December 20, 2014

Hands on with the Gingerbread Keyboard!

I don’t think I can appropriately describe how much work it would take to pull me away from Swype. One handed, there is no better way to type. Period. I’m not even leaving that one open to opinion, as far as I am concerned it’s fact. When I saw that Gingerbread was coming with an updated keyboard, it did not take me long to scoff at it. After all, it’s not Swype. I did, however, install it to see how it was improved over the stock FroYo experience, to gain some perspective on the kind of work Google put into this update. If they put a lot of attention into the keyboard, it stands to reason that I could use that as a baseline for how I will feel about the rest of the OS, right? Fortunately enough it doesn’t take the modders and hackers in the Android community long to rip things apart, and oh do we ever love the stuff that comes from it. Here’s a video of my playing with the Gingerbread Stock Keyboard on my Nexus One after the break!

If you want to play, head on over here and give it a flash. I am pleasantly surprised to report that I have yet to return to Swype. In fact, in my ideal world I would have Swype in portrait and Gingerbread Stock in landscape. That would be amazing. I’ll keep dreaming over here, you guys get to flashing!

EDIT – as it was just pointed out, I can, in fact, live in a perfect world with Keyboard Manager! Thanks guys!



  • Jesse
    • benjymous

      beat me to it ;)

    • Russell Holly

      oh man, I can’t believed I missed this! thanks a lot!

  • Chris

    “in my ideal world I would have Swype in portrait and Gingerbread Stock in landscape.”

    Have your cake and eat it too:

    http://lifehacker.com/5703147/keyboard-manager-automatically-sets-your-android-keyboard-based-on-screen-orientation

  • benjymous

    There’s an app for rooted phones that lets you have a different keyboard for landscape or portrait orientation:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=830177

  • Keith

    I use Swiftkey on my Nexus One. I would love to know how the Gingerbread keyboard compares to Swiftkey.

  • jacalyn

    I am looking to upgrade to a smart phone while staying in Sprints 3G network. I tried typing on the Optimus S and could not handle the small keyboard. I tried my nephews EVO and had no trouble, the larger screen helped, but just can’t handle the extra $10 for 4G right now. I then looked at the Transform but it did not have that great of reviews. Then they made the Optimus free, so I looked at it again, but still can’t type on it. Will this work on the Optimus S, it looks like it is a much bigger keyboard than what came with it. I had resigned myself to thinking I would just have to wait till Sprint came out with more 3G smart phones with the larger size screen and qwerty keyboard, maybe this will work? TY

  • http://www.hatpit.com David

    Hi, I just got the new MyTouch 4G a couple of days ago and I had been using the Touch Input keyboard on old MyTouch 3G and I loved it. I was happy to see that keyboard already on my new phone and it is what I’m probably going to stick with. I haven’t tried swype yet but this phonr has it so I may try it sometime.

    Anyway, incase ya’ll don’t know the new MyTouch 4G is so cool and fast over wifi and hspa. I just watched your video on this page over my wifi and it played beaufifully. These new Android smart phones are so amazing to me.

  • http://dangerismymiddlename.co Paul Danger Kile

    The new keyboard does not work with 2.1, correct?

  • Michael

    For those of you that don’t use the voice input. In the android keyboard settings you can disable it, remove the mic button, and get a larger spacebar.

  • http://squigglekeyboard.cadreworks.com Warrick

    Hey Russel,

    We’ve just released a keyboard and your article got my attention. We’d be grateful to get your candid feedback on what we’ve done.

    Once you’re up and running with Squiggle I think you’d be hard pressed to enter text more quickly using any other keyboard.

    If you’re keen please drop me a note and we’ll make a free version available to you to play with.