality, theming, a built in calculator, multiple layouts, and gesture typing. There is a new beta out right now that’s free and seems to be better received than its predecessor so that’s the one that we linked but you can always find the original done by the same developer.
[Price: Free / $3.99]
SlideIT is another keyboard app that is very well and can compete with keyboards like Swype and SwiftKey in terms of popularity. It’s been a Google Play Editor’s Choice app and currently sits with over six million downloads. SlideIT has the standard features for keyboards these days, including theming and gesture typing. One of its more unique features is the ability to half type, half-gesture words. So if you’re typing “enjoyable” you can type “enjoy” then gesture type “able” and it’ll know you mean the same word. The predictive text isn’t half bad either.
It was pretty clear upon the release of Fleksy that its sole purpose of existence was to dethrone SwiftKey as the most popular keyboard out there. It has an above average prediction engine that looks at where you hit letters as opposed to the letters themselves which, in theory, is supposed to help figure out what you meant to type. There is also gesture typing, an invisible keyboard feature, and multiple language support. It’s free to use so why not give it a try?
These days keyboards come in all shapes and sizes. You have traditional set ups and some brand new, never before seen set ups that are frequently challenging how we type. There are the big dogs in the pack and the up and comers that are just now starting to make a splash. Therefore if we missed a great keyboard app and you want to tell us about it, leave us a comment down below and tell us about it.