How to change Android keyboards

Looking to change Android keyboards? Maybe you want to try Swype, or the new Swiftkey, or any one of the other great keyboards available on our fair smartphone operating system. (And a lot of new phones, like the AT&T Captivate and Droid X seen above, come with more than one keyboard installed.) After the break, we'll walk you through downloading, installing and switching to a new keyboard and, just maybe, a new way of life. (OK, probably not.)


Reader comments

Android 101: How to change keyboards


I have Swype on my Droid Incredible - how come it doesn't have the microphone button for speech to txt like your Droid X does?...

Because Swype on the Droid X was built specifically for it. While the version you have is the generic version, used for every phone that has 480x800 resolution.

Graffiti's a keyboard, as far as Android cares. Even if it doesn't have keys.
Fun fact: that warning dialog box doesn't pop up on Graffiti, for some reason.

I downloaded 'Better Keyboard' just try the Swype ( as shown in the article Android 101), but there is no option to use it!! What did i do wrong.

using HTC Legend, Android 2.1

Better Keyboard and Swype are two different keyboards...

If you installed BK and want to use it, go to your homescreen-->menu-->settings-->keyboard--> make sure better keyboard is checked.

And then go to a text box, long hold, and select the keyboard you want.
Hope that clears things up.

Am I the only one that still prefers the Compact QWERTY keyboard layout? I got used to it and don't want to go back.

yeah, coming from the storm, I am used to the compact QWERTY keyboard also. After using the droid x keyboard on my incredible however, I dont need the compact QWERTY setting anymore. Give it a try.

I'm a big fan of ShapeWriter personally. I've tried both ShapeWriter and Swype on my G1 and found ShapeWriter to be more accurate and overall much faster :)

I just love Shapewriter. It is amazing! The one thing that kills it is the lack of the microphone button. Without it, it is impossible to use voice entry into any field of your choice. You have to switch back to the stock keyboard (which is a huge hassle).

Thanks for making me feel like a complete idiot! :) I've been using Swype for a while and love it as a portrait keyboard, but not so much as a landscape keyboard on my N1. The stock keyboard let's you change input method by hold-pressing the mic key, swype didn't have such a shortcut, so I couldn't figure out a quick way to change the keyboard on the fly. It never occurred to me to hold-press the text field. Now I can use Swype for portrait, Swiftkey for landscape

Thanks for the tip...I'll now walk away hanging my head in newbie shame. :P

yeah... I like Swype, but I like Vlingo better.
My ideal would be Swype with Vlingo microphone key integrated.

Thank you so much! I had swype and then all of a sudden I had a korean keyboard and I couldn't change it. I tried everything (I thought.) Thanks again!