Apr 10 AT 6:22 PM Guest Blogger 14 Comments

Smart Keyboard Pro: The Missing Pieces of the Stock Keyboard

With a lot of attention going to Swype’s new Guiness record, reviewing a keyboard alternative app — especially a paid one — may sound a bit like grandpa praising the good ole days of basketball before the 3-point line. Nonetheless, I was unsatisfied with the stock keyboard so I explored a number of options. Smart Keyboard Pro seemed like the best bet so I dove into my wallet and fetched the American equivalent of 2 euros.

This app substitutes for the stock Android keyboard, so it doesn’t open like a regular app. You have to enable it from the settings menu. If you set it to default you’ll notice it anywhere you would normally have a keyboard.

The first difference you’ll notice is that, similar to the Sense UI keyboard, the shifted buttons are visible on each key in a smaller font. A long press on the appropriate key will insert the number/symbol. Beyond that, Smart Keyboard Pro has more options than the New York Stock Exchange. Change the skin, the length of the vibration on a key press, the language, and a hoard of other features.

So why pay for this over the stock keyboard? First, its responsiveness to quick texting outpaces the stock keyboard. Give the free version a try if you don’t believe me. Second, options options options. Some have critiqued the spell check, but it even has additional options to improve spell checker results and word replacement. Third, Smart Keyboard Pro incorporates swiping to switch keyboards, toggle symbols or bring up the dictionary.

The last two benefits have conditions on them. For Droid users, it adds predictive input for the hard keyboard making it worth the hype of having a real keyboard (of course, this only matters for Droid users). The other benefit is voice input for all fields. If you’re already running 2.1 you’ve got this, but for those without 2.1 the mic button alone makes this worth the price.

Pros:

  • Responsiveness to multi-touch input
  • Options galore
  • Hard keyboard auto-correct (Droid only)

Needs improvement:

  • Auto-correct could still be improved

Special Note: Requires Android 2.0 or higher

Final Verdict

Smart Keyboard Pro is worth the investment for Droid owners wanting hard keyboard auto-correct or others wanting a voice input option while waiting for a 2.1 upgrade.

Phone used: Reviewed on a Droid running 2.0 (and again on 2.1)

Dev: Cyril Deguet

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Note: This review was submitted by Chris Welter as part of our app review contest.

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  • http://Website Matt

    Smart Keyboard Pro is definitely my favorite!

    A clarification, it doesn’t require 2.0 or higher. I have it running on 1.6. The only thing that requires 2.0 is the multi-touch feature, but even that works great on Cyanogen’s 1.6 ROM with eclair bits.

    Also, in the screenshots you can see both the Android and iPhone skins there, but there’s also a plain white and plain black that get rid of the lines between keys for a slick look. And the dev just today added an HTC skin to satisfy people yearning for the Sense UI keyboard look.

    This thing is constantly being updated (check out the changelog at his homepage) and the dev is super responsive to requests (forums on his homepage).

  • http://Website jaerows

    Im writing this comment using my moto droid running the stock 2.1 update and thefree verison of this app and i gotta say its amazing even for a free app

  • http://Website Narflar

    I just started using this the other day. It is by far my favorite keyboard. I don’t have to try to relearn a new keyboard layout, it has the same space as the stock keyboard but is just faster to respond to each key click. Better Keyboard is now trying to update to get the same features but nobody can match the speed of Smart Keyboard

  • http://Website dolby71

    How about other languages than english? any chance of it having hebrew?

  • Alvinycy

    Oh wow…I thought Better Keyboard was good. This even better!

  • http://tonybullard.com Tony Bullard

    “the American equivalent of 2 euros.”

    Seriously? That’s just lazy.

    I’m surprised at how many of these reviews mention price poorly, or fail to mention it at all.

    • http://Website J D

      “Seriously? That’s just lazy. ”

      Should they also show how much it costs for every currency for every interntional reader that comes here? how about your laundry, maybe they can do that for you to

      you sir are the lazy one

    • http://Website CW

      They may just be trying to avoid conversion rates. You could put down $2.66, but would that be true tomorrow?

  • http://Website steve

    You can select the skin to have it look just like the stock keyboard.. but it’s allot faster, the autosuggest is 10X better than the stock one, you can also set the transparency so you can see what’s behind it still when its on full screen.. Helpful when filling out forms when you move to the next field etc..

    The best keyboard available without a doupt.. Stock keyboard 3 stars.. Smart Keyboard 5 stars.

  • http://Website Archangel

    The clincher for me was the ability to tab across the screen and up and down within the text box.
    I could not find this feature on the stock keyboard and was VERY disappointed.

  • http://Website Benjamin

    I am just amazed with Smart Keyboard Pro. It’s no doubt ‘the best’ in the market as of now. I am using it in Xperia X10i :)

  • http://Website Benjamin

    Btw, how is HTC Keyboard compared to this? Any worth installing that HTC as a secondary keyboard? Please advice me to benzmar at gmail dot com.

  • http://Website Dante

    looks cool, where do you buy it, do they take pay pal ? Thanks

  1. MattGuest 5 years ago

    Smart Keyboard Pro is definitely my favorite!

    A clarification, it doesn’t require 2.0 or higher. I have it running on 1.6. The only thing that requires 2.0 is the multi-touch feature, but even that works great on Cyanogen’s 1.6 ROM with eclair bits.

    Also, in the screenshots you can see both the Android and iPhone skins there, but there’s also a plain white and plain black that get rid of the lines between keys for a slick look. And the dev just today added an HTC skin to satisfy people yearning for the Sense UI keyboard look.

    This thing is constantly being updated (check out the changelog at his homepage) and the dev is super responsive to requests (forums on his homepage).

  2. jaerowsGuest 5 years ago

    Im writing this comment using my moto droid running the stock 2.1 update and thefree verison of this app and i gotta say its amazing even for a free app

  3. NarflarGuest 5 years ago

    I just started using this the other day. It is by far my favorite keyboard. I don’t have to try to relearn a new keyboard layout, it has the same space as the stock keyboard but is just faster to respond to each key click. Better Keyboard is now trying to update to get the same features but nobody can match the speed of Smart Keyboard

  4. dolby71Guest 5 years ago

    How about other languages than english? any chance of it having hebrew?

  5. Oh wow…I thought Better Keyboard was good. This even better!

  6. Tony BullardGuest 5 years ago

    “the American equivalent of 2 euros.”

    Seriously? That’s just lazy.

    I’m surprised at how many of these reviews mention price poorly, or fail to mention it at all.

    • J DGuest 5 years ago

      “Seriously? That’s just lazy. ”

      Should they also show how much it costs for every currency for every interntional reader that comes here? how about your laundry, maybe they can do that for you to

      you sir are the lazy one

    • CWGuest 5 years ago

      They may just be trying to avoid conversion rates. You could put down $2.66, but would that be true tomorrow?

  7. steveGuest 5 years ago

    You can select the skin to have it look just like the stock keyboard.. but it’s allot faster, the autosuggest is 10X better than the stock one, you can also set the transparency so you can see what’s behind it still when its on full screen.. Helpful when filling out forms when you move to the next field etc..

    The best keyboard available without a doupt.. Stock keyboard 3 stars.. Smart Keyboard 5 stars.

  8. ArchangelGuest 5 years ago

    The clincher for me was the ability to tab across the screen and up and down within the text box.
    I could not find this feature on the stock keyboard and was VERY disappointed.

  9. BenjaminGuest 4 years ago

    I am just amazed with Smart Keyboard Pro. It’s no doubt ‘the best’ in the market as of now. I am using it in Xperia X10i :)

  10. BenjaminGuest 4 years ago

    Btw, how is HTC Keyboard compared to this? Any worth installing that HTC as a secondary keyboard? Please advice me to benzmar at gmail dot com.

  11. DanteGuest 4 years ago

    looks cool, where do you buy it, do they take pay pal ? Thanks