The stock touch QWERTY keyboard on most Android devices running Froyo and lower are pathetic and non user friendly. They have small buttons and no spell correction or Swype or any cool features that the new Android 4.0 keyboard has on board. Android Ice Cream Sandwich was introduced with the launch of the Galaxy Nexus, Google’s current flagship Android device. And the stock keyboard is far better in terms of text input, prediction and spell correction. So, if you’ve been wanting to try it out on your device, the time has arrived.
An unofficial version of the Android Ice Cream Sandwich keyboard is available for download and can be installed on devices running Android OS 2.3.3 to 2.2. It’s not the final version of course, so you’ll experience bugs and crashes, but it’s still far better than the previous versions of the keyboard. It’s pretty easy to install as well, since the apk is available for download directly from the Android market. So all you have to do is enable Unknown Resources option in Settings>Applications and you’re good to go.
Once the keyboard is installed, just head over to Settings>Language & Keyboard and select the Ice Cream Sandwich Keyboard. You can also adjust it to your style from the keyboard settings. Now head over to any app and hold the text input area for a few seconds until a pop-up menu appears. Select Input method and choose Ice Cream Sandwich keyboard and there you’ll have it. Unlike the previous versions of Android keyboard, this one has lots of blue, so you’ll know you’re using it when you see the color blue. Here’s the list of features;
- Multitouch keyboard
- User dictionary, built-in dictionary
- Configurable auto correction
- Redesigned and optimized keyboard layout and style
- Speech to text (select languages only)
- Custom vibration intensity (haptic feedback)
- Long press “Enter” key to bring up smiley alternatives (Only on Im mode, for example in Gtalk)
- Long press on “/” key in URL mode to bring up domains