The biggest improvement to the JellyBean keyboard is Gesture Typing. Simply slide from letter to letter to type a word. I previously used to use Swype but after the 4.2 update, I switched to the stock keyboard. It’s just so much faster, fluid, and generally easier to use.
You can do it one-handed and it even supports two finger gesture typing. It saves time, energy and you don’t even need to bother spelling words properly since Android auto-corrects words easily. The word prediction software is intuitive too and the voice-to-text is spot on. It even works offline, supports hundreds of languages and hardly ever gets any words wrong. Impressive stuff.
The strange thing is that gesture typing ONLY works on the English QWERTY keyboard. It didn’t work on the Arabic keyboard and it didn’t work on the numbers/symbols keyboard either. Not really a negative thing, but it was interesting to note.
Below is a small list of tips which some users might find useful. Some of them are intuitive while others, not so much.
- I hardly ever use voice to text on my phone so the microphone button on the keyboard is of no use to me. And every time I have to use a comma, I have to press the Symbols button and then click the Comma button. It’s really annoying. The good thing is that you can switch the microphone button with the comma button through the keyboard settings.
- Long pressing the Full Stop button produces the most used punctuation marks for easy access.
- Long pressing on the middle word on the suggestions will shows all the other word suggestions.
- Instead of pressing the Full Stop button and then Space bar to start a new sentence, double tap the Space bar to get the same effect.
- Instead of long-pressing the Shift button for Caps Lock, just double tap it. It saves time and effort.
- You can add Emojis through the Dictionary Add-On setting.
These two tips only work if you’ve selected more than one typing language.
- Long pressing on the space-bar brings up input settings and allows you to switch languages.
- Tapping on the Globe icon will let you switch languages even quicker.
So all in all, the keyboard hasn’t really had a massive update. It just got Gesture Typing which was already available on 3rd party keyboards. Still, it’s nice to finally have a stock option.