25
Jun
Droid X's Sexy Software Keyboard Ripped Out, Now Available For All Phones

Earlier today we reported that the Droid X internals were leaked out and provided to developers to play with. It didn't take long at all - Droid X's software keyboard is already available for everyone to download.

This keyboard should work for any Android phone running 2.1 Eclair (it reportedly force closes for most on Froyo). It looks very clean, mostly due to the absence of most non-alphanumeric characters which can be accessed using a familiar looking button on the bottom left.

One thing that is strikingly different about Droid X's keyboard is multi-touch. You can press one button while typing something else, which you can't do with other keyboards. How exactly it is useful remains to be seen (holding shift comes to mind, for instance, but is it really necessary?).

Haptic feedback (vibration on key press) doesn't work yet - keep that in mind.

Update 6/25/10: Damage Control users - this keyboard is now available from within DC Updater!

Droid X's Sexy Software Keyboard Ripped Out, Now Available For All Phones Droid X's Sexy Software Keyboard Ripped Out, Now Available For All Phones 

Edit: here's a video shot by droid-life.com showing the keyboard in action:

Download

In order to install the keyboard, grab the .apk file from any of the mirrors posted below and copy it to your phone's SD card (you can download directly on your phone to save time)

Install

Once you have the .apk, click on it and then install. Once the installation complete, enable the new keyboard via the Settings > Language & keyboard menu, just like you would with any other non-stock Android keyboard.

After enabling, you have to actually switch to they new keyboard by opening any text field and holding your finger in it. In the menu that pops up, you should find "Input method" and "Multi touch keyboard" as one of the selections.

Note: no root is needed to install this keyboard.

Source: xda

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    It sucks that most of the punctuation is gone and is now in a separate button. Cleaner look but I'm not sure I'd prefer that...

    • David

      The keyboard punctuation comes back in standard mode on the new keyboard when you're doing a search, that screen is the e-mail address configuration.

  • 7h3.4pp12en7ic3

    The benefit of multitouch on a keyboard isn't so much the ability to hold one key and continue typing, but the fact that if you haven't completely lifted your finger from a key by the time you hit the next one, the keyboard doesn't fudge your last stroke.

  • Sam

    damn it, just updated to 2.2 today... now this becomes available... ugh!

    ah well, back to enjoying 2.2 on my N1!

  • Ted-san

    Dudes, wtf is with those download sites? I get a ton o flashing ads and other crap then the download never starts.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Well, they're the only sites with pretty much unlimited bandwidth, and this is how they make back the money. I don't mind it personally.

      I was having trouble with downloading in Skyfire - the counter would stop at 43 seconds, so I just downloaded on the PC and copied over. Not sure if another browser would have worked.

  • Joon

    SmartKeyboard supports multitouch as well.

  • Matt

    Working great on droid running 2.1, except "&" shows up as "&amp" on keyboard (but not when typed).

    • http://rdburke.blogspot.com/ Dale Burke

      Also on my Droid.

  • Mark

    This would actually be really cool if the numeric keys were located on the same keys as the alpha keys then I could see how multi touch would actually be convenient on our phones. You could hold down shift to press a # and release and continue typing all from one screen. Can someone work on that?

  • Steve

    Need a little more details on how to install.

  • JD

    This does not work on the evo if you are not rooted. Getting an error saying that it cannot be installed. XDA says that the original keyboard has to be removed in ADB. So it looks like this will not work unless your rooted

  • BobG

    I may be dumb, but I downloaded droidx.zip from 4shared mirror and unzipped it. There a ton of .apk's under \system\app. Which one is the keyboard?

  • David Ruddock

    You'll need a file browser and a package installer to run it. Put the apk on your SD root and run it through Astro File Manager or a similar tool. It cannot simply be placed into your apps folder. Additionally, Astro can unzip the file for you.

    Cheers,
    David R.

  • Russ

    So what is this replacing during install? when I try to install, I get the replace current app warning. If it is replacing the current keyboard, how do I get it back if I want to uninstall this one?

  • David Ruddock

    This doesn't occur on the N1. Thus, I cannot accurately provide you an answer to that question. Perhaps another user could provide some insight if you specify your model of phone. Or, try posting an inquiry on the XDA thread, they'll likely be able to help you out.

  • BobG

    Clarification: I unzipped the zip file on my pc and saw all the apk's in the folder mentioned above on the pc. I cant figure out which apk to put on the sd card.

  • Eric

    The absent of the non-alphanumeric characters is a drawback. When you need one, like the dollar sign, normally you only needed to hold the f-key to insert it. Now you needs always to go the non-alphanumeric keypad and back.
    Clean, but useful?

  • samuel

    Works really well on Evo

  • Tesseract

    Wow works great on non-rooted 2.1 N1. I can type a lot faster with fewer mistakes, the only problem is the ampersand button shows "&amp" instead of just "&".

  • lolobabes

    always FC unusable on my unrooted N1 FRF91, also 3MB file size? lol

  • Mesmorino

    multi-touch would be very useful for me... I'm using swiftkey and at my typing speed it often doesn't register the first one or two letters of a word (because i've pressed another key before lifting my finger entirely off the first one)

  • Woot?!

    Doesn't install on rooted LG P500 Optimus One.