The Best Swipe Keyboards for Android

Woman holding phone, texting or writing on the keyboard
Chad Springer/Getty Images

Every phone comes with a default keyboard already there. However, in a world where we often are sending texts, tweets, and posting to social media by swiping, you want a keyboard that's accurate. If you're constantly tweeting and texting, then you probably swipe to type in order to get the words onto the screen faster.

While there are tons of great alternative keyboards available on the Play Store, not all of them are equal. Many of them require payment to access some — or all — of the features. We tried a variety of swipe keyboards and found that many of them fell short in a variety of critical ways.

Getting each of the keyboard apps we've covered here installed and ready to use is super simple. You'll need to download the actual app from the Play Store, and then tap on the icon once it is installed in order to give your phone permission to use it.

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GBoard swype keyboard, open with Google search bar enabled
What We Like
  • Gives you access to the best features, Google Search, and a highly reactive gif search option, all for absolutely free.

What We Don't Like
  • There are so many awesome features that trying to find where they all hide can be difficult when getting used to the keyboard, and finding the settings initially can be a pain. 

Gboard is Google's take on what a phone keyboard should do, and to be frank, it's the best of the bunch. It allows you to adjust your glide settings, has built-in search and gif functionality, and does everything without any fuss or ads to get in the way.

GBoard gives you plenty of options while typing but keeps them out of the way until you need them. If you just need to type a quick reply, you're good to go, but if you hit the Google G on the top of the keyboard, you get access to much more including emojis, search, and gifs.

You also get access to plenty of different options in the Settings menu. This includes tweaking your theme so that it has a personal touch, adjusting the preferences to adjust the keyboard height or enable one-handed mode, and personalize how you see text correction.

GBoard gives you a few options for glide typing as well. From showing the gesture trail to enabling gesture controls, it's very clear in the way that everything is laid out that you get tons of features without any headaches to accompany them.

The best part of GBoard, aside from all of the great features, is that it is absolutely free. You'll never be asked to pay in order to unlock new features, and you'll never see ads on your keyboard to support the developers. You can even choose to sync your dictionary to your Google Account in order to get an even more accurate result.

Altogether, GBoard gives you the best experience with a swipe keyboard.

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Swiftkey Keyboard

Swiftkey keyboard, open inside the Swiftkey app
What We Like
  • Has tons of settings to let you personalize the way your keyboard looks and reacts, and you can even build a personal theme to make it look absolutely perfect.

What We Don't Like
  • Predictive text leaves a good deal to be desired initially ​and often autocorrects with a capital letter, even in the middle of a sentence.

Swiftkey Keyboard is another fantastic swipe alternative to the default keyboard on your phone. It's fairly accurate and learns quickly while giving you access to a number of different features that can come in handy.

To begin with, you can seriously tweak the way your keyboard looks from the settings. You're able to adjust the theme, layout of buttons, size of the keyboard, and even where it appears on the screen.

You also get access to a clipboard for copied text, and can even build a custom theme.

This is a great choice, but to get access to every single feature available, you'll need to pay for the pro version of the app. Pro features include your typing speed along with other stats and even more theme options.

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Chrooma Keyboard

Chrooma keyboard, open inside of Skype app
What We Like
What We Don't Like
  • Hides some of their best features behind a paywall after letting you try them out, which is less than ideal. Its GIF keyboard also takes forever to load, making it an essentially unusable feature.

Chrooma is another swipe keyboard that gives you access to a variety of options to personalize the look of your keyboard. Just remember that to get access to absolutely everything it offers, you'll need to pay for the pro version.

You can finetune your theme from the background color to the way that the keys appear on your screen, adjust the font and the font size. You can also adjust the layout, default language, and tweak the way it looks when you are texting.

Chrooma shines when it comes to its customizing features, but the actual keyboard can take a bit of getting used to. You get access to gifs, but they can take way too long to load. Likewise, the fact that you get regular notifications from Chrooma is a bit aggravating, and we're not a huge fan of the way it shows you features and then locks them behind a paywall.

Chrooma does have a proofreader for your texts, which can be handy. You launch it by tapping the icon in the upper right of the keyboard. From there you'll be able to see the app's suggestions. Keep in mind, it will always want you to completely refrain from cursing, as well as general edits. It's also one of the pro features, although you get a trial to check it out twice before it locks.