Android has a billion keyboard options. Okay, maybe there’s not quite a billion keyboard apps out there to choose from, but with all of the customization options offered by some of them, it might at well be since every Android user ever could easily have a different looking keyboard. However, not all keyboards are created equal and there are plenty that choose to be flashy over having the functionality of other keyboards. Redraw attempts to combine the best of functions, appearance, and even achievements into a keyboard. Yes, achievements. Let’s take a look.
The first thing that will pop up when you first open the app is a Google Play Games login. This may seem strange at first but connect it. I’ll cover more on this a little later on. The app will take you through all the necessary steps of enabling the keyboard in system settings and selecting it from the list of keyboards available. You then receive your daily reward. At this point, you’ve probably realized that this is no typical keyboard app but incorporates a game type element to it. Your daily reward of coins will enable you to purchase your first theme from a very extensive list. There are clean and simple themes that are a simple black and white, ones that simulate the iPhone keyboard, and ones that are way more detailed with fire, lighting, roses, skulls, and even themes such as Easter, Winter, and Black Friday (yes, that’s really a thing). After you pick your first theme, your setup is complete and you’re free to start typing to your heart’s content.
Redraw includes a lot of popular features that are present in most of the top keyboard apps. You can tap to type, swipe your finger, word prediction, spell check, and quick access to emojis. The keyboard is set up in an intuitive way that allows you to effortlessly add emojis or stickers to any message. There are dozens upon dozens of sticker packs available, so if cute animals are your thing, you’re covered. If you like things a little edgier, there are fingers with attitudes. If you’re still feeling the Poké-craze, maybe a cool creature pack (read: not real Pokémon, but with a similar design) is more to your liking. You can also buy wallpapers for your phone, more fonts for your keyboard, and even additional sounds for your keyboard. Everything can be used to customize your keyboard exactly to your liking. There is a menu button on the top left of the keyboard that allows you to quickly access most of these setting, themes, or even achievements.
Now let’s pause for a second here. This keyboard includes 35 achievements that will all supply you with even more gold coins to deck out your keyboard. Achievements range from easy things like swipe your first 5 words, to ones that you’ll get over time, such as send 10 stickers. Each achievement has a monetary value attached to it that can range from only 50 coins to a couple hundred depending on how long they take to unlock. This is a really innovative and creative feature that I believe is a first for the Android keyboard community, and it’s a welcome feature that really spices up an already extensive list of features.
I’ve been a pretty regular user of GBoard up until this point, and in my first day of using this keyboard, I was a little underwhelmed. It didn’t seem to have as good predictions as GBoard, and I had an ugly white keyboard with big bubble looking letters. Then I dug a little deeper. I turned on such features as auto-correct which fixed a great number of typos (and consequently, a lot of my complaints) then discovered where you can customize your own theme. I’m pretty big into Overwatch right now on Xbox, so I took a picture of the logo, placed it in the background, tweaked the color of the keys so they could easily be read, added an orange accent color, and changed the transparency of the key outline until my keyboard was totally geeked out and I was over the moon. My keyboard now worked great, looked great, and I was turning the heads of lots of my friends.
Redraw keyboard has most of the features of a lot of the popular keyboards out there but adds extensive customization and some truly unique features such as achievements. You will need to make sure that predictions and auto-correct are enabled, but once you get everything setup, the keyboard really does offer a solid experience and does it with style. Achievements are just the icing on the cake and add a lot to otherwise mundane tasks. All in all, you owe it to yourself to take this one for a spin.