Google’s Android operating system has been quickly expanding across the globe in the past couple of years, particularly in China and India, which has brought with it a whole host of new languages to support. To make typing easier for the almost 1 billion people around the world who speak a number of Indian languages, Google has built a dedicated Indic Keyboard.
In total, the Google Indic Keyboard supports 11 Indian keyboards; Assamese (অসমীয়া), Bengali (বাংলা), Gujarati (ગુજરાતી), Hindi (हिंदी), Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ), Malayalam (മലയാളം), Marathi (मराठी), Odia (ଓଡ଼ିଆ), Punjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ), Tamil keyboard (தமிழ்), and Telugu (తెలుగు).
Not only does the keyboard support more complex scripts, it also comes with a number of helpful typing features. A Transliteration mode can be used to automatically spell out words by typing their pronunciation using English letters, for example typing “namaste“ produces “नमस्ते“. This is no small task, as a single word can have multiple English-alphabet variations.
For Hindi speakers, there is also a handwriting mode that can be used as a text input. The handwriting option can detect both Devanagari and Latin characters. The Keyboard also support Hinglish, a hybrid input mode that will suggest both Engligh and Hindi words at the same time, where possible.
The keyboard is compatible with phones running Android 4.0 or newer. The app is free to download from the Play Store and once installed it can be enabled by selecting the keyboard under Settings -> Language & Input -> Keyboard and Input Methods.