5 Great Android Keyboard Apps to Add Extra Rows of Numbers or Arrows

Khamosh Pathak

Hacker's Keyboard

You’re carrying a ginormous 5.7 inch phablet or a 7-10 inch tablet and you get the same keys as a 4.7 inch Android phone. How is that fair? You have all that extra room.

Think of all the awesome stuff you could fit in there. Like an extra row of numeric keys, arrow keys for super fast cursor selection and even Ctrl/Alt keys for super fast, super geeky shortcuts! Tablets can even have split keyboard layouts in landscape mode.

Read on to find out just how to get it all and more.

1. Hacker’s Keyboard

Hacker's Keyboard

If you’re looking for a free customizable keyboard for your phablet or tablet, look no further. Here are just a couple of things Hacker’s Keyboard has:

  • Ctrl and Alt keys for keyboard shortcuts like copy and paste and quick movement when combined with arrow keys.
  • A full row of numbers, additional arrows and full QWERTY keyboard when 5 rows are enabled.
  • Adjustable height for keyboard in both portrait and landscape mode.

Hacker’s keyboard is not the best app when it comes to superior predictive typing and gesture input. That’s SwiftKey’s territory. Hacker and other keyboards listed here are for pure typists.

Hacker's Keyboard

Meaning people who think it’s better and faster to just type the word yourself than to drag your thumb all over and then head to the predictions bar and select the word. Not to mention it messes with your touch-typing funk.

Beware, if you have anything smaller than a 5 inch device, don’t even think about enabling the 5 row keyboard. Even with increased height, typing is problematic. But the 5 row keyboard is great for phablets and tablets alike.

2. Kii Keyboard

Good guy Kii Keyboard: Android warns you about keyboard apps potentially recording everything you type, including passwords, before enabling a third party keyboard. Kii Keyboard is quick to point out that it’s just a system protocol and Kii keyboard won’t steal any of your data.

Launch the Kii Keyboard (UPDATE: This tool is not available anymore) app and follow the instructions to enable it. After this, you’ll see a tutorial.

Kii Keyboard

Kii Keyboard is the more civilized version of Hacker’s keyboard. It gives you all the features of Hacker’s keyboard but laid out in a way that makes it possible to use even on a small screen. But that also means Kii is not completely free. You need to pay for a $4 in-app purchase to enable important features like a bottom row of arrow keys or a top row of number keys.

Kii Keyboard

Kii Keyboard also has a great split view for landscape mode in tablets (which is also a premium feature. Kii lets you use premium features for an hour so you do have some time to test out the features before paying up.

A detailed review of Kii Keyboard is available here.

Pro tip: When you have a lot of keyboards installed, how do you switch between them? Google’s own keyboard lets you switch by long pressing the spacebar, but what about the others? Of course, there’s an app for that. And it’s called Quick Keyboard Switch.

3. Smart Black Keyboard

Smart Black Keyboard

Smart Black Keyboard (UPDATE: This tool is not available anymore) looks much like iOS 7’s keyboard only with an extra row of numbers. The free app also features a built-in clipboard, gesture typing and more than 3000 emojis.

4. NextApp Keyboard

NextApp Keyboard

Okay so NextApp Keyboard doesn’t exactly add an extra row on top of your keyboard or arrows to the bottom. It provides the same functionality in a different way. NextApp is built on Google’s AOSP (pre Android L) so you have something familiar to begin with.

NextApp Keyboard

In both portrait and landscape mode, tapping the Fn button switches the keyboard to a specialized layout. Here you get access to the F1-F12 function keys (just like on a computer) and arrow (cursor) keys. There’s also insert, delete, home, end, Ctrl, Alt and tab keys.

The Best : Hacker’s Keyboard And NextApp Keyboard

Hacker’s Keyboard is for people with big phones who want everything on one screen.

NextApp is for people with small or big phones who do want the same arrow and Ctrl/tab keys but don’t want to mess up the default keyboard layout.

Which Geeky Keyboard Is For You?

Out of all the above options, which keyboard would you go for? Let us know in the comments below.

Also See
#Android apps #keyboard

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