Best Keyboard Apps for Android
We spend a third of our waking hours checking or using our smartphones, much of which is spent typing to our friends, filling in forms or searching on Google.
In other words, we're spending more and more time typing on our phones, so it's natural that we are looking for smarter, more intuitive solutions.
Luckily, app developers have responded.
Long gone are the days of slowly punching out a couple of lines on your Nokia 3310's alphanumeric keyboard, these are the days of predictive text, autocorrect and swiping.
Let's take a look at the best third party keyboard apps for your Android phone.
Swift Key is one of the most popular third party keyboards and it's easy to see why.
It prides itself on its ability to learn your writing style and predict how you'll want to finish your sentences. It allows you to switch between languages whilst typing. A recently released new version will now finish your sentences in French, Spanish and German.
SwiftKey also learns your favourite emojis and suggests them to you at appropriate moments.
The Google Keyboard is the standard keyboard which comes free with most Android phones, and remains one of the leaders in the keyboard field. Technically not a third party app as it comes as standard, but you can download it from the Play Store so we thought we'd include it.
One of the downsides compared to Swift Key is the multiple language options. Whilst you can type in different languages, it's impossible to switch languages mid-sentence without changing your input. Which is annoying.
The Google keyboard is much better than it used to be, but still lags behind the competition.
Swype is a another keyboard veteran that has stuck around with good reason. Swipe typing is pretty commonplace these days, but has been around since the company's inception in 2002.
Swype has been available on Android since 2013 and has many of the same features as SwiftKey, including typing in two languages at once. A glance of Swype's website tells you they are keen to push their customised keypads, especially their sport ones.
And finally the only paid option of the keyboard we've reviewed, the Fleksy keyboard has a simple layout designed for fast typing, with an intelligent autocorrect to cover for your mistakes.
Fleksy costs $1.99 but you can trial it for 30 days before you decide to buy. You also have to pay for the exclusive themes, such as Frozen or the Hunger Games.
One cool thing Fleksy has is its extension, the coolest being the ability to send GIFs direct from your keyboard.
There you have it, four of the best Android keyboards. Of course there are many others we could have mentioned, and the range of features available is changing all the time, as each keyboard tries to outdo the other.