The latest buzzword for language input is transliteration. And, it's actually a pretty big deal. By typing the way something sounds instead of the way it's spelled, you can write in a language, even if you only know how to speak it. SwiftKey and Google have both been pushing the technology hard, and today Google has rolled out support for "Greeklish" or transliteration for the Greek language via Latin characters. 

Transliteration is fantastic for increasing the accessibility of technology. For those in emerging markets or older people that might not have the same familiarity with computers, transliteration allows them to interface with technology in a way that significantly improves their quality of life, exposing them to the wonders of modern technology, all without having to spend a lot of time learning.

It might not help everyone, since it does require a familiarity in at least one written language at a phonetic level, but it's still a fantastic way to decrease the barriers for communication.

This new "Greeklish" transliteration doesn't require an app update, it's distributed in the form of a language model which you can easily download. If you'd like to check it out, you just need to have Gboard installed. Then enter the Gboard keyboard settings (usually Settings -> Languages & Input -> Virtual keyboard -> Gboard), go to Languages, and scroll down to select the "Greek (abc -> Ελληνικά)" keyboard. The option for the keyboard will then appear in your Gboard language menu, and it works with swipe-style "glide typing," too.

I played around with it for a quick bit, and it seemed to work fine. Granted, my familiarity with the language is indirect and only comes from a three-week stint in ancient Greek back in college, which was a bad idea. Dikaiopolis is pretty pleased in his field, though. At least, when it comes to the new transliteration support.

Gboard - the Google Keyboard
Gboard - the Google Keyboard
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free