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Craig

Comparing Keyboard Features - AOSP/Gboard/Swiftkey

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Posted (edited)

shot-2020-05-13_18-05-51.jpg.3a5c66a7f4d8a9f185cb24a091b3faf8.jpg

 

I decided to compare the three keyboards I've tried, which none are perfect for my use case.  I noted features I use and whether they work with the hardware keyboard for the AOSP Keyboard, Google's Gboard, and Microsoft's Swiftkey.

[Note, I am using Lineage, so there are two fixes that make this comparison less applicable to stock - stock hasn't assigned sym key as right-alt and hasn't set keyboard to thumb keyboard.] 

So I probably woulda just stuck with AOSP keyboard, other than that auto-capitalize that drives me crazy in discord.   And this is because both stock and lineage have not implemented  physical keyboard settings present on other android phones to enable/disable autocaps/etc.    

So swiftkey has physical keyboard settings hidden under "typing" in its menu, allowing me to turn off autocaps and enable other features, and that works!   But the biggest problem with swiftkey is that games that use keyboard controls dont work with it.  And its annoying to have to go out of the game, go into some app to type to bring up that keyboard thing to switch back to aosp.  But it does offer one line of suggestions with three choices, useful on long words I'm not good at typing or spelling, but only useful occasionally and not important to me.

I also tried gboard, I can't see any reason why it's better than AOSP other than for Asian characters.  For Chinese/Japanese can type pinyin/romaji and it provides some suggestions in an on-screen popup.  It seems aosp keyboard doesn't seem to support Asian languages at all.  Swiftkey works even better, presenting me with choices in a single row along the bottom of screen (same place as English suggestions, but those are limited to three) and for Chinese I can even just push the number key corresponding to the choice, so never have to touch screen to type Chinese; for Japanese it's like English where you have to use ctrl+number or touch screen.

What would be perfect is one magical keyboard that takes all the green features from each of those keyboard and combines them into one 🙂.  Although I'd be fairly satisfied if we get physical keyboard settings for aosp, or if games worked in swiftkey.

Anyone tried any others, and wanna report results?

Edited by Craig
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On Lineage, I get sticky shift with the AOSP keyboard.

Since I actually don't care about any of the other red Ns for the AOSP keyboard, it is my choice. The my main knock with Swift Key aside from the red Ns is that it really sucks at swyping for those few times I use an onscreen keyboard, which is becoming less and less.  It's just so easy to flip out the hardware keyboard.  Gboard is far and away the best at swyping with almost supernatural accuracy, but AOSP is good enough and gives me the symbol menu.

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Any idea how I set up the physical keyboard to actually write in Japanese? I added it in the settings but it keeps using only latin letters and the keys are kinda scrambled too.

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Posted (edited)

@Hook Yeah sorry sticky shift with aosp does half work.  I used two apps to test typing, discord and compsing an email in gmail.  AOSP sticky shift works in discord but not gmail.     Whereis swiftkey works in both.  Updated my table.

 

 

Edited by Craig

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1 hour ago, Craig said:

@Hook Yeah sorry sticky shift with aosp does half work.  I used two apps to test typing, discord and compsing an email in gmail.  AOSP sticky shift works in discord but not gmail.     Whereis swiftkey works in both.  Updated my table.

 

 

Seems strange to evaluate it by app.  I know the chart is just what you want the keyboard to do and not an overall comparison of keyboards, but folks my want to know that I tested sticky shift with two word processors, a text editor, and an email program.  AOSP stick shift works in everything I tried.  I don't have Gmail on my phone as I never use Gmail to do Gmail, but it seems clear to me that sticky shift works with the AOSP keyboard.  Why there is an exception for Gmail someone else will have to figure out.  😉    

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11 minutes ago, Hook said:

Seems strange to evaluate it by app.  I know the chart is just what you want the keyboard to do and not an overall comparison of keyboards, but folks my want to know that I tested sticky shift with two word processors, a text editor, and an email program.  AOSP stick shift works in everything I tried.  I don't have Gmail on my phone as I never use Gmail to do Gmail, but it seems clear to me that sticky shift works with the AOSP keyboard.  Why there is an exception for Gmail someone else will have to figure out.  😉    

Hmmm yeah.  I just picked two apps to try that are apps I use the keyboard with most. 

The next most used app for me is hangouts (as I use that for sms thru google voice) and so I just tested sticky shift with those three keyboards...  

gboard-no  aosp-yes   swiftkey-yes

gunna add that to my little table too.  So yeah it seems gmail is perhaps an outlier - but again, it works with swiftkey.

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All I want is that annoying accented character long press feature to die a slow death.

Doesn't do it in stock, but I want root so no dice there 😢

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, D1ggs said:

All I want is that annoying accented character long press feature to die a slow death.

Doesn't do it in stock, but I want root so no dice there 😢

You can root stock...  and you can use SwiftKey with lineage for example if you don't want longpress symbols, and has physical keyboard settings.  But then you lose other features, and have to switch to other keyboard for games.   There's probably other keyboards out there that work better; for me aosp would be fine if we had the physical keyboard settings to disable automatic caps, which I hope will at least come to lineage, if not stock, at a future date.

 

Screenshot_20200512-121433_SwiftKey_Keyboard.png

Edited by Craig
edit: mistake, swiftkey does support longpress symbols

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Craig said:

You can root stock...  and you can use SwiftKey with lineage for example if you don't want longpress symbols, and has physical keyboard settings.  But then you lose other features, and have to switch to other keyboard for games.   There's probably other keyboards out there that work better; for me aosp would be fine if we had the physical keyboard settings to disable automatic caps, which I hope will at least come to lineage, if not stock, at a future date.

 

Screenshot_20200512-121433_SwiftKey_Keyboard.png

How do you root the latest version of stock? 

And no, those settings do not change the physical keyboard behavior. Believe me, i've tried. The behavior is present regardless of what software keyboard is used. 

Edited by D1ggs

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, D1ggs said:

And no, those settings do not change the physical keyboard behavior. Believe me, i've tried. The behavior is present regardless of what software keyboard is used. 

They most certainly do.  If I enable Auto capitalize, it turns it on.  If I leave it off, it stays off.    The behavior changes as soon as I switch the toggle.

edit: I hadn't tried the other features as I dont use them, but they all seem to work exactly as described. 

Quick prediction insert is pretty cool actually.  I may just leave this on... even the punctuation.  This is interesting, it makes typing long words faster cuz as soon as it shows as middle prediction I can hit space or period.    I now have everything turned on except autocaps.

 

Edited by Craig

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40 minutes ago, D1ggs said:

All I want is that annoying accented character long press feature to die a slow death.

Doesn't do it in stock, but I want root so no dice there 😢

Whereas. I love that feature.  It's how I get my em-dash 😉  Also, it doesn't fire accidentally on me.

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12 minutes ago, Hook said:

Whereas. I love that feature.  It's how I get my em-dash 😉  Also, it doesn't fire accidentally on me.

I like that feature too.  But I have had it fire accidentally, but that's a bug, that's not supposed to happen, I don't recall it ever happening on Photon Q for example.  I hope its software issue can be resolved.

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18 minutes ago, Craig said:

They most certainly do.  If I enable Auto capitalize, it turns it on.  If I leave it off, it stays off.    The behavior changes as soon as I switch the toggle.

edit: I hadn't tried the other features as I dont use them, but they all seem to work exactly as described. 

Quick prediction insert is pretty cool actually.  I may just leave this on... even the punctuation.  This is interesting, it makes typing long words faster cuz as soon as it shows as middle prediction I can hit space or period.    I now have everything turned on except autocaps.

 

Mate, i'm referring to the annoying accented character long press not the auto cap feature. 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, D1ggs said:

Mate, i'm referring to the annoying accented character long press not the auto cap feature. 

You said "those settings" when quoting a screenshot of the swiftkey phyiscal keyboard settings.

But yeah Swiftkey doesn't support longpress accents at all, can't turn it on (as far as I know).

edit: ok my bad, they do work....  and updated my table.  Not sure how I missed that, thought I tested before.

Edited by Craig
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Posted (edited)
On 5/12/2020 at 8:19 AM, Tsunero said:

Any idea how I set up the physical keyboard to actually write in Japanese? I added it in the settings but it keeps using only latin letters and the keys are kinda scrambled too.

I only barely know a little Japanese from when I took it in high school. 

But you motivated me to figure out swiftkey, and yeah the only thing I had to do to change it to the way I want was not set it for hiragana.

So I'm gunna update my table and first post, cuz Swiftkey seems to work great for Asian languages, the way I want to type them anyway.  Certainly better than gboard with its popup boxes.   But, Chinese works better than Japanese cuz  have to use ctrl with the numbers for Japanese (like english) or tap the screen, which I actually found documented in settings, so it's not a mistake, captured below.

Screenshot_20200513-175454_SwiftKey_Keyboard.png

 

Not sure why not Japanese/etc, although of course it maybe complicates typing numbers when you want to...

 

Screenshot_20200513-175903_SwiftKey_Keyboard.thumb.png.d0f88d121782272bd7402199c8501ac1.png

 

Edited by Craig
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Posted (edited)

@Craig OMG. This is it!

Thanks, Swiftkey works wonderfully and just does whatever I want, it's surprisingly customizable too. Japanese input works from the physical keyboard now.

I have no idea why Gboard refused to work but oh well.

Edited by Tsunero
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Posted (edited)

there is something funky about longpress accents with SwiftKey.  For example, they no longer work for me. 

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

but they did b4 after I tried when Diggs said I was wrong when I thought they didnt

so I think it must be app specific. 

pro1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

i can no longer get longpress accent menu and dunno why

I'll test more later and update my table, but for now, I consider longpress accents unreliable, at best, with SwiftKey and dunno how to get them back. 

Edited by Craig
edit: its fulguris browser, not swiftkey

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5 hours ago, Craig said:

there is something funky about longpress accents with SwiftKey. 

Are you sure you remember correct? It is there on LineageOS, but not stock. Where the keyboard repeats like a pc-keyboard.

Even the fake keyboard does not give the superscript 1 longpressing the 1 key, unless you switch to number&symbol keyboard first (also suggesting fractions).

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I'm sure because I posted that message from Pro¹, and at the time wasn't sober enough to bother figuring out why longpress stopped bringing up the accents.  And I am using lineage.

Anyways now confirmed the issue. It's @Slion's Fulguris browser.  For some reason it ignores longpress accents.  Not just swiftkey, aosp/gboard too. 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Craig said:

Anyways now confirmed the issue. It's @Slion's Fulguris browser.  For some reason it ignores longpress accents.  Not just swiftkey, aosp/gboard too. 

Thanks @Craig, another day another bug report. I have an idea where that could be coming from. However I have no way to test it since I'm running stock so you will have to validate it yourself.

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