Hacker's Keyboard is a free keyboard application for Google Android that works well as an all-purpose keyboard but also specifically for administrative tasks.
Google rolled out Gboard recently, an update of the Google Keyboard for Android application which introduced search capabilities and a line on top of the keyboard that would not go away.
I did use the Google Keyboard app on my Android device up until that point, but made the decision to look for an Android keyboard alternative as I did not like the direction and focus of development.
A search for the best Android keyboards revealed hundreds of top lists which all listed the same five, ten or fifteen keyboard applications; all popular choices but not a simple application that puts you in control.
Enter Hacker's Keyboard for Android. The application requires no extra permissions, which is always a good sign. It is completely free, the source code is available on GitHub, and it requires no Internet connection to work properly.
You need to allow the application to function as a keyboard, and set it as the default keyboard application after installation. You may also want to download dictionary files provided by the author of the application to add support for those languages.
The keyboard uses a four row layout by default. You can change that to a full five row keyboard layout instead which adds a lot of new characters to the keyboard interface including Ctrl, Tab, arrow keys, or Esc.
The keyboard displays suggestions as you type in the top row. You can disable this completely in the application if you don't require that functionality.
While we are at it. The settings are quite extensive. You find plenty of options to change the visual appearance of the keyboard interface, input methods, and key behavior settings.
The latter ships with a couple of interesting options. You may define gesture actions for instance, enable auto-capitalization, or configure sliding key events.
You may also set up a permanent notification for quick access, or disable quick fixes which auto-correct common issues.
Hacker's Keyboard is a plain soft keyboard application for Android. It does not ship with AI, phone home functionality, and does not suffer from feature overload. It works really well, offers many customization options, and offers full keyboard layout support.
This is without doubt one of the best keyboard apps for Android. It is not for all users obviously. If you like search for instance, you won't get that here.
One downside: some keys, slash and backslash for instances, are missing from the full keyboard layout (they are available when you long-press on certain keys though).
Now You: Which keyboard app do you use?
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.