The best thing about Android phones is its capability to customize the user interface, including the smartphone’s keyboard.
Choosing a smartphone boils down to personal preference. Some prefer a great camera, while others want a smooth user experience. But, there are also people who prefer an excellent typing experience.
The stock keyboard that comes with every smartphone might be enough for most users. But there are users who nitpick their keyboard software and there are enough reasons to do so.
A lot of keyboard apps that are available on Google Play offer their own unique features. The SwiftKey, for example, offers predictive text on several languages.
Keyboards are also one of the main apps that a user interacts with every day. It is the main input device that takes care of everything, including sensitive information. The typing experience is also a priority for power users who work on-the-go, such as journalists who live tweets.
Picking a keyboard app is overwhelming. It is like a browser with several apps available for download. To make it easier, here is a quick guide on the top four Android keyboards available on the market.
Google’s own keyboard has been one of the go-to keyboard apps since its release. The minimalist interface, excellent predictions with several language support, a wide library of sticker packs, and gifs are all offered for free.
Google recently added the ability to create gifs inside Gboard, which is similar to the feature found on iOS. In terms of themes, there are not a lot of options, unlike other apps. But the material design option looks sleek in both dark and light.
Gboard has the ability to learn from sentences created on the smartphone and other Google-connected software such as Gmail. This means that it can study how the user constructs a sentence and it predicts text through the user’s own pattern.
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SwiftKey ruled the keyboard category back when Gboard was not yet released. Fast forward to this year, it has not yet found its rhythm, and taking back the throne is far from achievable.
Despite being the second option for some, SwiftKey still offers a lot of neat features such as accurate predictions and swipe to type. The greatest feature of this app, that makes its users stay, is the personal dictionary.
This dictionary saves the words typed and uses it for predictive text. The huge language support is just another bonus.
It is by no means a bad keyboard. The features are great and offer excellent personalization. However, Gboard has better integration in the Android ecosystem.
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Chrooma is possibly the prettiest Android keyboard available. It does not focus on one theme like Gboard and SwiftKey. Its greatest feature is the look of the keyboard; which changes depending on the application being used.
It can turn blue whenever Facebook is open or turn green if WhatsApp is in use. Chrooma also offers a dark mode that dims the theme when the night comes. If ever Chrooma’s color choice does not fit your taste, the customization is easy to maneuver.
But keyboards are not just about themes, it is all about typing experience. So what about it?
Chrooma offers swipe to type similar to SwiftKey and Gboard, and its implementation is excellent. There is even a feature that allows the user to quickly delete sentences by swiping.
Chrooma has a free version available and it is fine as it is. But to fully maximize its usage, there is a one time fee of US$9.99[AU$15.70]. It is not the cheapest keyboard out there.
However, for someone who prefers a customized keyboard look, along with a great typing experience, the premium version is worth getting.
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Grammarly is mostly known for its PC software and browser extension, which is one of the best. The Grammarly Keyboard works well as a keyboard but the biggest advantage is it corrects grammar while in use.
The recent update finally added swiping to type for a quicker experience. But that is not the main highlight of this keyboard. The best part of it is it provides an explanation on how the user’s grammar is incorrect. It does not just highlight the misspelled word or misplaced comma in red, it shows why it is wrong. For non-native English speakers, this is a huge help.
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