Ask tablet owners what they love about their devices, and they’ll go on and on. Whether it’s an iPad or Android tablet, people tend to love these ultra portable computers. Ask them what they don’t like about the device and you’ll get a narrower array of answers. In fact, one will almost certainly stand out above the rest: the keyboard.
Ever since the first typewriter we have used physical keyboards to input information. Even as we transitioned from that clunky typewriter keyboard to more functional computer ones, the basic premise has remained the same. The keyboard has been a separate device that provides us with tactile feedback when we depress keys.
Smartphones changed that equation, but tablets take it to a whole new level. Here is a device with a screen large enough to warrant a keyboard. Yet instead of a separate physical device, we’re served with an on-screen input apparatus. It looks like a keyboard, but we can’t feel the keys depress like we can on a physical keyboard. Some tablets offer the option for tactile feedback, but that amounts to a mere vibration. It’s not nearly the same as the sensation of depressing a key. Finally, the keyboard takes up half or more of the screen, leaving us with a small input window.
In other words, while tablet keyboards might be good on their own merits, they defy our expectations. Thankfully, there are a few different keyboard options for Android tablet users. for instance, there are:
- Thumbs Keyboard (99 cents)
- Tablet Keyboard Free (free, with a $1.20 option for premium)
- SwiftKey 3 ($1.99) [shown below]
Once you download the keyboard, though, you have to select it. Here’s a quick run through of how to do it.
1. Hit the Menu button in the main menu and select Settings.
2. Scroll down until you see “Language and input” or “Language and keyboard,” depending on your Android OS version.
3. Check the box next to the keyboard you want to use.
4. IMPORTANT: Select “Default” and set it to the new keyboard.
At this point you’ll also want to click on the gear next to your new keyboard to change the settings. For instance, with SwiftKey you’ll have the option to utilize auto-correct. There are many options within each keyboard type.
You can change your keyboard back at any time, by using the same method and re-selecting your original default keyboard.