Installing an Alternate Keyboard on Your Android Phone

If you are anything like us, you would find typing on your smartphone to be a bit of a hassle as well. And we can bet you never type out the longer documents, speeches or articles on your phones, which makes the whole point of using smartphones instead of our laptops futile. So, we have the remedy for you, taking note of which will ensure you can use your smartphone to type stuff you never would have before.

Given that there are many third party keyboard apps available, the solution we are offering is easy and convenient. It will let you type easily and also help you form better, more grammatically correct sentences given solid auto correct, and other features. We are not asking you to throw away your beloved Google Keyboard which lets you voice type and provides shortcuts for emoticons, but we would certainly ask you to try out the options below and install a new keyboard on your Android. Take a shot and let us know your experience in the comments below –

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Choosing the Keyboard

We will be talking about one of the most popular third party keyboard apps here – Swiftkey. The application is available for free, which surely adds to its charm. The app given its popularity and efficiency, in fact many a times comes installed on different Android devices like Samsung Galaxy Line. Like most keyboards, Swiftkey predicts texts, completes words, and can type by tracing. The app also can be used with an array of themes which you can access via in app purchases.

Other such keyboard apps would have to include Swype which is again one of the most highly received and praised apps available in this category. The app can be used for 99 cents. What is to be noted that Swype in fact introduced the world to the concept of tracing – typing while gliding through the keyboard. However, it is said that Swiftkey is better at predicting texts and completing words than Swype.

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Touchpal is another such app which you can use for free. It includes tracing and auto correct as its features along with different emoticons and stickers.

Those of you who are accused of typing too loudly, you may try out Fleksy which is available at a hefty $1.99. This has got awesome auto-correct facility and it also offers gesture control . The app however can not work around tracing.


Security Concerns

We practically don’t know anyone who does not love auto correct. It can be life saving one moment and cause extreme embarrassment the other. Whatever your experience with auto correct might be, you would be aware that it gets better as you use it more. That has to do the way keyboard learns what you are going to type by what you have typed in the past, helping it produce suggestions for you, which means the keyboard basically collects data out of whatever you type.


Now an app while collecting this type of data is working all over the place. This mean the app also has sensitive information from different places like your mailbox, your SMS, your internet history and your passwords. Thus, make sure every time you install a keyboard app, you go through the permissions it asks for and accept it only when you have made sure it is extremely important. Do keep a regular check on security threats and just check your mobile security software once to be on the safe side.


Making the App Your Default

Now when you have downloaded, installed and tried out this new keyboard app, which you are really liking, you would sure want to make it your default app to type from. But before that, please note that you would have to finish some steps. Proceed to Settings, and select Language & Input. There, click on Keyboard & Input Methods and tap on Current Keyboard. Once inside, you would be able to see all the keyboard(s) you might have installed. You would be able to select from this list as to which keyboard you want to use. Click on it, and you would find a pop up warning you of the keyboard collecting your typed information. Please go through the details and once you can place your bet safely on it, go ahead and click on OK.

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Now, when all this is done, go to the original keyboard app and get done with setup. Let’s say you are working on Swiftkey, then you would find that once Swiftkey has been selected as the keyboard to use in Settings, you would have to do that again in the application as well. You can of course sign in the app to get sync, backup, themes and other features. Simply use your Gmail account to sign in and get to the business in an easy and convenient way. However you would be permitting the app to access your basic information by using a Google account. This also has a upside as you can get your text predictions up and running through using the sent mail folder.


Remember that the mostly keyboard apps offer English as the language to type in. You might however be able to customize or change your keyboard lay out a little bit and use emoticons via shortcuts.


Let us know which app you liked the best and if you tried any new app other than those here as well. Now we expect that you can install an alternative keyboard on your Android optimizing its use.

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