9 Tips for Typing Faster on Your Android Phone

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Typing on a touchscreen device is nowhere near as convenient as typing on a hardware keyboard. Tapping away on a slab of glass gives you no feedback and isn’t anyone’s idea of fun.

While there’s no absolute solution to this problem, there are a lot of shortcuts and tips you can learn that can help you type faster on your Android smartphone. And since you spend a fair amount of time typing on your Android device, learning such tricks can help you save time dramatically.

Make the Most of Gboard

Gboard, previously known as Google Keyboard, has quickly emerged as a top choice when it comes to Android keyboards. Gboard has a lot of features 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 , but here, we’ll stick with the ones that help you type faster.

1. Insert Emojis Faster Than Ever

Emojis have gained a lot of prominence, and thanks to that, they’re often touted as the new language of the internet. Apparently Google didn’t want its users to feel left out, so it made entering emojis as painless and quick as possible.

Gone are the days when you needed to scroll through hundreds of emojis before you could find the one you needed. To search for an emoji on Gboard, just long-tap on the emoji icon. Here, you’ll see a search bar that says Search emoji. Type in a search term, and tap on that emoji to insert it.

gboard tips type faster

Alternatively, you can also tap on the tiny draw-emoji icon in the search bar. Here, you can search for an emoji by drawing it You Can Now Draw Your Own Emoji in Gboard You Can Now Draw Your Own Emoji in Gboard Gboard for Android is now capable of recognizing your hand-drawn emoji. This is just one of a number of improvements Google has made to its keyboard app for Android users. Read More . While I’m not entirely sure how it’ll make entering emojis quicker, it can be handy if you’re searching for a particular emoji, but you’re not sure where it is or what it’s called.

gboard tips type faster

2. Precise Control Over the On-Screen Cursor

No matter how carefully you type, you’re bound to spell a word or two wrong. Navigating the cursor to the exact character position can be a challenge on a small screen, hampering your typing experience and speed.

Fortunately, Gboard has a great feature that lets you precisely control the on-screen cursor. To see it in action, simply swipe left or right on the space bar. You should now have precise control over the on-screen cursor.

gboard tips type faster

Also, if you need to delete multiple words simultaneously, you can tap and swipe left on the backspace key.

3. Type Numbers and Special Characters Quickly

By default, typing a number on Gboard requires you to switch to the numbers mode by tapping the ?123 key.

But if you happen to type out numbers frequently, you can enable an always-on Number row in Gboard. To do so, go to Gboard Settings > Preferences and enable Number row. Now you should see a persistent number row at the top of your keyboard.

gboard tips type faster

What if you want to enter numbers quickly, but don’t want to enable the persistent numbers row since it takes up the limited screen real estate on your phone? In that case, you can tap and swipe from the ?123 key to the number of your choice.

gboard tips type faster

In a similar fashion, you can tap and swipe from the ?123 key to enter a special character of your choice.

gboard tips type faster

Also, you can long tap on the period key to access a list of frequently-used punctuations like (!?,”/;) This eliminates the hassle of switching back and forth between the numbers mode, thus helping you enter numbers and special characters quickly.

gboard tips type faster

4. Text Prediction and Personalized Suggestions

Gboard’s Text prediction feature suggests the next word based on the previous word that you typed. You can tap this suggestion to enter the word instead of typing it out manually.

This might seem a little counter-intuitive at first, but it can help increase your typing speed when you get the hang of it. To enable this, head over to Gboard Settings > Text correction and enable Next-word suggestions.

gboard tips type faster

While you’re at it, we also recommend you to enable a few other settings in the same place for a faster typing experience.

gboard tips type faster

Suggest contact names: This allows names from your contact list to be displayed in Gboard’s suggestion bar, thus helping you type out the name of your contacts quickly.

Show emoji suggestions: This enables searching for emojis as you type and displays the matching emoji right inside the suggestions bar. This avoids the hassle of switching back and forth between the emoji mode.

Personalized suggestions: It lets Gboard learn from Google apps and services Google's Most Interesting: Apps, Projects, and Services You Must Know About Google's Most Interesting: Apps, Projects, and Services You Must Know About Google always has dozens of projects going at any given time and it can be hard to keep track of them all. Here are the most interesting ones that you should be aware of. Read More to improve suggestions.

5. Set Shortcuts to Expand Text Automatically

You can teach Gboard to remember the words that you use frequently and set up a shortcut for them.

For instance, I’ve defined a phrase “hru” that expands to “How’re you doing?”. So, whenever I type “hru”, the expanded version will be shown in Gboard’s suggestion bar. From here, I can quickly tap on it to enter it.

gboard tips type faster

For even more functionality, you can check out some other text expander apps for Android The Easy Way to Expand Text on Android for Free The Easy Way to Expand Text on Android for Free Text expansion can save you tons of time, but it isn't limited to your desktop. Here's how to get started easily with text expansion on Android. Read More .

Other Input Typing Features to Type Faster

Pecking your thumbs at the screen isn’t necessarily the best way to type. Let’s check out some alternative input methods that can help you type faster on your Android device.

6. Glide Typing

gboard tips type faster

Gboard comes with a Glide typing feature that lets you enter text by swiping through the letters, instead of hitting each key. Start by placing your finger on the first character and then swipe along the remaining characters of your required word. It displays a blue trail that shows you the path of your finger. If Gboard enters an incorrect word, you can usually correct the word from the suggestions bar.

Glide typing isn’t limited to Gboard, though. Swiftkey also has one of the best swipe typing features. Then there’s Swype keyboard, which was one of the early pioneers of the swipe-to-type technology.

7. Voice Typing

Gboard’s Voice Typing feature lets you speak to your Android phone Free Up Your Hands With Speech-to-Text on Android Free Up Your Hands With Speech-to-Text on Android Here's everything you need to know about how to use speech-to-text on Android to type text using your voice. Read More and have your voice converted into text in real-time using Google’s speech-to-text engine. To do so, tap on the microphone icon at the right side of the suggestions bar and start speaking.

You can also speak out the punctuation, so you can say “Gentlemen comma I bring good news.” You can also speak-out other punctuation like the exclamation marks, question marks, colons, etc.

gboard tips type faster

Google’s voice typing feature supports over 100 languages. To configure your primary language, head over to Gboard Settings > Voice typing > Languages. Here, tap on a language of your choice.

gboard tips type faster

Perhaps the best thing about Voice typing is that it works even without an active internet connection, albeit with reduced accuracy. To configure it, navigate to Gboard Settings > Voice typing > Offline speech recognition. Here, you can download a language of your choice. Note that the language support is pretty limited when it comes to Offline speech recognition.

8. Other Android Keyboards

While there’s no denying that Gboard is one of the best Android keyboards, there are a lot of other great Android keyboards What Is the Best Alternative Keyboard for Android? What Is the Best Alternative Keyboard for Android? We take a look at some of the best keyboards in the Play Store and put them to the test. Read More out there as well. If you’re on the hunt for a new keyboard, here are some worthy alternatives purely based on helping you type faster.

  • SwiftKey: Swiftkey has been around for a long time now, and it boasts highly accurate text prediction and swipe typing. It also offers emoji suggestions and helps you with bilingual auto-correction across 150+ languages.
  • Fleksy: Fleksy prides itself on providing powerful text predictions and more natural gesture typing. It’s no wonder that a long-time Fleksy user broke the Guinness World Record for fastest typing.
  • Minuum: Dubbed the “little keyboard for big fingers”, Minuum helps you type surprisingly fast with its smart word predictions, emoji predictions, and gesture shortcuts. It also comes with a Typing Speed Monitor which lets you monitor your typing speed.

9. Typing Games on Android

No matter what Android keyboard you use, you can only type as fast as your typing speed lets you. Here are some great Android games you can play to practice typing and have fun simultaneously.

  • ZType: ZType is a fun action game that helps you improve your typing skills. Each letter you type shoots off a plasma bullet into the enemy’s ships, so you need to learn to type really fast!
  • Typing Master: Typing Master features words engraved on bricks that fall down from the top à la Tetris style. Your aim is to type those words quickly and correctly before the brick hits the ground.

Here are some other great websites that help you master your typing in a fun way 10 Sites and Games to Teach Kids Typing the Fun Way 10 Sites and Games to Teach Kids Typing the Fun Way Why not let your kids have fun and also practice their keyboard skills with these free typing games for all ages! Read More .

Any Other Typing Tips?

Hopefully you found these tips for typing faster on your Android device useful. Whether you use Gboard or a third-party keyboard, smartphone typing can be a lot quicker once you master these tricks.

Did the above tips help you type substantially faster on your Android device? Do you have any other tips for typing with speed? Let us know in the comments below.

Explore more about: Android, Keyboard, Touch Typing.

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  1. Albin Foro
    July 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    There are several other things that help me: 1) an extra number row at the top instead of long-pressing the top alpha row for numbers, 2) special character long-presses on all keys, so rarely necessary to flip to a different screen (that's not used often enough to find characters quickly), 3) make use of the User Dictionary to get suggestions for acronyms, unusual words or names, email addresses, etc. and then keep a constant eye on the suggestion bar, 4) predictive / corrective often forces the wrong word and then needs fixing, wasting more time than it saves - must be able to disable it. I don't use snoopy Google's keyboard, but there are many that provide all the above: currently using Smart Keyboard Pro.

  2. Steven Lynch
    January 17, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I like AnySoftKeyboard, an free and open source alternative that you can get on the F-Droid store at


    You will need to allow the option to install from Non-Google and Non-Samsung Stores, but just who is responsible for the apps on your phone anyway?

    Apps need your permission to install obviously.

    AnySoftKeyboard has tons of free and open source language options, as well as keyboard layouts that include smiley/emoticon support.

    A picture of my favourite setup at the moment:


  3. mark
    January 13, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    I don't type very much but I am going to try gboard. what I could really use is an emoji interpreter to figure out things I read online.

  4. Sally
    January 12, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Nearly all of the features you mentioned in your article have been available on SwiftKey for years. Plus on SwiftKey you can download and install more than one language and use it at the same time. SwiftKey will also remember phrases you use frequently, not predict just the next word. Actually, I don't think you can search emojis on SwiftKey, but it remembers the ones you frequently use. Also, you can't swipe special characters, but they are already on the letter keys, so you just hold the one you want to enter it. And, you can have a row of numbers, so they are always available. And, best of all, a row of arrows, so you can reposition the cursor from that. The SwiftKey keyboard is also resizable or you can even undock it and move it around. SwiftKey is free in the Play Store.

    • Andrew
      January 16, 2018 at 1:27 am

      Read this thinking about everything you said here about SK. Having used both for years, SK is better than gboard. That could just be because in those years I have used SK more, and having given it access to my email and social media, it really has developed an almost uncanny knack for knowing what I'll type, not matter how vulgar. Also noteworthy is that the "long press" duration (to access special characters) is also adjustable in SK by reducing the milliseconds. Much better than sitting and waiting for what seems like forever. Also lots os free themes available for SK.

  5. Mike
    January 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks for this. Gboard is much better than my stock LG keyboard.

  6. Lorenzo Hernandez
    December 31, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Hello Mr. Kurve. Your segment came at a great time. I have been experiencing some issue's with Gboard like the dictionary is lacking in English and Spanish. It also seems to become glitchy when used for online gaming. So I decided to search for alternatives. You provided some options that I am sure to use. Thanks!

    • Abhishek Kurve
      January 2, 2018 at 4:17 am

      Glad you found it useful! So which one of them is your favorite keyboard?

  7. vicn
    December 30, 2017 at 1:18 am

    you keep telling us to "Head over to Gboard Settings etc."
    Where ?????

    • Abhishek Kurve
      December 30, 2017 at 11:28 am

      Hey Vicn,
      You should be able to find Gboard settings when you tap the Gboard app icon. If there's no Gboard app icon, you can head over to your phone's Settings > Location & Input/Languages & input and find Gboard there (if you have it installed, of course! )

      Give it a shot and let me know if you were able to locate it!

      • vicn
        January 13, 2018 at 12:06 am

        Sorted , thank you for reply.