AH Android L Keyboard

Android L Makes Changing The Keyboard Input That Much Easier

June 30, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

Within Android, customization is king. You can literally customize just about every single aspect of the OS and the user interface and tailor it to your liking, and one of the most common ways people do this is with the keyboard. There are plenty of alternate third party keyboards available, some that cost and some that don’t, and most of them all very good options. Among the best are Swiftkey, minuum, Fleksy, and of course the stock Google Keyboard, but even more so now that it has somewhat transitioned into the Android L keyboard that can currently be found on the preview and as a standalone app. What is one to do though if they like all their third party keyboards and switch between them from time to time? It’s certainly gotten easier to change inputs with later Android releases, but there was still something missing that could have made it even simpler.

As it stands for most of us right now, changing your keyboard input is just as simple as tapping the notification that pops up in your pulldown panel from the status tray. Doing so brings up a window that will give you your alternate keyboard options, which you can select and have it changed right then and there. It isn’t overly difficult in any way, but it could be better. The good news is that Google has taken this into consideration and is changing this feature with the release of Android L.

Those of you who have already started using the Android L preview that was announced this past week at Google I/O 2014, may have already noticed the change. We’re betting that you may love it too. For everyone else that has to wait to get their hands on L and may have missed it, Google has changed the location of the input change notification that pops up when you have any third party keyboards installed. It no longer resides in the status tray(showing up any time you tap in any text entry bar)and has moved to the navigation bar down at the bottom of the screen. This definitely sounds like a more natural location for the keyboard button to switch inputs since it’s in the same general area as where your fingers will be anyway. My question is if the button will stay there for those that have third party launchers or custom ROMs installed and have gotten rid of the navigation bar altogether. Anyone using the Android L preview that can answer that?