Kika Keyboard is the next-generation of Android keyboards with Emoji support built-in, and it goes far beyond just the 800+ different Emoji included. For starters, this integrates with Giphy to allow users to send links to GIFs within the keyboard and it has support for not only WhatsApp's latest emoji but also Unicode 7 and 8 Emoji allowing Android users to send Apple-style Emoji. There are 60+ supported languages with Kika Keyboard as well as the new feature of plugins to make your keyboard even more useful. Coupled with the vast array of themes, as well as custom themes makes this one of the more complete Emoji keyboards out there, so let's see what this is all about.
To get started with, users just need to download Kika Keyboard free from the Play Store, and get started with the setup procedure.
If you've ever set up a third-party keyboard on Android before, then you'll know how this goes, but Kika does a good job of guiding users through this simple setup. Once you've got everything setup – including your chosen language and dictionary settings – it's really easy to use Kika as a keyboard, the default look is a little dated, however.
This doesn't matter of course, as there are hundreds of different themes that you can choose from when using Kika Keyboard:
Themes can be obtained both offline as well as online and you can even create your own custom themes as well, further personalizing your Android experience.
It's not just the theme of the keyboard that you can change as well, you can adjust the size as well as the layout of the keyboard.
As you can see, Kika is not just an Emoji keyboard, but a fully-featured Android keyboard altogether, and yes, Emoji are this keyboard's specialty. All the different Emoji are easily accessed at any time using the keyboard, and there's so many to choose from.
There's more than just Emoji on offer here however, as there are predefined patterns you can use:
As well as classic emoticons that you can send to someone with any type of phone out there.
What do people love almost as much as they love Emoji? Animated GIFs, and in the past couple of years the humble GIF has become a big deal online, and with Kika Keyboard you can search for GIFs using trending hashtags right from the keyboard whenever you want:
This is a pretty great addition to any Emoji keyboard, but there's even more here, as Kika allows users to change their overall Emoji theme should they wish to:
Last but not least, there's the plugin system, which makes better use of the top bar of the keyboard when in use. users just choose which plugins they want to have running from the settings menu:
The search plugin is my absolute favorite here, as it can be genuinely useful. In the middle of a conversation you can search for whatever you need to right there and then, such as some football scores for instance:
Then, a browser window will appear, offering up the information you wanted without you leaving your messaging or email app.
There's so much on offer in Kika Keyboard that it's genuinely difficult list everything it does. Needless to say though, Kika is a great keyboard first and foremost, all the other features are great, but this has it where it counts and is a good typing experience. All the different Emoji are easily accessible and there's a hell of a lot of different options on offer as well. With GIF supported and stickers included, this is easily one of the best keyboard apps to use when expressing yourself in online chats in messages. The theme support here is great as well, there's a good selection included for offline use, and users can even create their own custom themes, along with a wide selection of different fonts to choose from.
- Speed (4/5) – Kika is a quick and lightweight keyboard, despite all of its extra features and it runs well.
- Theme (4/5) – With a lot of different themes on offer, you can easily make this look however you want, but a little more Material Design would have been nice to see.
- Features (5/5) – No doubt, every box that an Emoji Keyboard needs to tick, Kika ticks them. With GIF support, sticker support, plugins and more there's very little that Kika Keyboard doesn't do.
- Overall (4.5/5) – If an Emoji keyboard is what you're looking for, then there's so many different features on offer here that Kika Keyboard won't disappoint in any way.
- Is first and foremost an excellent keyboard, regardless of all the extra features.
- GIF support is up-to-date and is a great addition to an Emoji-focused Keyboard.
- Tons of Emoji on offer here, with different themes as well as Unicode 7 and 8 support for WhatsApp and iOS-style Emoji.
- Plugins are a great way of making a keyboard even more useful for every type of user, no matter what they need in a Keyboard.
- More of a Material Design would be nice for users with later versions of Android running on their devices.
- For some users this might be too much in one app.
All-in-all, Kika Keyboard has to be one of the most fully-featured Emoji keyboards that I have tried. It ticks every box going and surprisingly it's still an excellent typing experience first and foremost. It would be nice if there were some in-depth introductions to these features, but on the whole there's very little to complain about, that's for sure.