OpenBoard is a privacy-friendly keyboard for Android

OpenBoard is a free privacy-friendly open source keyboard based on AOSP for Android devices. Widely used Android keyboards such as Google’s or Microsoft’s keyboards are not necessarily the best choice when it comes to privacy.

Android users who prefer alternatives may take a look at OpenBoard, an open source keyboard for Android devices that promises better privacy. OpenBoard is available on F-Droid, on the project’s GitHub repository, and on Google Play.  The app offers a good range of features and customization options.

Core features include text corrections, suggestions, multi-language support, appearance options, and more. Once you have installed it on the device you need to make it the default keyboard before you can start using it.

openboard keyboard android

You may want to open the settings first to customize the functionality and appearance of the keyboard for Android. The keyboard supports all system languages by default, but you can change those to a specific set of languages, or only one language in the options.

The appearance options let you change the theme, enable customized input styles, e.g. German QWERTY keyboard support, and keyboard resizing. The latter enables you to change the height scale of the keyboard to make it bigger or smaller on the screen.

Some appearance options are found under Preferences. There you may enable the Number Row or the Emoji key all the time. Other options that you find here include disabling auto-capitalization of the first word of sentences, the voice input key, or double-space to add a full stop followed by a space.

OpenBoard supports spell checking, text corrections and suggestions. The preferences to enable or disable these are found under “text correction” in the settings. Suggestions and auto-corrections are enabled by default, and you can disable them all in the menu,

The advanced preferences menu hosts several interesting options. Enable “force incognito mode” to disable the learning of new words, change the key long press interval, or disable the space bar and delete-key swipe actions (the former moves the cursor, the latter deletes larger selections of text).

Closing words

Using the keyboard works well on Android if you are used to the default Google keyboard. The open source app does not replicate all features, but if you just need a basic keyboard to type, that is private, and gives you some customization options, then this may be an option, especially since it is open source and not operated by one of the big players.

Now You: which keyboard do you use on your Android devices?

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