Simple Keyboard: open source lightweight keyboard for Android
Simple Keyboard is an open source application for Google's Android operating system by the maker of Simple Mobile Tools. The app was released recently to the public and is somewhat limited at the current state of development.
Android keyboards are not necessarily privacy friendly nor lightweight. Thankfully, Android users may install third-party keyboards, such as OpenBoard, on their devices to start using them instead of the defaults.
Simple Keyboard puts the focus on providing a lightweight keyboard that focuses on text input. The current version does not support advanced features such as AI text predictions, built-in search functionality, support for emojis or GIFs, swipe typing, auto-correcting or voice input.
Some users use these features extensively or once in a while, but if you just want a reliable privacy-first keyboard, Simple Keyboard may be all that you need.
Please note that the initial version supports only two languages: English and Russian. More languages will be added in the future, but for now, you only get these two (and the spell checking as well as keyboards that go along with them).
Adding a keyboard to Android is not as simple as installing the keyboard app. You need to give permission for use as a keyboard on the device and need to switch the keyboard that is active to the newly installed app. Thankfully, Simple Keyboard helps you do that.
Once that is out of the way, you get to use the new keyboard whenever you type on the device. The typing experience is good, but it may take some adjusting to get used to the app, especially if you rely a lot on missing features such as auto corrections.
The keyboard marks spelling mistakes, those not in a dictionary, so that you may correct them, but this is not an automated process; this may be a reason not to use the keyboard for some, while others may not mind that at all.
Simple Keyboard requires no Internet connection and is privacy friendly, as it does not display any ads or does any kind of data collecting. Android users who don't require advanced features such as text predictions or auto-corrections may find it a useful alternative to the heavier keyboard apps that are available.
The app is still early in development. The low number of supported languages is problematic, as it will keep many users away. New features will be added in future versions, and it will be interesting to see which will be added by the developer.
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