A built-in keyboard is included with every smartphone. But there are instances when that isn’t enough. Perhaps yours is so unpleasant that you’ve settled for writing just two-letter words, acronyms, or—worst of all—sending voice notes.
Fortunately, whether you have an iPhone or an Android, you can quickly customize your keyboard by downloading a third-party keyboard. You’ll find many to select from if you search the App Store or Google Play.
Some allow you to customize the look, use multiple fonts, and even play games. If all you need to do is to compose meaningful phrases, we’ve selected a few winners for you.
A Grammarly ad will most likely appear when you click on any YouTube video. You may be acquainted with the browser extension, but the platform now offers a smartphone keyboard app.
You may connect your Grammarly account to the app and obtain a comparable service. Even if you’re a slacker, the app will assess what you’re writing, provide suggestions, and highlight misspellings. Grammarly can also determine your writing’s tone, so you don’t come off as forceful when all you’re trying to do is be clear and succinct.
This is one of the most accessible apps we tried in terms of customization. You may choose between two themes: light and dark, and add features like a number row at the top of the keyboard or remove key borders for a more minimalist design. There is no GIF or sticker search, but there is an emoji keyboard.
You may also write in 29 other languages with the app. Unfortunately, all Grammarly features are only available in English, so you’ll have no one to blame if people in Spanish think you’re bossy.
Grammarly is a free keyboard software for Android and iOS.
If you have a Pixel, you’ve probably been typing with it all along. If you don’t already have one, you might be startled to learn that Google offers its keyboard app.
Gboard is a feature-rich platform with the built-in Google search engine as its most prominent feature. This means you can use the keyboard to search for items without leaving the program you’re using. Alternatively, you may use Google Assistant.
If your meme game is good, having Google search at your fingertips is also quite helpful—GIF searching is not restricted to IMG URL or GIPHY, and you can practically refer to anything on the internet. Other Google functions, such as voice typing and Translate, are also available from within the program.
The swipe typing feature is one of the greatest, and you can even modify your keyboard so that you can use it with only one hand. However, we don’t encourage it because the keys become relatively minor, and even normal-sized thumbs wind up typing gibberish.
Gboard supports many languages, albeit switching between them is not completely easy.
Gboard is a free application for Android and iOS.
This would have been a fantastic Taylor Swift-sponsored tech business, but Microsoft was the one who purchased the platform in 2016 for a reasonable $250 million. SwiftKey is currently one of the most effective alternatives available for functioning keyboard applications, so the investment appears to have been worthwhile.
This program offers built-in search features, similar to Gboard. However, it is powered by Bing by default. If you don’t like Microsoft’s engine, don’t worry; you can easily switch to Google. However, if none of them are your cup of tea, you may want to continue looking for applications.
New themes are available for download, some of which are purchased and others that are free. If you’re feeling very inventive, you may create your own by adding a number row to the top of your keyboard or adding arrow keys for more straightforward text navigation.
One of the few flaws we found with this program is that the keys appear crowded, particularly on foreign keyboards with unique characters. Having no borders on the keys should have been a simple change, but the program, unfortunately, does not provide that option.
Some users are concerned about the possibility of a third party spying on everything they enter into their phones when they use keyboard applications. This is a legitimate fear; given data breaches have harmed similar apps in the past. However, SwiftKey is one of the few that openly allows you to pick whether or not you want Microsoft to gather your data to improve the platform’s functioning when you set it up on your phone.
You won’t lose any use by opting out, so you can rest easy knowing that your group chat conversations are safe.
For Android and iOS, Microsoft SwiftKey is available for free. In-app purchases are included.
Typewise is another keyboard program that can claim its security credentials. The platform’s primary promise is that it enables complete anonymity, so if that’s a worry of yours, this will be the keyboard for you.
Typewise’s hexagonal structure is one of its most intriguing characteristics since it promises faster and more precise typing. When you switch on this setting, your keys will resemble a beehive, and your space bar will become two keys in the middle. The hexagonal layout reorganizes the standard QWERTY keyboard you’re probably used to, so it’ll take some getting used to.
The learning curve was minor too steep, in our opinion. Even though the form makes better use of your screen real estate and provides larger keys, you’ll need to commit to utilizing the layout for a week or two to get it to operate. Because the creators of Typewise are aware of this, they’ve added games and lessons to make your journey a bit easier.
But don’t worry: Typewise also has a classic layout that you can completely modify by adding borders and number rows, adjusting vibration and sound settings, and altering font size, among other things.
The disadvantage is that many of these choices are locked behind the Typewise Pro barrier, which costs $1.99 per month, $9.49 per year, or $24.99 to access permanently.
Typewise is accessible on Android and iOS for free. However, some features require a $1.99 monthly membership.
The Ginger keyboard proves that being practical doesn’t have to equal being boring. The majority of the applications on this list let you apply and even build your themes. When it comes to this platform, Ginger has built-in games, which is a fundamental function.
You might wonder why. If you’ve been in the middle of typing anything and needed a break, a basic yet incredibly amusing game like old school Snake or 2048 might be just what you need to get you back on track.
You may download any of these games as a separate app on your phone, but having the game embedded into your keyboard allows you to stay in the app you’re working on and not lose track of what you’re doing. It may appear strange at first, but it is worth a go.
Aside from that, Ginger is an entirely usable keyboard software with Google-powered voice typing, translation, and Grammarly-style corrections and writing suggestions.