How to Replace the Stock Android Keyboard

Third Party Keyboard

In addition to the stock Android keyboard, which is excellent in its own right, Android users have dozens of alternative options at their fingertips. There are keyboards that let you use gestures to type, several that let you swipe to type out words and even a few that’ll completely change the way you think about typing on a mobile phone. Android users can choose the keyboard that fits them, and this guide will show you how to get started with your keyboard of choice, which for us is SwiftKey ($3.99 for full version, try for free for one month).

1. Search for SwiftKey on Google Play. You’ll notice that there are two SwiftKey applications, a free and paid version. The free version gives you a one-month free trial to see if you like SwiftKey enough to purchase it.

Google Play

2. Tap Install on the SwiftKey app of your choice.

SwiftKey in Google Play

3. Tap Open in Google Play once your app is installed. This will launch you into SwiftKey’s basic setup process.

MORE: 12 Surprising Things Your Android Phone Can Do

4. Tap “Choose Language,” and select your primary language. The language pack will download and you’ll be taken into the next section. You can download additional language packs after you’ve completed the initial setup.

SwiftKey choose language

5. Tap “Enable SwiftKey.” Clicking this button will take you into Android’s Keyboard Settings menu to enable SwiftKey as an available keyboard option.

Tap Enable SwiftKey


6. Toggle the checkbox next to SwiftKey, then tap your device’s Back button to go back to the SwiftKey setup menu.


Toggle SwiftKey

7. Set SwiftKey as your Default Input Method. Follow the on-screen prompts to set SwiftKey to be your default input method, then click the back button once more to go back to SwiftKey setup.

Set as default

8. Sync your Device with SwiftKey Cloud to help the keyboard learn from your previous activity. This optional step allows SwiftKey to learn your typing preference over time, resulting in better text prediction. If you’d like to do this, sign in with your Google Account, and click the yes button that pops up. Finally, click okay in the Sign in box to complete the sign in process.

Sync with SwiftKey

9. Enable SwiftKey Flow to get trace ability for your keyboard. One of the main advantages Android has over the competition is a trace keyboard, which allows you to swipe over letters to create words. SwiftKey Flow is the company’s trace keyboard, and it’s our favorite SwiftKey features.

Enable SwiftKey Flow

After you’ve completed the primary setup process, you can choose to add language packs or change certain settings if you so desire. You can do these at any time by launching the SwiftKey application from your phone’s app drawer.

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  1. Anderant Says:

    If you power off the Galaxy S3, the phone will to the stock keyboard. You will need to reset SwiftKey as your default input. I wish there was a way around this. It is annoying.

  2. Anderant Says:

    In my previous comment the first statement should have been: “If you power off the Galaxy S3, the phone will revert to the stock Android keyboard.” My apologies.

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