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TechRad.io Top 5: Android Keyboards (2018)

Keyboards have come a long way
Keyboards have come a long way

Keyboards have come a long way, from the clanky Thor’s hammer of the 90s that could wake someone up a couple of miles away to the nifty sliders in BlackBerry and others during the advent of Android phones. In terms of smartphones though, it has finally rested in the current generation of onscreen keyboards. 

TechRad.io Top 5: Android Keyboards (2018) 1
Thor should have used this instead of a Stormbreaker

And as usual, Google Play is filled with probably millions of keyboards and though usually lot of people don’t bother changing the default keyboard that the phone manufacturer ships with, but most like to use one particular keyboard app or other regardless of the phone they are using.

While the manufacturer provided keyboards are pretty good but some apps on Google Play are so good and makes typing so easy that one can’t not have them on their phones

Today, we explore the top 5 keyboards on Google Play, ranked by a propriety algorithm developed at TechRad.io that uses Analytics & AI and takes into consideration user reviews, ratings, performance, and a few other factors.


5. Classic Big Keyboard

Classic Big Keyboard

Google Play Rating – 4.3/5
TechRad.io Rating – 4.0/5

Classic Big Keyboard seeming doesn’t offer too much apart from that fact that it has a relatively big keyboard. But that is its core strength. Bloat free simple effective keyboard with limited customisation but functionally sufficient. And that is reflected in its APK size (only 15 MB, by far the smallest of the list) and associated performance which makes it an ideal candidate for budget phones with low performance and disk space.

The performance does come at the cost of function with slightly imprecise autocorrect. Also, the presence of advertisements makes it a bit less desirable especially as free alternatives are available.

Pros: Small APK size, good performance. Ideal for budget phones

Cons: Advertisements, error prone autocomplete

4. Fast Typing Keyboard

TechRad.io Top 5: Android Keyboards (2018) 2

Google Play Rating – 4.6/5
TechRad.io Rating – 4.4/5

This was a surprise, because we had thought Fast Typing Keyboard being a themed version of Go Keyboard wouldn’t make the cut, but surprisingly it did. The fact that it is probably the highest rated keyboard on the Play store helped. But the clincher was that in fact this is quite fast using very low system resources. FTK does have its moments and the ability to customise thems, font and sound options has its appeal against the younger crowd that is reflected in the reviews and ratings.

But advertisement is a big turn-off and for specific apps, it can have reliability issues.

Pros: Fast, customisable

Cons: Advertisements, infrequent crashes

3. Gboard – the Google Keyboard

TechRad.io Top 5: Android Keyboards (2018) 3

Google Play Rating – 4.3/5
TechRad.io Rating – 4.5/5

Gboard had to make the list just due to the sheer volume as Gboard has been downloaded and installed over 1 billion times, though arguably a lot of them is pre-installed on the Android OS by default. But that doesn’t mean it lacks anything, Gboard has a lot of features, from autocorrect, to voice typing, GIF/Emoji support, multiple languages, and also glide typing. Also, it is (sort of ) completely ad-free and free to use with no in-app or hidden costs.

But Google’s habit of building in a ton of features in an attempt to make its keyboard universally acceptable make it slightly laggy in terms of performance.

Pros: Completely free, robust, ton of features

Con: Slight performance degradation, recent updates have made autocorrect inaccurate.

2. Fleksy – Emoji & GIF keyboard app

TechRad.io Top 5: Android Keyboards (2018) 4

Play Store Rating – 4.4/5
TechRad.io Rating – 4.7/5

Fleksy has a passionate fan following but has always been in the shadows of other more famous keyboards. Its key appeal is the promise of privacy, Fleksy claims not to store or transmit any data from the app and promises what is typed on your phone, stays on your phone. But that is not what makes it so good, it has a brilliant auto-correct, lots of customisations and good performance.

However, presence of ads takes off some gloss.

Pros: Privacy, great autocorrect, good performance, languages options.

Cons: Advertisements

1. Swiftkey Keyboard

TechRad.io Top 5: Android Keyboards (2018) 5

Google Play Rating – 4.5/5
TechRad.io Rating – 5.0/5

If our AI-based algorithm had told us that anything else apart from Swiftkey was the best, we would have thrown it in the garbage. Swiftkey had to be number one. It has almost all the features that you may think of. And they were the pioneers of glide to type. A plethora of customisation options, including changing the size of the keyboard, themes etc. But what really sets is apart is a) it’s AI-based autocorrect / auto predict engine b) vast selection of languages. The “Hinglish” language selection (a portmanteau of Hindi & English, or urban English as spoken by Indians) has made is the most used keyboard in the massive Indian mobile market.

And all of that for free, no ads, no hidden costs, except when you want to buy non-free themes.

Apart from occasional performance issues, Swiftkey is perfect.

Pros: Massive selection of language, all customisations that is possibly needed, auto predict engine is almost psychic, ad-free

Con: Nothing really, apart from occasional sporadic performance issues


Honourable mentions that didn’t make the cut

  1. Grammarly Keyboard

And now for the Hall of Shame

We would receomment to never use these (either due to lack of features, pervasive ads and/or performance issues that can cripple the phone to a standstill)

  1. Go Keyboard
  2. Cheetah Keyboard
  3. Touchpal Keyboard

That’s it, tell us what you think about our list or if we missed any keyboard that you think should be part of this list in the comments.


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