The Android software keyboard which ships with the Nexus One is very capable, but its international character support only covers the world’s more widely spoken languages and comes with fairly limited options for customisation. I’ve been on the lookout for a keyboard which supports Czech characters for a while now and tried out several solutions from the Android Market, none of which really impressed me enough to use as my default keyboard. I was pleasantly surprised however when I came across an XDA modified version of HTC’s Touch Input keyboard which turns out not only to support a much wider range of languages, but also allows greater degree of customisation than the stock Android keyboard which ships with the phone, something I didn’t realise I was missing out on until I tried it out.
After using Touch Input for a couple of weeks I’m impressed enough that even if I didn’t need Czech character support I’d still keep it as my default keyboard. Text prediction and word completion is very nicely implemented, and an extended settings menu offers an almost bewildering array of customisation options as well as a user dictionary and 3 different keyboard layouts. In addition to the Android keyboard’s language support, Touch Input also supports Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finish, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish and Turkish.
To install Touch Input, download the zip file and follow these steps: (Or install using adb if you’re familiar with that method)
- Unzip the downloaded file and copy HTC_IME.apk to your SD card.
- If you don’t have it already, install the apkInstaller app from the Android Market.
- Open up the apkInstaller, find the HTC_IME.apk which you copied over to your SD card and install it.
- Go to Settings > Language & keyboard and select ‘Touch Input’ to enable.
- Open your keyboard (the stock Android Keyboard will appear). Press the ?123 key and select Input Method and then Touch Input from the popup dialogue.
- Press the back key and then open the keyboard again and you should now see the HTC Touch Input keyboard.