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Home News Text, email, tweet, and everything else with these keyboard apps

Text, email, tweet, and everything else with these keyboard apps

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There’s nothing like a good keyboard to turn the average user into a prolific communicator.

Keyboards may be one of the most important choices you make on your phone. They will shape the speed and accuracy with which you use your phone to communicate, and because keyboards can see everything you type from passwords to social security numbers, it’s important to have a keyboard you trust and like. To that end, here now are the four keyboards we trust and like the most to help us tweet, text, and type up our articles in a crowded bar.

  • Gboard
  • SwiftKey
  • Chrooma
  • Fleksy
  • Grammarly Keyboard
  • OpenBoard

Gboard: King of the keyboards

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Gboard has been top of the Android keyboard mountain, and the reasons are clear: great predictions courtesy of machine learning, easy access to gifs and sticker packs such as the Disney Stickers collections, and a dictionary tied to your Google account, so it follows you everywhere.

They keep adding all the smart features that Android users have enjoyed from other keyboards and wrap it all in a quick and responsive (and free!) package. Themes on Gboard still aren’t as diverse or dashing as other keyboards, but the ones here look good and there’s a Material Black option, which is all you really need at the end of the day. You can also finally make your own gifs in Gboard like iOS users have been able to do for a while.

Best of all, Gboard hides no features or options behind paywalls or ads. The best keyboard on Android is completely free.

Google’s gold standard

Gboard

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Google brings its A-game to the keyboard that more Android phones than ever come with right out of the box. Between robust sticker and gif support, machine learning predictive text, and smart design and menu layouts, Gboard sets the bar for Android keyboards high.

Free at Google Play

SwiftKey: Still great, but not the greatest

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Swiftkey is always right there alongside Gboard, but for a while now, it hasn’t been able to outdo it and retake its throne. SwiftKey has been a major player in Android keyboards for years; it used to be the pinnacle of predictions and swipe, but both have fallen just a little behind Gboard. There is still a devoted following to SwiftKey, and after years of building a personal dictionary on SwiftKey, it can be hard to switch to anything else.

No worries, SwiftKey may not be number one, but it’s still a damn good keyboard and great for productivity. And while SwiftKey used to be a paid keyboard, it has been completely free for years now.

Nice and niche

SwiftKey

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SwiftKey is right up there with Gboard in terms of quality and features, but its features skew a little more towards picky professionals than laid-back teen texters. I love the punctuation swipes and symbol access, as well as robust clipboard access.

Free at Google Play

Chrooma: Color, choice, and clarity

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With most keyboards, you pick a theme and that’s that, but Chrooma thinks that’s a little boring. Instead, the colors of the Chrooma keyboard adapt to each app you’re using: it turns blue for Twitter, green for Spotify, yellow for Google Keep, and so on. There’s even a night mode that will darken the keyboards color selections at night — or all the time if you leave night mode on like me. Chrooma’s color options are on point with most apps, and it’s easy to switch colors for the apps where it misses without losing the color adaptation when typing in other apps.

The swiping on Chrooma is top-notch, and the ability to swipe further and further left to delete whole words or sentences is fabulous for removing short chunks of text. If you want to get really fancy with the keyboard style, size, font, and having your settings sync between devices, you’ll have to shell out for Premium, which is a one time purchase of $9.99. It’s a little steep, but if you’re someone who moves devices frequently, that’s easily worth the convenience of having your predictions and settings follow you from device to device.

Adaptive and edgy

Chrooma

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Chrooma is as pretty to look at as it is to use, and between its robust, adaptive theming, excellent swipe-to-delete whole words or sentences, and non-stop word flow gesture typing, this keyboard is great for picky pros, casual chatters and everyone in between.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Fleksy: Peckers can be choosers

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Fleksy has been making a comeback, but unless you’re a hunt and pecking typist, you’ll probably want to keep moving. Swiping words on Fleksy doesn’t happen, and the corrections on this keyboard can go a little overboard when you’re using a bunch of acronyms or non-standard jargon. There are some neat add-ons for this keyboard, including emoji suggestion, and a fireworks add-on that brings little explosions to your keyboard taps and sounds.

Fleksy has a low learning curve, but unfortunately, when you switch phones or factory reset your personal dictionary doesn’t always follow you. We hope to see this keyboard continue to improve and make up ground to compete more evenly with swipe-enabled keyboards like Gboard, but for the everyday hunt-and-peck typer, Fleksy should be great.

Hunt and peck

Fleksy

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Leave your gestures at the door; Fleksy is a keyboard for messy typers who are tired of swiping words they didn’t mean to. Text correction is aggressive here, but easy enough to add words to, and the widget-like add-ons for this keyboard are too fun to ignore.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

Grammarly Keyboard

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re an English professor, writer, or somebody who writes occasionally, Grammarly Keyboard can come in handy for everyone. The keyboard keeps track of what you’re typing while you’re typing to ensure that your grammar and spelling is correct. And a recent update brought swipe typing, a feature that is already available on just about every other popular keyboard.

This keyboard also features predictive suggestions, but you’ll have to let Grammarly learn how you type first. Perhaps the best part, other than the corrections, is that you’ll be provided with a simple explanation as to why your grammar or phrasing is incorrect. So not only will you not look like a fool, but you’ll pick up some tips for future typing needs.

Check your grammar

Grammarly Keyboard

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Grammarly is great for those who have issues with grammar or those who just want a second set of eyes. You’ll get swipe typing, integration with all of your apps, and predictive text suggestions. Plus, Grammarly will teach you when you make mistakes to help make sure they don’t become a recurring issue.

Free w/ IAP at Google Play

OpenBoard

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The problem with some third-party apps is that there is either the chance of your input being recorded or the app being abandoned. With a keyboard app like OpenBoard you won’t have to worry about either, as the app is regularly being updated, but doesn’t add a whole lot of “frills”.

Speaking of which, there’s a single omission that may drive some folks away and that’s the lack of swipe texting. You’ll have to hunt and peck on your screen unless this is the kind of thing you’re already looking for. OpenBoard is also open-source, so you can keep track of what updates are coming and what bug issues have already been filed.

Fast and simple

OpenBoard

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If you want a keyboard that is open source and removes the need to worry about your data being mined, OpenBoard is perfect. The only big feature missing is the lack of swipe typing, but it offers a few gestures along with a couple of themes.

Free at Google Play

There’s a keyboard for everyone

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Many of us stick to the keyboard that comes pre-installed, which is likely Gboard or Samsung’s keyboard. There’s a reason why Gboard is the “king of the castle” and that’s thanks to its versatility and ability to recognize what we are trying to type, while we’re typing it. Google has also included a slew of features to help you customize and tweak the keyboard to your liking.

For years, SwiftKey’s biggest complaint was the fact that you had to pay for it. Now that the pay-wall has been removed thanks to Microsoft, it’s a fantastic and completely free alternative to Gboard. And while the app has all the features you could want and more, there’s also a beta program that you can join to get all of the “cutting edge” features that are coming down the pipeline.

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