SwiftKey is one of the best third-party keyboards available for Android. The app recently went completely free and is now selling themes to support itself instead of having customers pay several bucks for the keyboard up front. The good part about that model is that SwiftKey occasionally adds new keyboard skins to the SwiftKey store.
The latest two entries are focused on Google’s new Material Design standard. These themes take the Material Design aesthetic and blend it with SwiftKey’s own personal look, and the results are pretty great. The themes come in both a light and dark flavor and are available for $0.99 each.
If you’re hankering for a taste of Android L but don’t have a Nexus device to install the SDK on, you could always check out its new keyboard, which is now available for almost any Android-powered device running Ice Cream Sandwich or later.
A third-party developer has extracted the keyboard APK from an official Android L developer preview build and made it available to download from a secure file sharing website. It’s free, has no ads, and does not require root access.
Hit the break for the download link and instructions on how to install the file on your smartphone/tablet.
Today, Fleksy announced it has updated its revolutionary smart keyboard app on Android to now include the Amazon Appstore and Samsung Galaxy Apps ‘user bases’.
In terms of added functionality, this upgrade transports support for two new languages (Polish and Ukrainian), as well as several bug fixes and speed optimizations.
Hit the break to see the full changelog.
Logitech has released a new keyboard, the Logitech K480, that is large enough to handle a pair of devices at the same time if they are small enough. A 5-inch handset and an 8-inch tablet should work if you need to look at both screens at the same time. The keyboard uses a slot for the devices to sit in at an upright position. Logitech says the keyboard will be available in black or white later this month in the US and Europe for a retail price of approximately $50.
Do you think Logitech will be successful with this device?
Fleksy has received a pretty substantial update that brings in support for two widely requested languages: Arabic and Chinese. By adding in both of these languages, Fleksy opens itself up to be much more competitive in an international market, especially China’s rapidly growing smartphone market.
If you use Fleksy in any other language, these new languages might not be such a big deal, so to make up for it Fleksy has added four new premium themes for the keyboard. The four themes, Key Lime, Sunflower, Sun Kiss, and Blood Red, all look pretty much like what you would expect from the names. But hey, new colors and customization options are always nice.
In the Android world, the third-party keyboard apps segment is a crowded one for app developers. That has not stopped developers from Fleksy from continuing to work on their version of a keyboard. The latest update that takes it up to version 3.0 introduces some new features and according to Fleksy, positions them to transition the keyboard to the iOS world when iOS 8 is released later this year.
Minuum has released a video showing their extremely minimalist keyboard working on an Android Wear smartwatch. We knew they were planning on tackling the problem of typing on a small screen, but this is the first real look we’re getting at the approach.
Like their standard keyboard counterpart, Minuum for Android Wear relies heavily on autocorrection and word predictions. On a smaller screen, it’s not exactly a perfect solution, but considering Android Wear doesn’t offer any type of built in solution, anything is better than nothing.
Fleksy has announced that the beta version of the keyboard for Android is getting a handful of new languages today, bringing its total language count to over 35. Some of the new modules are completely new languages, like Norwegian and Croatian, while others are actually language variations, such as British English or French Canadian. Adding in support for a wide variety of different languages is key to Fleksy’s goal of targeting international markets for growth.
Since the Android L developer preview was made available by Google, developers have been busy at working breaking it down and extracting code to be used on current Android platforms while we wait for the official release of the next version of Android based on L. One of the most noticeable changes in Android L is the keyboard which uses the new Material design framework. Developers had already pulled the apk for the keyboard out of Android L, but installation on other devices required root and some work with custom recoveries and flashing zip files. Now a couple developers have posted a version of the keyboard on Google Play that does not require root and only needs Android 4.0 or higher to work.
Because there are so many different Android devices (and so many variants of those individual devices), developers tend to begin programming their apps on iOS before putting together the resources (and endless hours) to begin porting their creations to Android.
Developing for Android is an arduous task, and Google knows it. That’s why the company will soon be making a concerted effort to streamline the development process. Google has also pushed manufacturers/carriers to stay as close to stock Android as possible by criticizing bloatware and OEM custom skins. But with different phones running different processors, having different amounts of RAM, different screen sizes/resolutions, etc., it’s tough to make sure an app will work seamlessly across the platform, no matter what Google does to ease the process. Android’s vast device offering can be seen as a major strength (and something that has led the platform to be an industry leader in market share) but it’s also been a weakness from the development side.