Joe Hindy / Android Authority
For many people, the default keyboard that comes on their devices is passable. It is usually either the stock Android keyboard or the OEM keyboard from Samsung, LG, etc. However, those are not your only options. There are a variety of third-party keyboard apps for Android that have all sorts of features.
Some focus more on fun and customization. Others focus on better typing. Some even do both. These days, Microsoft’s SwiftKey and Google’s Gboard kind of dominate the market and most people use one of those. There used to be a lot more fun options, but these days you just don’t see as many.
We’d also like to give an honorable mention to Hacker’s Keyboard (Google Play) gives you a full hardware-style keyboard layout, but it hasn’t seen an update since 2018. It may have been abandoned.
The best Android keyboards for all types of typists
1C Big Keyboard
Price: Free / $1.99 per month / $9 once
1C Big Keyboard is something a little bit different. It’s a keyboard that is intentionally large with a bigger font for older folks and other people who may have failing eyesight. It uses most of the screen in its default setting, but you can swipe up and give the keyboard 100% of your screen if you need to. Some other features include bigger keys for fewer typos and there are some customization options. It can be a bit slow on occasion and we’d prefer if it had some extra optimization, at least for lower-end devices. Otherwise, it’s a good option for the older crowd.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Chrooma Keyboard had some ups and downs, but it seems to have calmed down a bit. It was once one of the most popular Android keyboards but fell out of favor when it got new owners. In the last couple of years, the app has improved its responsiveness (at least on our tester phones) and it still has the Material You-style theming where it changes color based on the app you’re using. There is also a GIF search, emoji support, and gesture typing. There are some issues with text correction and gesture typing and the themes can get expensive. It’s definitely the tenth out of ten on this list, but it’s still good enough to use.
Facemoji Emoji Keyboard
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Facemoji Emoji Keyboard focuses a little more on the customization part of keyboards than pure functionality. It does a pretty good job of it too. The app supports 5,000 emojis, emoticons, stickers, and other such things. There is also support for GIFs. Some other features include 1,500 themes, 50 fonts, a game mode for some mobile games, and more. In terms of typing, power users may be left disappointed. It has the basics and the functionality is okay. It’s just not as good as Gboard or SwiftKey in those areas.
Price: Free / Up to $2.99
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Fleksy is one of the most popular Android keyboards. It features all of the basics, including swipe and gesture controls, web search, GIF and meme support, themes, extensions, and more. Some of the themes are free. However, several cost money as well. Thankfully, they weren’t too expensive. Pinterest bought the company and took the developers. However, another startup began development on the app again. The keyboard is totally free and most of the in-app purchases are just themes.
Gboard is Google’s official stock keyboard. It comes with a lot of basic features such as auto-correction, multi-lingual typing, and various customization features. Its claim to fame, though, is that Google Search is built-in. That means you can conduct searches without leaving the keyboard space. There is also a GIF search, voice typing, and Google Translate. Google adds features to this keyboard on a fairly frequent basis. Thus, it isn’t quite the minimal, simple keyboard it used to be. However, it’s still decent.
Grammarly is one of the newer Android keyboards. It started life as a Chrome extension and it corrected your grammar as you typed. The Android keyboard version aims to do the same thing. It checks your grammar and spelling as well as punctuation. It’s newer, so it’s very much still in development. We expect more features to come with future updates. You still get a very clean-looking keyboard that helps correct grammar mistakes in the meantime. We also like how it explains your corrections if you want it to so that you learn from them as well. The only downside is that the app has some typing bugs that we wish the developers would fix since some of them have been around for a while. Otherwise, the app is free and it does help when it works right.
SwiftKey is definitely among the best Android keyboards ever. It has top-of-the-line prediction and auto-correction along with gesture typing, cloud syncing so all of your devices can stay up to date, themes, keyboard customization, a number row, and more. It also has above-average language support with over 100 languages supported. The keyboard and all of its features are free but you’ll have to pay for most of the themes. The keyboard was purchased by Microsoft a couple of years ago, but it still works as it did. The app is also completely free.
Multiling O Keyboard
Multiling O Keyboard is the one-stop-shop if you need multiple languages. In fact, this keyboard app supports over 200 languages at the time of this writing which is more than pretty much every other Android keyboard. On top of superior language support, you’ll get gesture typing, the ability to set up a PC-style keyboard layout, keyboard resizing and repositioning, themes, emoji, various layouts, and the all-important number row. It’s a powerful option for you multi-linguists out there. More and more keyboards support more and more languages. However, nobody does it quite as well as Multiling.
OpenBoard is a nice keyboard for privacy fans. It’s 100% open-source and based on the AOSP keyboard. It removes Google binaries so you don’t need any Google Play Services for this to work. In terms of functionality, it’s pretty average. You get some text correction, some basic themes, and support for stuff like emoji. However, you miss out on the extra features you would normally get in Gboard. It’s free to use and you can find the open-source code in the Google Play description.
Simple Keyboard is the most minimal Android keyboard on the list. It only comes with the basics. That includes the keyboard, a few customization settings, and a few themes. The only permission it has is vibration and that’s for haptic feedback while typing. This is the one you want if you just want a basic, bare-bones keyboard. It also has no ads, no premium version, no in-app purchases, and it’s open-source.
It requires only the bare minimum in terms of permissions as well. Just make sure you’re okay with not having the features from more modern keyboards. This one is even simpler than OpenBoard, so it’ll be up to you to figure out which one you like better.
Typewise Custom Keyboard
Price: Free / $1.99-$24.99
Typewise Custom Keyboard is a relatively decent keyboard. It omits the classic QWERTY style in favor of a honeycomb-shaped patterned keyboard. The developer says the keyboard was designed for thumb typing and includes larger than average keys for easier hits. The keyboard also works 100% offline with no suspicious permissions. The big story here, though, is the keyboard layout. You either get used to it and really enjoy it or you don’t and hate it. There doesn’t seem to be anything between that. There is an optional QWERTY mode if you would prefer something a bit more traditional. It’s a good keyboard overall and it’s something a bit different.
If we missed any of the best Android keyboards, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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