How to Change Your Android Keyboard
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The keyboard app on your phone might be outdated, featureless, or worse, insecure If You Own an HTC Beware the TouchPal Ads If You Own an HTC Beware the TouchPal Ads This past weekend, TouchPal started showing ads on HTC smartphones. This doesn't sound all that bad, until you discover that TouchPal is the default keyboard app on HTC smartphones. Read More .

You might be using the same basic stock keyboard that came with your Android phone — something that hasn’t been updated in two years. When it comes to Android keyboards, there are better, faster, and more secure options out there.

Try a Third-Party Keyboard App

Switching to another Android keyboard doesn’t cost you anything. In fact, it will only make you more productive. You’ll be able to type faster, and you’ll have quick access to emojis and GIFs.

Gboard — Google’s own Android keyboard has been rebranded as Gboard. It integrates a Google search bar, gesture typing, Emoji and GIF search, themes, text shortcuts, and more. If you’re weary of using a third-party keyboard, just go with Gboard. You can’t go wrong with Google’s official keyboard 10 Things You Didn't Know Gboard for Android Could Do 10 Things You Didn't Know Gboard for Android Could Do The best keyboard for Android is probably the one that comes pre-installed: Gboard. But are you taking full advantage of all its great features? Read More .

Swiftkey — It may lack over the top features, but when it comes to typing, Swiftkey is the best option The Best Android Apps The Best Android Apps Looking for the best apps for your Android phone or tablet? This is our comprehensive, hand-picked list of the best apps for Android. Read More . Swiftkey has one of the best prediction and typing engines out there (for both thumb and gesture typing).

The Play Store is filled with other alternate keyboards 5 Best Android Keyboards for Emojis, GIFs, and More 5 Best Android Keyboards for Emojis, GIFs, and More These keyboards make it super easy to add GIFs, emojis, and all sorts of other goodies to anything you type. Read More you can try out, like Slash, Swype, Fleksy, and more.

How to Enable a New Android Keyboard

When you launch a keyboard app for the first time, it will guide you through the process of enabling a new keyboard. This has to be done from Settings. The instructions might differ based on Android versions and manufacturer skins Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android? Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android? Hardware makers like to take Android and morph it into something that is entirely their own, but is this a good or a bad thing? Take a look and compare these different Android skins. Read More . If you can’t find a particular menu, try searching for “keyboard” in the Settings app.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and select Language & Input.

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Step 2: From this list, tap on Virtual Keyboard.

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Step 3: You’ll see a list of enabled keyboards here. Tap on Manage Keyboards.

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Step 4: Tap on the toggle next to the keyboard’s name to enable the particular keyboard.

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You’ll notice that simply enabling a virtual keyboard in Settings doesn’t actually replace the keyboard. We need to do this manually.

How to Change Your Keyboard on Android

You can go to a particular keyboard app to enable it or you can do this right from the keyboard view.

Step 1: Go to the search bar to enable the keyboard.

Step 2: When the keyboard is visible, you’ll find a small keyboard icon in the bottom-right corner of the navigation bar. Tap on it.

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Step 3: This will bring up the Change keyboard pop-up. All the enabled keyboards will show up on this list. Tap on a keyboard that you want to switch to.

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And just like that, you’ve switched to a new keyboard! If you’re using Gboard or the stock Android keyboard, tap and hold on the Space bar to bring up the same pop-up.

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If you’re going to use multiple keyboards, remember this button as a quick way to cycle between all enabled keyboards.

Continue Replacing Stock Apps

The Android keyboard is just one of the components that you can replace for a better experience. Try replacing the launcher with something that’s more feature rich and faster Which Android Launcher Should You Use? We Compare the Best! Which Android Launcher Should You Use? We Compare the Best! These awesome launchers will have your Android device feeling brand new. Read More . On Android, you can even replace the Phone, Contacts, and the default Email app 5 Excellent Email Apps for Android, Compared 5 Excellent Email Apps for Android, Compared You probably use your smartphone for email, but switching to one of these apps could make that experience a lot better for you. Read More with something better.

What are some of your favorite third-party replacements for stock Android functionality? Share with us in the comments below.

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  1. Chaitanya
    August 21, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Pull down notification shade when keyboard is active -> tap on the keyboard name -> get the same Change Keyboard menu. Slightly simpler solution.