India is a diverse country with 22 national languages. With technology, it’s easier to keep English as a standard language for communicating but not always. Not in a country like India. And technology enablers are aware of this fact, empowering users with different languages available on Android phones. But to communicate, you also need a keyboard which will speak the same language you do.
How to check your current keyboard
Navigate to the Settings menu and select Languages & input. Next, under Keyboard and input methods, tap on Virtual keyboard. Here, you will see a list (or just one) of keyboards which are already installed on your Android device. The name of the keyboard (e.g.: Gboard, SwiftKey, etc.) will be displayed with the default language displayed right below.
If all you see is English for all (or the only default) keyboard(s), then you can change the language from this screen itself.
Adding languages is easy
If the very first keyboard displayed is Gboard, then simply tap on it. On this screen, you will be able to view and edit the languages available. Tap on Languages and then ADD KEYBOARD option at the bottom, to add a new language. If the language is already displayed but is not the default, simply long press on the preferred language and drag it to the top.
If your keyboards are completely different, then you might need to find out where the language settings are hidden. It shouldn’t be that difficult. If we take an example of a popular 3rd party keyboard app like SwiftKey, tapping on the app’s icon takes you to its settings menu. The very first option here is Languages and tapping on it will show you available and enabled languages. To add a new language, you can tap the down arrow key on Suggested languages – the app is smart enough to know you are based in India and will show you a list of available Indian languages.
If you are not sure about which keyboard you should be using on Android devices, then I recommend you stick to Gboard. Not only is it made by Google but also supports multiple languages, including my favourite – Hinglish. This isn’t a new language of course, simply a way to type Hindi words in English text.
Once you have downloaded and installed Gboard, you can switch to it by navigating again to Settings menu and going to Languages & input. Select Gboard here and then install the language of your choice, as explained above. If you want to quickly switch between your keyboards, then you can pull down the notification shade when you are typing something on the keyboard app. That will open up a Change keyboard window with all installed keyboards. Tapping on the one you want will load that keyboard and you can continue typing.
To change the language quickly on Gboard, you can simply long tap spacebar and toggle between the languages installed. Don’t be confused if there are other keyboards listed here as well. If you don’t wish to switch the keyboard but only the language, then tap on the option you want.
Technology has made it easier for us to interact and even language isn’t a barrier anymore. With more and more languages added constantly, I won’t be surprised to see almost every major language spoken in India present on these keyboards.
If there are any other aspects of your smartphone ownership experience that you need assistance with, drop us a comment. Or let us know how you’re using your keyboard effectively on your Android device.