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How to change the keyboard on an Android mobile or tablet

22 mayo, 2021

The keyboard is one of the most important applications of your Android, because -with permission of the voice assistants- writing is still one of the main input methods. A bad keyboard app can make using the phone an ordeal.

Luckily nothing stops you download and use another keyboard from Google Play. There are tons of keyboard apps available, with renowned inputs like SwiftKey, Chrooma, or Gboard, to name a few. Changing the keyboard is a fairly simple process, although the process requires a series of steps: it is not enough to press a button.

Why change keyboard?

There are countless reasons why you would want to change the pre-installed keyboard on your mobile or tablet, just as you might prefer another application for the clock, the calculator or the camera. These are some of the most common reasons:

  • More lenguajes: Some manufacturers include only the languages ​​of the region where the phone is sold on their keyboard, which may be different from the languages ​​you speak. It’s also possible that your pre-installed keyboard doesn’t support input switching between languages ​​easily.

  • Larger: Some people, especially those with poor eyesight, prefer keyboards with larger keys. They take up more screen, but make fewer typing mistakes.

  • Other writing methods: Nowadays dragging on letters has become quite popular, but some pre-installed keyboards lack this option.

  • Prettier: A criterion as valid as another is that you are not convinced by the appearance of your keyboard. Other keyboards include themes or change color depending on the application you use.

  • Added functions: You might be interested in some of the added functions included in other keyboards. For example, sending GIFs, built-in Google search, or language translation included in Gboard.

How to switch keyboard

The first thing you need, obviously, is your new keyboard. Here we refer you to our article with the best keyboards for Android, although the final decision is still yours, depending on what you need.

The only thing you should keep in mind when it comes to getting a keyboard app is that it is better to limit yourself to familiar apps. After all, the keyboard application is capable of saving all the keystrokes you make and everything you type (passwords included), so it is better take no chances with that new keyboard of dubious provenance.

Once you are clear about which keyboard you want to use, download the app from Google Play. For example, suppose you want to try Chrooma, a keyboard that adapts its color to that of the application you are using, in addition to many other additional options.

Chrooma GIF Keyboard

Chrooma GIF KeyboardVaries by device

Android keyboards typically include kind of a step by step tutorial It guides you through the different steps to activate the keyboard and set it as the default. This method is simple – you just have to follow the instructions on the screen – although it varies from one keyboard to another and it could be the case that the developer has not included it. To see if this is the case, open the app.

Chrooma Chrooma Step-by-Step Wizard

Although each keyboard has its own assistant, the steps are always the same:

  1. Grant the necessary permits, if any.
  2. Activate the new keyboard as an input method.
  3. Set the keyboard as the default method.

If using Marshmallow or higher, you don’t need to worry much about permissions. The keyboard itself will take care of asking for them when necessary. In this case, the permissions are usually to access contacts and multimedia content, so that you can attach images or autocomplete contact names. Keyboards with more advanced features may require more permissions.

Permissions Chrooma (left) and Gboard (right) asking for permissions

The most important step is enable new keyboard in the settings. Input methods can potentially capture what you type, so Google wants you to manually enable them so that it can show you a warning about it.

To do so, go to the Settings – Language and text input – Default keyboard and press Configure Input Methods. The setting may not be named exactly like this or may be in another submenu. In these cases, searching in the Android Settings is very useful.

Input Methods Input options on a Samsung terminal

As soon as you enable a new keyboard you will receive a warning window something alarmist informing you that the new keyboard can collect all the text you type, passwords and credit cards included. It’s a good reminder why you should limit yourself to using familiar keyboard apps.

Once this is done, you can now use your new keyboard, although it will not be selected as the default input device. That is, if you start typing something, you will continue to use the same keyboard app as before. You can change it from the permanent notification that appears while you type or in Android Settings: Languages ​​and text input – Default keyboard.

Input Methods

Once ready, you already have your new keyboard installed, enabled and ready to use by default. Although it will generally be easier for you to follow the instructions on the keyboard itself, it never hurts to know the manual steps in case something goes wrong or there is no assistant.

If later you wish uninstall this new keyboard, just uninstalling your application is enough. Android will automatically choose another keyboard available on the system as the default keyboard.

In Engadget Android | The six best keyboards for Android