The best keyboard for Android apps

March 17, 2014


    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.


    AI Type Keyboard Best Android KeyboardsAI Type Keyboard Plus

    [Price: $3.99]
    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. Get it on Google PlayIt 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.


    Hacker's Keyboard best Android keyboardsHacker’s Keyboard

    [Price: Free]
    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 Get it on Google Playrotation. 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.
    Hacker's Keyboard best Android keyboards


    Smart Keyboard PRO best Android keyboardsSmart Keyboard PRO

    [Price: $2.69]
    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 Get it on Google Playkeyboard, 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.


    Swiftkey best Android keyboardsSwiftKey Keyboard

    [Price: $1.99]
    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 Get it on Google Playyou 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.


    Swype best Android keyboardsSwype

    [Price: $0.99]
    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 Get it on Google Playand 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.


    Google Keyboard best Android keyboardsGoogle Keyboard

    [Price: Free]
    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 Get it on Google Playnice 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.
    Google Keyboard best Android keyboards


    TouchPal X Keyboard best Android keyboardsTouchPal X Keyboard

    [Price: Free]
    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 Get it on Google Playaccess, 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 best Android keyboardsKii Keyboard

    [Price: Free]
    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 Get it on Google Play80 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 best Android keyboardsGO Keyboard

    [Price: Free]
    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 Get it on Google Playlike 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.
    GO Keyboard best Android keyboards


    Adaptxt Keyboard best Android keyboardsAdaptxt Keyboard

    [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 Get it on Google Playan 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.


    keymonk keyboardKeymonk Keyboard

    [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 Get it on Google Playout 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.


    10 best keyboard for Android appsMinuum Keyboard

    [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 Get it on Google Playfor 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.
    10 best keyboard for Android apps


    best keyboard for Android appsMultiling Keyboard

    [Price: Free]
    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 Get it on Google Playout 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.


    best keyboard for Android appsSlideIT Keyboard

    [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, Get it on Google Playhalf-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.


    best keyboard for Android appsFleksy Keyboard

    [Price: Free]
    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 Get it on Google Playto 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?
    best keyboard for Android apps


    Final thoughts

    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.

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    Comments

    • chanman

      I really like Keymonk, although there’s not much development going on around it (or any at all). It’s a solid keyboard that let’s you “Swype” two-handed.

    • jason

      are there any keyboards that have a single handed function or use with the note 2 and other 5.5 in+ devices

      • Critical Thinker

        Big Buttons Keyboard is best for single hand operation.

      • AItype

        ‘AItype FloatNSplit for Tablet’ can have the keyboard fixed to the right or to the left, eliminating the need for two hands.

        Try it for Free, and let us know what you think:
        https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aitype.android.tablet&feature=search_result
        AItype Support

      • http://cobravision.wordpress.com/ Cobravision

        Swiftkey now has a compact mode that does just that.

    • giganaut

      where is TouchPal?

    • RarestName

      No TouchPal, which has better accuracy than SwiftKey?

      • Nathan Buffington

        touchpal is in there…

        • RarestName

          It wasn’t there when I posted my comment. The author must have added it in afterwards.

    • http://nurudin.jauhari.net/ Jauhari

      Still enjoy SwiftKey…. If developer added “auto complete features” this keyboard is the CHOSEN ONE o/

    • mggOptimusG

      Kii is better… And missing. This not a serious exercise.

      • Dr. G

        I agree

      • zzz

        except kii is the biggest heap of compiled garbage.

    • Kev

      where’s keymonk? 2-handed swiping is awesome!

    • Josh York

      I like trace-type keyboards for portrait typing, but my favorite typing experience for landscape is Thumb Keyboard. The split layout makes me much more efficient, that and the auto-correct is usually spot on for me.

    • aliho

      Kii Keyboard beats everyone of these

      • Guest123

        Been using Kii myself. Tried most of these and liked it the best however, there are a couple I missed.

        and the free version is totally useable with no time limit.

      • Stefan

        I use Kii too, I like the fact it has prediction for Romanian words without diacritics, this is extremely useful when sending an SMS, as letters that are not in the english alphabet add enough data to the SMS to make it change into an MMS (which never really took off here in Romania and cost half an euro each).
        Also, they have dual-language support, and gesture input and it’s free, so that makes me happy :).

    • Moses

      Google keyboard

    • Naterz

      Play Store ratings are worthless because different apps have different numbers of ratings. It isn’t directly comparable, but I do appreciate that you guys tried to keep the rankings impersonal.
      I think SwiftKey and Swype and heads and shoulders above all these other keyboards. They are more developed, but it’s nice to see other mature options available.

    • sam

      manh..touch pal x input is far much better than these

    • Azeem

      I like Thumb Keyboard. It is very accurate and fun to type on.

    • Android Developer

      wish there was a keyboard similar to note 2 keyboard with 4.1 version of android .
      it has nice interface, multiple auto-suggestions , and it has the digits buttons above the other keys.
      i’m using it on my SGS3 and don’t get why samsung didn’t put it on this device by default.

      • Kevin

        Actually the latest version of Swiftkey does in fact allow the number row and has always had multiple suggestions. As a matter of fact, their prediction and swipe engines are based on Swiftkey, so give that a shot.

        • Android Developer

          this is only one feature that i like about it.
          you have to try it for a couple of days to see how much the keyboard helps with auto suggesting.
          it suggests of emails, contact names, phone numbers, … it can learn from other apps (gmail,facebook,twitter) , it learns from previous types, it shows suggestions when you click on a word you’ve previously written…
          all keys also have long clicking features on them. for swiftkey, in hebrew, it shows weird long click characters that i don’t think have anything to do with hebrew.
          i even prefer samsung’s theme of the keyboard.
          unlike swiftkey, it shows more than 3 suggestions for what you type.

          besides, swiftkey is a trial based, no?

          don’t get me wrong. i think the choices of keyboards are great, and swiftkey is a decent keyboard, but i still prefer the stock one i’ve installed. sadly, i think samsung has updated it to be worse than what i have, so i don’t think i will be able to install it on newer android versions of SGS3.

    • Eoghan

      Stylus Beta Keyboard is very good too I think, it’s just like the like of the Note 3 Stylus writing pad, but for all phones! It’s very accurate and useful.

    • Data

      Interesting list. I’ve honestly never changed the keyboard on my phone lol

      • BJRCollins

        Definitely give SwiftKey a try, and the beta is free fyi

    • trm96

      No Thumb Keyboard?

    • AndroidBoss

      I have Go Keyboard and I hate that it’s so hard to type on.

    • Nathan Buffington

      Google Keyboard FTW

    • Benjamin

      Touchpal simply da best among all!

    • kiran

      can you compile one with keyboards that have t9 modes?

    • tpx

      The FREE TouchPal X have more function than most paid keyboard. How many paid keyboard apps have “conbined key feature”, manual resize + position, custom theme etc??

    • Abhishek Kumar

      touchpal is the best!

    • http://ianhfrancis.blogspot.com/ Ian Francis

      Fleksy should definitely be in there. Awesome keyboard for people who hate how much screen real estate most keyboards take up.

    • Husca Sergiu Gabriel

      I want a keyboard that work with enter key!When i hit enter, to send the message!

    • Vardan Nazaretyan

      I hate how Google Keyboard isn’t available here in Germany. Or is it only my device?

    • Southall87

      I use google keyboard on my nexus4 and have never had a reason to change it, however on my sony tablet z the stock keyboard caused lag when editing large files and as i do occasional programing on my tablet i needed a keyboard wich is more like my windows one. so i opted for hackers keyboard and it is great! The sepearte numbers row, arrow keys and how much easier it makes copy pasting is a real winner. shift+arrow to highlight then ctrl+c ctrl+v means you only copy the bits you ment to and its a lot quicker then the standard way of doing things.

    • Tamadrummer94

      They’re all so ugly…except for the Google keyboard and maybe Go. I can’t imagine the other ones popping up every time I want to type.

    • http://cobravision.wordpress.com/ Cobravision

      Huh, no love in the comments for AI Type Keyboard? Swiftkey is the greatest on the phone, but AI Type edges it out on tablets. It also has a split and undocked thumb keyboard mode, but it offsets the rows (which makes is easier to type) and has left and right arrow keys on the bottom row (which is incredibly handy). It pretty much has every other feature SwiftKey has.

    • TheCrusader

      For some reason i cannot download the Google Keyboard. In my smart phones Play Store it says that the app isn’t available in my country (Austria) and the Play Store within my chrome browser says that my Galaxy S2 isn’t compatible with the app… why ?

    • Albin

      Only for owners of old storage-challenged GB phones: I didn’t like the stock LG keyboard only because it lacks long-press numbers on the front. Got those, a speak to text mic, and more with the tiny, fast Gingerbread Keyboard. Really a job done the way LG shoulda done it.

    • A_Noyd

      Thumbs Keyboard should be on this list, tons of keyboard options, and themes, split, no split, re-size the regular keys, and/or the number keys. have the number keys on top, or separate, sound click type, and volume, or none, vibrate, or not, and way more options I can’t think of all of them ATM. It REALLY needs to be on this list.

    • http://www.dainbinder.com/ Dain Binder

      Google Keyboard works the best one for me. It is simple and effective.

    • JulienDhouti

      Google keyboard seems like the best one. It looks and feels simple and easy to use. It’s also free. I highly recommend this keyboard.

    • missashi

      Multilingual Kayboard new beta is the only keyboard I use now, I love it.

    • guy with guts

      Hey joe why didnt you tag this article in app list category. I dont want to miss anything.

      • JosephHindy

        Hmm should be there. This is an update of a much older article so it may be down there back on it’s original post date (which I think was like back in December or something). It should be toward the top now :)

    • Kevin

      What about writing applications for this of us that us phones and tablets to keep notes.

    • Replicant Jason Booth

      I’ve been using swift key as well Google’s own text input option … very pleased both options… Swiftkey edges it out with its customization options though…. slightly

    • James

      Ive used just about every keyboard out there minus a few but I would really recommend useing thumb keyboard on a smaller screen but afyer I got the note 2 the standard keyboard works just fine but. When using one handed operation I use thumb.

    • http://nurudin.jauhari.net/ Jauhari

      For UI I love Google Keyboard

    • Dierkdk

      Vote for MessagEase. Best replacement for &FITALY

    • monkey god

      What major advantages and features am I missing by sticking with the standard Google keyboard?

    • MGB

      For those who say that they cannot download Google keyboard… Read the required standards though.

      http://www.theandroidsoul.com/google-keyboard-themes-colors/

    • http://www.allthatmsjazz.com/ Jasmine W.

      I love Swiftkey keyboard:)

    • Sharath

      Swiftkey is my favorite,then Kii keyboard.

    • adamhs

      I keep going back to Swiftkey. Not as many customization as some of the others but it’s word predictions and auto-corrections are almost always on the mark. I tried Fleksy, I wanted to like it but its interface is aggravating. Its “swipe up or left to bring up x, y, and z” almost never work the first time. Usually takes 2-3 swipes or more to get it to respond and bring up the right menu or settings.

    • A2theC

      What, no physical?

    • Nathan Buffington

      Flesky looks really cool! I might give it a go

    • Lisak

      The comparison between fleksy and SwiftKey misses an uncanny feature of SwiftKey which is to predict words based on proximity of the keys struck to those intended. It is almost always able to translate my gibberish into the word I meant to type.

    • Ahmet C.

      I quite like TouchPal. Easy to use, resizeable, not intrusive, good prediction. Once you get used to it you can write pretty fast. Also it can handle predictions in 2 languages at the same time pretty well.

    • mitch

      SwiftKey does not have its own dedicated edit menu with arrows that can select text, cut, copy, paste, etc. This makes it worthless to me because the stock Android edit functionality is buggy and hard to use. I need a keyboard with a nice dedicated edit menu and that’s not SwiftKey!

    • UdiY

      Hey Joe, AItype keyboard has gone trough ‘face lifting’ version which is much cool than the one presented.
      It
      presents a new experience in typing. It’ll still predicts as good as
      SwiftKey, but with all the customization others have all together. it
      can swipe, correct by context, predict words based on proximity of the
      keys, edit menu with arrows, cut, copy, paste, undo (!) and even
      resizing of the keyboard.
      Give it a try , and wait for more to come !

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