Indic Keyboard is an alternative text input application developed by AndroidTweak.in, which allows Android users type in Indic languages on their mobile phones. (hat-tip – Pranesh Prakash)The app is currently available as a free download on the Google Play Store and is compatible with all Android devices running on Android 4.1 ‘JellyBean’ or later.
Languages offered: The app currently allows users to type in Hindi and Malayalam and the Google Play store listing suggests that they plan to add support for more languages in the future.
How Does It Work? We tried the app on Galaxy Nexus running on Android 4.2 and found the app to be quite simple. As with all third party keyboards on Android, one can enable the keyboard from the Language & Input option in the phone settings. Following this, one can choose their preferred input language to start typing in that specific language.
At the time of writing this article, we noticed that the app doesn’t offer any additional text input features like text prediction, word completion, or error corrections which is offered by other third party keyboard apps like Swiftkey, Swype and Adaptxt.
Other Indic Keyboard apps
Last month, SwiftKey had added support for Hindi and Hinglish (a mixture of Hindi and English, with Hindi transliterated into Latin script) languages to its language options. Besides Hindi and Hinglish, the app currently supports 54 different languages, including Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Macedonian, Spanish (Latin America) and Tagalog. Switfkey also allows multi-lingual users to enable up to three languages simultaneously and is available for Rs 99 on the Google Play Store.
KeyPoint Technologies also offers an alternative text input app called ‘Adaptxt‘ which offers keyboards for 68 languages including 13 Indic languages like Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu among others and transliterated Indian languages including Hinglish (Hindi + English), Kanglish (Kannada + English), Tenglish (Telugu + English), Tanglish (Tamil + English), Manglish (Malayalam + English), Odinglish (Oriya + English) and Marathinglish (Marathi + English). The app is currently available as free download on the Google Play Store (Phone & Tablet), GetJar Marketplace (Phone & Tablet) and Amazon Appstore and is available for Rs 5 on the Nokia Store.
Nuance Communications, which had acquired Swype for $102.5 million in October 2011, had also added support for Hinglish, in the next generation of Swype, the gesture based, adaptive touch input keyboard, earlier this year.
Last June, Google had also announced support for 18 new Input languages in Android 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’, which includes Indic languages like Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam. However, we were able to type only in Hindi language in our phone, at the time of writing this article.