There has been a lot of coverage about the upcoming version of Android, Android L, and what it means for the future of our beloved phones and tablets. However, since Google has made available a developer preview version for the Nexus 5 and 7, people have already started ripping and porting some of the new apps and features into current versions of Android. This was done with the keyboard as well, and today, we’ll show you how to install the official Android L keyboard, grabbed straight from the Android L preview, and style it to look like Android L.
There already are a number of versions floating out there, but for this one, we will use Shen Ye’s Android L Keyboard app, straight off the Amazon Appstore (you may need to install the Amazon Appstore if you haven’t already done so). Since the app is ripped straight from Android L, it’s just a version of Google Keyboard with some new features, including the new Material theme. So, if you have ever used Google Keyboard before, you should already know how it works, but either way, let’s go through the setup process. After installation, open the app, and you should see this screen:
This lets you follow the 3 steps necessary to enable and make this keyboard the default keyboard on your device. Of course, you can always revert this if you want to. So let’s go ahead and tap the “Get Started” button. After that, you will see this screen:
Go ahead and tap the “Enable in Settings” button, and you will be taken to this screen:
In here, just enable the “Android L Keyboard” checkbox and you will be taken to this screen:
Tap the button again and you’ll be taken to this keyboard selection menu:
Enable Android L Keyboard and you’ll be taken to the final screen:
From here, you can download additional languages or just tap the “Finished” button to end the setup. Now, you should have the keyboard working and with the Material theme applied, which looks like this:
If the correct theme doesn’t appear, or if you want to change it, you can do it manually by going into the keyboard settings:
Scroll down, and you’ll see the “Advanced Settings” menu. Tap that, and you’ll get access to some extra settings, including “Color Scheme”, which is where you can toggle between the new Material theme or the traditional themes:
There are also some extra settings that may be worth taking a look at if you’re interested in tweaking the keyboard further. The new keyboard is functionally the same, a few extra options but still the same main features, including gesture typing and personalized dictionary. But more than that, it’s a great way to get a taste of the upcoming Material Design look that Google will be pushing not only on their next version of the Android operating system, but also in all their native apps and web services. Any questions or issues? Feel free to let us know using the comment section below!