Not many days ago, Google released their Stock keyboard as an external application in the play store. With this move, came many other advantages accompanied. One of them was the app will continue to receive updates no matter the OS receives updates or not. Its a Android 4.2 keyboard but only requires Android 4.0.
Surprisingly and unfortunately, many manufacturers out there override the stock Android keyboard with their own. However you can also install the keyboard like any other app. Search for Google Keyboard in the Google play store and install directly from there. If the Play store avoids downloading of the app due to countries restrictions, you can always search forums like XDA Developers forums.
Enable the Keyboard
Once you have installed the application, enable it from Settings, Language and input and then enable the Google Keyboard along with the Google Voice Typing. Now you are ready to play with the Google Keybaord.
At first glance, the keyboard might look like any other keyboards you used previously but the most highlighted feature is the gesture typing. Simply swipe your fingers across the letters without lifting your hands and the keyboard will guess accurately what you are trying to type. When you lift your finger up from the screen, the word is typed automatically. You need not to tap spaces and you can continue swiping other words directly.
Error Correction and Word Prediction
The three modes of Auto Correction, namely Modest, Aggressive and Very Aggressive let you take the complete control over how the Android treats your typed words. i.e you can put modest mode while you chat with your buddies and put the Aggressive mode when typing an email.
The word prediction need no introduction but all i can say is it is surprisingly accurate. There are dictionaries for 26 languages plus few keyboard layouts to give you a fast, reliable and accurate typing experience.
In normal keyboards you need to tap the ?123 button to type a special symbol and then again tap the ABC to return to alphabets. In gesture typing simply slide from the ?123 to the symbol you want to type and once types it automatically will return to the alphabets keyboard.
Text Expansion saves a lot of time in typing the words you use regularly. To make a text expansion go the settings, Language and Input and press the settings of the Google Keyboard. In Text Correction tap the Personal dictionary. Now tap the plus icon to add an Expansion. Write the Phrase you use regularly and then type a shortcut word to which will expand it.
Now next time whenever you type that shortcut you will get an option to replace that word with the phrase you already defined.
You are writing a sentence and you want a word in the middle of a sentence to carry the first letter as capital. You can do the long cut way or simply tap that word and press shift. The first letter automatically gets capitalised.
These were the few tips for using the keyboard more efficiently. Do you use another power tip? Share with us in comments below.