20
Nov
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Update: This keyboard is now in the Android Market. Hit the widget below to grab it from there.

For those who are anxious to get their hands on Ice Cream Sandwich, another bit of Android's newest iteration has slipped out. This time, we've got the ICS keyboard. While it doesn't include the live voice-to-text functionality we were impressed by at Google's announcement (though there are options related to the microphone button in the keyboard's settings), it does bring some nice improvements to the table over Gingerbread's keyboard. It's important to note that this keyboard is only compatible with phones (it doesn't play nice with tablets), and since the package isn't signed by Google, it's not exactly official. No threats have been discovered yet, but users should be aware of the risk. It's also worth mentioning that while many users have reported great performance, your mileage may vary.

Besides a visual facelift, the ICS keyboard has slightly enhanced prediction/correction functionality, which looks at not only the word you're typing, but those around it as well. Further, users can long-press a word suggestion to choose from a ton of other possibilities. The keyboard also suggests names from your contacts list if it thinks you're talking about a specific person.

screenshot_71 screenshot_72

For those worried about the keyboard's security, a user over at Reddit has kindly extracted the apk's manifest, revealing the following permissions:

  • VIBRATE
  • ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE
  • READ_USER_DICTIONARY
  • WRITE_USER_DICTIONARY
  • READ_CONTACTS
  • BIND_INPUT_METHOD
  • BIND_TEXT_SERVICE
  • ANDROIDSPELLCHECKERSERVICE
  • INPUT_LANGUAGE_SELECTION

Without further ado, you can grab the download here or here. Just install the apk, activate the keyboard from settings, set it as your input method, and enjoy!

Source: XDA via Reddit

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • leenephi

    Awesome! :D gonna check it out; Not gonna lie, I'm loving the blue haha

  • Joshua

    Not working right on my Epic 4G Touch. No vibrate on keypress and does not auto capitalize, even though both are checked in settings.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

      Did you check the advanced settings? The vibrate length on mine was set to -1ms and was not working until I set it to what I like.

    • Dlingo

      You just need to go to advanced settings under keyboard and set the vibration duration higher than 10ms.

  • Sylar

    Oh cool thanks I will definitely check this out pronto.

  • http://www.derekross.me Derek

    I tried this a few hours ago on my phone and it worked. Then I tried it on my tablet, and it FC's non stop.

    • Samir Shah

      No hard feelings but it does mention above that it isn't meant for tablets as yet. cheers!

  • Christan

    Works just fine on my Galaxy Note. Thanks!

  • Tyler C

    Doesnt seem to even work at all on my rooted Thunderbolt with Thunderstick despite enabling it in the settings.

  • http://www.meansbluereview.com Sunil

    This is fantastic! Using it on my SGS II now =)

  • David

    I'm not even interested. Nothing beats SwiftKey

    • Calvin

      ummm "Go Keyboard" does

      • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

        You know you are giving them full access to your contacts right? The app has permissions for reading your contacts and the app has full internet access. Straight to China or wherever.

        Swiftkey does not read your contacts or other personal info, unless you let it with services like facebook or sms, etc. You still have to tell it to do it though.

        • heldros

          Yeah, I will try to resist and wait.

      • David

        Calvin, have fun with go keyboard. I'll stick with my SwiftKey

      • David

        Calvin, have fun with go keyboard. I'll stick with my SwiftKey.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

    I like it but it is missing the touch to correct feature. Swiftkey X still beats it.

    • GergS

      Yeah I think that'll come with ICS. It's definitely on GN

  • Andy

    Doesn't support Japanese.
    I always eny iPhone users for having Japanese and Vietnamese natively supported by the platform.
    People can argue that I can install additional keyboards, but I haven't found a good one for Japanese or Vietnamese...

  • augustofretes

    It doesn't support multiple languages :-/

    Also, I'm not liking the new theme (it's a smaller keyboard too), I really loved how pop-up menu looked on Gingerbread.

  • http://www.lionfishapps.com/ Nick Ver Voort

    The correction seems a lot better. Even though I can't get it to vibrate on keypress (box is checked, thing is set to 15ms), I think I'll still use it until I get an actual Ice Cream Sandwich rom.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

      I would use more than 15ms. Most phones that is not enough time to spin the motor enough to even notice it at that duration. My Incredible 2 needs 25ms to even notice it when typing. If I set it to 20ms I can feel it spin, but when typing it is not noticeable. For reference, Swiftkey's default duration is 50ms, so you may want to increase above 15ms. Try high and go down.

  • http://darshankaria.com Darshan Karia

    works great on Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket... just make sure you go to settings -> Language and Keyboard and enable Ice Cream Sandwich Keyboard before you try to search for it in input methods... :-)

    • Kipper

      I enabled through Language and Keyboard, but I cannot choose an input method. Where is that done?

  • http://denh.am DrMacinyasha

    Just a heads up: This will more likely than not FC when you try to enable caps lock (double-tap Shift) in portrait or landscape.

  • Manurro

    I think it's only for HDPI phones, 'cause on my Xperia X8 the keyboard is not fully shown

    • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

      There are drawables for mdpi, hdpi and xhdpi in the apk, but I can't decompile it now to check the xml. Maybe the developer can help you in the source thread at xda from the top - http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1354891

      • Manurro

        Thanks!

  • Tommy

    Works on my international SGS2.. :)

  • lolobabes

    a lot better than the GB keyboard accuracy wise

  • James L

    Non stop FC on my DX. Sadness ensues

  • Paul C

    Good Morning, How can i uninstall this if i do not like it?

    • http://eatmyass.com kit

      Settings>Applications>manage
      Find it and uninstall.

  • anonim

    FC when I try to enable caps. Pretty nice otherwise. HTC Sensation.

  • Sid

    Works fine on my ZTE blade...

  • Jason

    Doesn't look like the keyboard has a button for voice input. Is that right, or am I missing something?

  • James

    was using swiftkey x but the space bar is far to small and keep hitting full stop, hopefully this could be a worthy replacement?

  • John

    No trace option, no likey.

  • GregMG

    Works well on HTC Evo 4G running CM7, but tends to lag and freeze slightly on occasion. I'm gonna stick with gingerbread keyboard. The ICS is defiantly usable though.

  • rarelyamson

    Installed, but how do i get the Smiley key (bottom right) :-) ? Ta

  • Ed

    doesn't fit on my LG Optimus ( bottom row is cut off ) - but I went to the gingerbread keyboard which is still a nice improvement.

  • Simon Belmont

    Permissions don't include Internet access, so it's probably not transmitting sensitive data at least. I might give this a try.

    It's really hard for anything to top SwiftKey though. I absolutely love that keyboard so much.

  • A

    How do you fix it so it doesnt force close if you go caps lock?

    • BJN714

      Check the XDA thread at the top for an updated version that fixes it.

  • Jay

    I installed the one from the min.us link, and shortly after enabling it, I got what looked like the system popup that displayed my email address and asked me to enter my password (the same one you get if you change your gmail password on your computer then come back to your phone). Suspicious, I hit cancel and cleared the app data, then uninstalled it. I was still able to access my gmail and other apps with no issue. So either Google "thought" mistakenly that I had changed my password - but only for a second - and it just so happened to be right after I installed the ICS keyboard, or the app is actually a phishing attempt. Guess which one I find more likely...

    • vernon

      ok this is scary..im uninstalling too

    • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

      Even if it were in fact a phishing popup, the app does not have internet access permissions or any other permissions that let it send anything from the device, so... I think it happened to be a coincidence. While your instincts are right not to trust something you don't know, this one looks safe.

  • Joshua

    I did get this for my evo 3d. I saw it in lifehacker but the apk on the market does have microphone support and works wonderfully. I highly suggest it.

  • Pete

    Doesn't work on my Thunderbolt. Uninstalling.

    • FYBER

      same here on my Thunderbolt. Uninstalling also.

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