Keyboard is an integral part of any device, even though all modern smartphones and tablets are not provided with physical keyboard. But nevertheless we type message with the help of virtual keyboards. And it’s very important for such keyboards to be convenient in use. Otherwise the impression about the device is not really good.
When you but an Android device, usually there’s a pre-installed Android Keyboards either from the platform itself, or from the device manufacturer (for example, HTC provides its devices with its own keyboard which differs from the Android Keyboards, and is pretty convenient in use).
It should be mentioned, that I’m personally not very satisfied with a regular Android keyboard pre-installed on my Huawei Ascend. The main problem is that I need to switch to special symbols keyboard in order to use punctuation marks (which I use pretty often).
This fact has pushed me to explore the Play Store in order to find convenient alternatives to regular Android keyboards. This is what I’ve found.
First of all, it should be said that there’re two versions of this keyboard: paid one and free one. I’ve tested a free one. It has two main disadvantages: the absence of voice input and self-correction. Well, personally for me these are not critical features, especially if we speak about self-correction function which sometimes may be useless. A free version will offer you to buy a paid version from time to time, but these notifications are not obtrusive. But there’re no ads in the free version and that’s just great!
Also, the app offers you two types of keyboard: three-row and four-row keyboards. While four-row keyboard is more convenient as it has bigger keys, it occupies a lot of spaces which is not very good when you write a big message. So it’s better to use three-row keyboard.
Another useful feature is a full-fledged Numpad. Also, gestures are easy to use when typing with Smart Keyboard Pro. The app goes with a lot of different skins so it’s applicable to devices from different manufacturers.
This application is absolutely free, and its functionality is no worse than that of the previous app. Though the first thing I noticed when installing it is its size. The app is about 2Mb (which is a lot for such an app) and if you need some additional languages, then you need to download them as well. But fortunately, it’s a very easy task which can be performed right from the app. Apart from that, the keyboard is pretty convenient in use.
One of the most interesting features of this app is the capability to divide the keyboard into two parts so that it’s comfortable to type a message with your both hands.
And here’s the last keyboard that I’d recommend for installation on your Android device. Initially, this app was developed by a South Korean company Samsung for its devices, but later on it has become popular all around the world. A lot of users who own non-Samsung device prefer this keyboard as their main one.
Actually, Swype still works in beta mode. Nevertheless, it works flawlessly. The main benefit of this app is the possibility of texting with just one finger by sliding it across the keyboard, without typing separate letters. As a result you’ll see a whole word. Also, there’s a prediction function that can finish the words for you. At the same time, you feel uncomfortable with such input type, you may switch to a traditional mode.
In general, Swype provides a pretty quick typing process and the app corrects the mistakes that may occur.
In case you don’t want to install a beta version, you may find the apps with similar functional in Play Store. For example, Slident or TouchPal. But it’s worth mentioning that word prediction and self-correction functions are realized a bit worse than in Swype.