My Pick For The Best Keyboard For Android
At one time, a tablet computer was considered to be a touch screen laptop that the screen could be turned around and folded down flat to hide the keyboard. Technology has a way of changing and nowadays, computers that fit that bill are called convertible’s and tablet computers are devices like the Apple iPad, the Motorola Zoom, or the Galaxy Tab.
One thing that they all have in common is that they don’t have a keyboard in the traditional sense of actual keys that you can type on. They do have virtual keyboards that you can attempt to type on but I find typing on these touch keyboards extremely difficult. I believe that most people who are proficient at typing end up reverting to one or two finger hunt and peck typing when they are using a tablet computer.
One option for improving these clumsy virtual keyboards is to purchase a Bluetooth keyboard. These devices are keyboards with actual keys on them that communicate with a tablet computer via Bluetooth. Some tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 have the ability to dock with a proprietary keyboard that you have to purchase from Samsung. These devices offer solutions for some people but most people don’t want to be bothered with the hassle of packing around an extra piece of equipment. This, after all, kind of defeats the reason for owning a touch screen tablet computer in the first place.
The Solution To Slow Typing On Android Tablets Is To Install A Third Party Virtual Keyboard
To improve the text entry experience on tablet computers, software designers have developed several apps that you can install that will replace the default Android keyboard. Today I’ll be going over a few of these replacement Android keyboards and I’ll tell you my pick for the app that wins my vote as the best keyboard for Android.
Default Android Tablet Keyboard
First let’s look at the default keyboard that comes on Goggle Android tablets that are running the Honeycomb version of Google’s flagship OS. This is a dark themed keyboard that I find quite difficult to type on without having lots of errors. As you can see, it’s a very simple keyboard and you have to toggle the “?123” key to be able to input numbers and symbols.
The Samsung Keypad
My Galaxy Tab 10.1 came with Samsung’s version of an Android tablet keyboard. When you look at it, it appears quite similar to the default keyboard with the main noticeable difference being that it is a light themed keyboard.
The Swype Keyboard For Android Tablets
Now let’s have a look at my favorite keyboard; The Swype Keyboard. When you first install it, it will look quite similar to the standard keyboards that come loaded on Android Tablets. Although it may look the same, it functions quite differently. Instead to typing on this tablet keypad, you slide your finger from one letter to the next.
For example, if you start with your finger on the letter “A” and then, without lifting it, you slide your finger to the letters “n,d,r,o,i,d”, the word “Android” will appear on your screen. This keyboard was initially designed to make the task of entering text on Android powered touch screen smartphones faster and it works great for that job.
When Android tablets started hitting the market, the Swype app lost its usefulness because you had to slide you finger so far around the larger screens. It just wasn’t an efficient way of entering text. Then an update was released that makes it possible to shrink the keyboard to a much smaller size. This put Swype back on the leaderboard because the keyboard was once again small enough to use efficiently on a larger tablet screen.
Here’s what the Swype keyboard looks like at full size.
Here’s what the Swype keyboard looks like when it is minimized to make optimal use of its functionality.
Now that you know you have some options when it comes to picking out keyboards for Android, I encourage you to experiment a little and find one that works best for your needs. I think you’ll be glad you did.