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Last Updated: January 2nd, 2013

Google has really gotten the stock Android keyboard spruced up in recent versions of the OS. Of course, it's still a limited experience lacking in the bells and whistles of some third-party solutions. Speaking of bells and whistles, the new Kii Keyboard has more tweaks and settings than you'll believe.

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Kii takes some of the most popular features from the established keyboards. It has swipe input like the Swype keyboard, word prediction like SwitfKey, and a split layout for tablets like you get in several other apps. Want Emoji? Kii has so much Emoji you'll [hamburger] your [football]. You can change up the font, color, key height, and even background images for the keyboard. Kii also has 8 built-in themes, with support for more themes built for Go Keyboard and others.

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In practice, Kii works well – though the prediction isn't as clairvoyant as SwiftKey. If you dig the Stock keyboard but want more customization, Kii might be just what you need. This is a beta app, so it's free to use for now. I expect a paid version will be released at some later date.

[Thanks, Scott]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    cool, to see...but I am yet to be compelled to leave swiftkey

  • xriderx66

    Right now its tied between Android Keyboard and SwiftKey...
    Don't think this is any better than either of those.

    • Thatguyfromvienna

      Oh! You obviously haven't tried Swype yet. :-D

      • tony

        That's quite the assumption to make there.

  • scuttlefield

    I've been a Swype fan for a long time now, and as noted, it's not quite as strong in prediction as Swype it does the job quite well. After using this for several days now, I've been very impressed, especailly considering that this is a beta app. It's got just about everything that all the others have...combined. If you're switched between Swype, Swiftkey and stock Android, you'll note that each is missing something that the other one has. This keyboard seems to comine everthing PLUS has all the extra customizations. I'm quite impressed.

    • Román Rodríguez

      Your review just make me wanna give it a try. Thanks.

    • Swipe_Ass

      Yeah mate Swype held it down for me to but they're losing it lately.
      Maybe you didn't experience this with their recent update but for me and many many users, the dictionary got wiped and you can no longer add any words! Very frustrating!
      Their blog has a thread on it over 30 pages long and they have told everyone that a fix isn't expected until next year. The problem first started in November.
      Very disappointing from an established keyboard dev.
      So thanks to this app, and you're review... i say "FVCK YOU SWYPE!! I'M LEAVING!!"
      This is obviously a rant... I used to bar up in the early days of using swype.. she just knew what was on my mind.. now the biitch of an app does her own thing!!
      Also pissed off at the Jelly Bean keyboard... it doesn't let me enter profanity words into the dictionary!! WHY!!!???!

      /rant.

      • scuttlefield

        I agree. Not only the dictionary problem, but they took way too long to get a fix for when 4.2.1 came out Weren't able to reload Swype for almost 2 weeks. Not only that, communication about any resolution was terrible. Swype still is more accurate, but Kii is an overall superior product.

  • k8sh

    Testing the keyboard right now. Not bad. We'll see how long it lasts before i get annoyed with the typo errors and click uninstall

  • Thronnos

    You should try the new Swiftkey Flow. It totally blows this and swype out of the water

    • Román Rodríguez

      Too bad is still beta, the gesture input doesn't always work in certain apps, but still kicks some ass. :P

    • Yogesh Jagota

      SK Flow is one of the worst keyboard I have seen (although still in beta). Battery drain is so high, that it can only compete with the likes of NFS: Most Wanted. You can't swipe in like 80% of the places.

      • HotInEER

        True, I like SK Flow, but the fact that I can't use it all the time stinks. I'm going to try Kii now.

    • http://twitter.com/ao9news andy o

      Not if you use other languages. And there are some words that it will either just not learn or simply forget after a while. There are reports of this happening at their forums, but for myself, words like "jaja" and "mierda" and others either don't register or are forgotten.

      • Thatguyfromvienna

        Maybe Apple has purchased Swiftkey and they don't want you to use foul language such as mierda! ^^

        • http://twitter.com/ao9news andy o

          Apparently it's a trend. The stock Android 4.2 keyboard does the same with curse words, even though they are in the default dictionaries, but you at least can add those words to the personal, which is still extremely annoying (you have to go into settings -> language and input -> personal dictionary -> select language, press add button, type word, confirm, then back to the app. But Keymonk doesn't even let you manage the dictionary. There's no way to make it learn those words and others. It's probably a bug though, it's been reported with other languages as well.

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            I kinda understand their take on curse words though. I have seen BAD things coming from auto correction with cussing.
            I'd love to have a "foul language" switch though to make things easier.

          • Jack T

            I found one called magic keyboard which has a swearing on/off option. works pretty well in English at least.

    • Thatguyfromvienna

      It absolutely doesn't.
      In Swype, I swipe my text, re-read it and with a simple touch somewhere on a word can correct those where prediction went wrong. Flow is way less sophisticated in this department, which makes it unusable for me.
      Add the great shortcuts Swype has and you know which flow type keyboard has the crown.

  • Jorden Nading

    The editor of this post misspelled SwiftKey. Using SwiftKey Flow right now. It is missing some gesture typing on some things, but other than that, it blows everything out of the water. Including the Android 4.2 keyboard.

  • Tucker Chastain

    The thing that converted me was the ability to turn off the tail in the swipe feature. That really annoys me.

  • http://twitter.com/ao9news andy o

    Has some potential, especially when it seems to learn, unlike the stock android keyboard, and two-finger swiping is much better, dare I say on a par with keymonk.

    But, swiping in Spanish sucks royally. There are common words that just can't be swiped no matter how accurate you are. They don't even show up in the long-press menu where you get 15 additional suggestions. For example, "configuración" or "tiene" both of which come up without problem when tapping.

    • Thatguyfromvienna

      Woah!
      Never heard of Keymonk before. I just installed the free version to try and I have to admit I'm really impressed. Thanks for mentioning it.

      • http://twitter.com/ao9news andy o

        The problem with Keymonk is that it doesn't learn, and one-finger swipe is not as good as the others. I'm not sure about the learning part I said about Kii either. What I want is a swiping keyboard that can learn what words to put in depending on context (the words that are typed before, and possibly after). SK Flow has the potential to do it, especially since they do the "flow through space" thing, but I'm not sure if that's one of their objectives. Especially in Spanish, for words that are written the same but have an accent above the letter.

        • Thatguyfromvienna

          I feel your pain.

          When I write in English, things are a lot easier than in my native language, German. Prediction and such work a lot better.

          I have to admit that Swype for me does the best job so far. It's sometimes slightly off with its prediction but Swype in my opinion by far has the best correction mechanism so it's never too bad.
          Fortunately, I don't have to deal with the accent issue since both my French and Spanish are way too weak to communicate in written language.

          • http://twitter.com/ao9news andy o

            Yeah, I used to use Swype, but I wanted to see if there was something better. I like the occasional two-finger swiping ability, but for one-finger, Swype has been the better one for me. The current version is unusable though, has an awful bug in which it won't let you add words to the dictionary, and also empties it. I'm waiting for them to fix it to try it out again.

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            I was affected by this bug twice.
            Then I followed their advice on the forum and never had any issues anymore.
            I really hope it's fixed now since losing all your entries is a pain in your rectum.

    • Swipe_Ass

      Oh man me too! First I thought I got a bugged Spanish pack!
      It's almost like it's been mixed with Portuguese.
      I'm trying to say "Noches" (goodnight) in a text and it constantly shows "boches"!
      Kii can get fkd! New player trying to come out with all the bells and whistles but can't get a common language right!!

      • http://twitter.com/ao9news andy o

        good news, today's update fixes it. configuración. Noches. Tiene. Mierda!

        • Swipe_Ass

          jaja verdad que bueno!
          Escribe mucho mas mejor que antes asta en ingles tambien.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mario.sernicola Mario Sernicola

    I love this keyboard for her customizations. For now I prefer SwiftKey Flow for its excellent (amazing) word prediction!

  • qak

    This wouldn't happen to alter the font settings so we can see/use emojis in other apps than just texting, would it?

  • Tasha

    I tried Kii, and it's really pretty awesome. Prediction is fine, workable, but the one feature that really boggled my mind is the ability to customize the keyboard. It's so extensive! You are even able to customize the spacing between the keys!

    I only have to remember that some features are to be paid in the future. I think if the price is reasonable Kii could be a pretty competitively good keyboard. :)

  • garychencool

    That gps / location permission

  • http://www.androidgeek.in/ Serra Stone

    This keyboard seems a bit laggy to me sometimes on my S III. Otherwise not too bad. I don't like the word popup as you trace through the letters though, a bit distracting and I'm not sure if/how that can be turned off.

  • Steve Schneider

    Tried it out, lots of options... still sticking with swiftkey flow. It's the perfect keyboard.

  • neopanther

    I absolutely adore this keyboard. I have customized the hell out of it. A friend of mine was about to get an iphone and took one look at my Note II and foamed at the mouth. End of that convo. This keyboard is freaking awesome.

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