Android Quick App: Keyboard Manager [root]

Switching between keyboards isn't that difficult, but it can be annoying if it's something you do frequently.  It's a few extra long presses and taps that can really slow you down if you just want to fire off a quick message.

I know some (most) of the 777 results for "keyboard" at AppBrain are skins and language packs, but Android is also home to several keyboard replacements.  And of those several keyboards, you may prefer one over the other, based on how well it functions in a certain orientation.

Personally, I don't long for separate keyboards in each orientation, but in case you do, developer ne0fhyk at XDA Developers has been working on a solution for you.

Join me after the break for more about Keyboard Manager, and a couple screen shots.

To take advantage of Keyboard Manager, your phone must be rooted, and have access to an app such as Root Explorer that will allow you to modify file permissions.  Installing Keyboard Manager requires just a tad more than installing the APK, but it's not difficult at all.  ne0fhyk's thread provides the two simple steps you need to follow to get Keyboard Manager working.

At first run you'll be greeted with this screen:

Keyboard Manager - Swaps keyboards based on orientation.

In addition to enabling or disabling Keyboard Manager, here is where you will specify which keyboard you'd like to use in portrait and landscape orientations.  For this demo, I'll just leave portrait mode on the stock Android keyboard.  For landscape, I'll use my absolute favorite keyboard on the market, Smart Keyboard Pro.  Now let's open up a text message and begin typing...

For the purposes of this demonstration we'll say the stock Android keyboard is unrivaled in portrait orientation, so that's why you'd always want to use it over anything else in portrait mode.  But in landscape, maybe there's a different keyboard you find to be leagues better than the stock Android keyboard.  So in that case, just tilt your device on its side ...

... and resume composing your message.  Pretty fancy.

Although I really have no use for this, since I'm excellent with Smart Keyboard Pro in either orientation, there might be users out there that will love it.

Keyboard Manager would be even better if it allowed a different keyboard for the other portrait and landscape modes (180 degrees rotation, and 270 degrees rotation).  Having the option to quickly choose between two portrait keyboard and two landscape keyboards would be great, and something I could definitely see myself using once in a while.

It's still a bit buggy, and sometimes fails to work correctly, but it's a great start, and shows plenty of potential.  I can see a feature like this being built into future versions of CyanogenMod.

So if you're bored and have nothing else to do this weekend, head over to this thread and check out Keyboard Manager.  [XDA Developers]