The Best Keyboard for Android as of September 2011

We’ve played with the following five touch screen keyboards and made a decision as to which is the best for the every day texter. This ranking is based solely on the speed and accuracy we were able to achieve using each of the four keyboards. The keyboards are sorted starting with the one we found to be the best. All keyboards were tested on the Nexus One. The most frustrating part of the Android keyboard .. despite using it for the last 6 months, I pick up an iPhone and can still bang things out faster and more accurately than on any of the Android keyboards we’ve tried – and I’ve owned an iPhone..

The Verdict: The fasted and most accurate in landscape mode is Smart Keyboard Pro. If you really want to keep things portrait, then put in the time to get good at Swype – it will give you the best results

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  1. Smart Keyboard Pro
    If you like typing in landscape, this is definitely the most accurate keyboard around. It’s as close as Android gets to iPhone accuracy (and it’s DAMN close!) This keyboard is great in portrait too, better than the other non-swype keyboards. You have to pay for this app – we recommend you give it a try.
  2. Swype Keyboard
    If you are willing to put in the time, Swype is worth it. It seems to have better accuracy than most the others – you do REALLY have to be good at drawing that line right though the key you want though (so no looking up at the top half of the screen when you are trying to type..) It’s a little hard to get used to, but as we all saw in that  commercial (that one where they break the Guinness World Record) – it does seem to be the fastest way to type on a cell phone.  We would never use Swype in landscape mode… it just isn’t very good that way. For now it is pretty tough to get your hands on a copy of this software for most Android phones, but do a little googling,checkout XDA and I’m sure you will find it.  Swype is only being released on samsung phones, but our guide: download sywpe for android will help you put it onto all other android devices – it’s titled for the N1, but it works on most devices. We even got swype running on an Xperia X10 with Android 1.6 (although it force closed very frequently)
  3. SwiftKey Keyboard
    This keyboard is great for short text messages where it can predict what you want to say really well. It’s not as great for writing long emails. Make sure that while (or after) you install it, you let it learn from a good base of your own text messages (our installation learned from about 1000 messages.) The keyboard predicts what you are going to say before you even start to type – in some cases you can put an entire text message together without atually typing a letter on the keyboard – you just select form the 3 most likely words that it decides for you and places across the top bar of the keyboard. In all ways this keyboard is superior to the regular android keyboard and there is no way that anyone should not install it.  Check it out here: http://www.swiftkey.net/
  4. HTC_IME Keyboard
    This keyboard is awesome! Fully customizable and very easy to type on. It seems to have the best user experience. The three reasons we ranked SwiftKey above HTC_IME are: swiftkey has the ability to learn from your pre-existing text messages, HTC_IME only works on HTC phones and HTC _IME has no option to predict a word before you even start typing it (one of the coolest parts of swiftkey.) In almost all other ways, the HTC_IME keyboard seems superior – and it learns over time, every time you type a new word it will add it to the dictionary. The keyboard is incredibly customizable with settings for every feature you could ever want (or so it seems.) Check it out here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=624416 you wont be disappointed. We are eagerly awaiting the next release of this awesome keyboard – we have a feeling it will push it to the top of our list.
  5. Better Keyboard
    You can buy Better Keyboard in the Android Market for $2.99. It’s more accurate than the stock
    android keyboard, and there are a million themes/skins you can get for it. It’s a good keyboard, and some people say it’s as accurate as iPhone (we didn’t find this to be the case)
  6. The Standard Android Keyboard
    The standard keyboard comes in last. With all these fancy new time saving keyboards out there, the default just doesn’t hold up.

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best android keyboard

Long MP3s like Audio Books Not Working in Android

Although Android 2.2 has brought us a ton of incredible new features (including the portable wifi hotspot which I am using right now) it appears to also have introduced a few new bugs. One of these bugs results in longer audio files (such as audio books) not playing correctly in the native music player. It appears to set the length of all these longer files (1 hour plus) to 3 to 4 minutes. It then procedes to play beyond the end of the progress bar in order to finish the file. So you are able to listen to the entire file, but you are not able to jump to portions outside of the first 3 or 4 minutes – pretty frustrating…

Does anybody know if there is some kind of work around for this? Is there a better audio player for android that doesn’t include this annoying new bug?

Android BBM Kik Chat

We now effectively have BBM on Android. Not only that – but thanks to Kik Chat we can now chat with BBM like features between BlackBerry, Android and iPhone.iPod/iPad!

This sweet little app can be found in the Android Market as of last Friday. iPhone and blackberry users can pick it up on the App Store and App World.
Both the android iPhone versions are flawless!

They’ve now added features to send kik picture messages to your contacts.

With Kik (kik.com) you can see when another user has read your message – a feature that has become essential to any Blackberry messenger user. The beauty is, you have this feature no matter what platform you or the other party are running.

To anyone still using gchat, msn, or some all in one messenger to talk to their friends between mobile devices: you can finally give it up!