With Android 5.0 Lollipop now running on multiple Nexus devices, and slowly being pushed as a software update for many smartphones from Motorola, LG, Samsung, HTC and more, owners will want to know how to do certain tasks. One that we’ve already started getting questions about is changing the keyboard on Android 5.0, as it has slightly changed from previous versions of Android.
One great part of Android is changing key components of the OS, like the keyboard. There are many options from the Google Play Store, including Google’s own keyboard option for those with Samsung, HTC, or LG devices, and below we’ll explain how to change keyboards in Android 5.0 Lollipop.
In previous versions of Android a notification icon appeared on the top of the screen when you’re not using the stock keyboard, and it was a persistent notification. Google’s now moved this to the bottom on Android 5.0 with the Nexus 6, and the settings options are slightly different too. There are a few new steps, so read on to find out how to quickly change your keyboard.
With Android users have tons of options when it comes to the keyboard. Each manufacturer has a stock option of their own, and there are multiple choices to download from the Google Play Store. Popular ones are SwiftKey, Swype, Google Keyboard, and many others.
If you just updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop on a Nexus and don’t like the new look and feel of the “material keyboard” you can easy return it back to the old Android 4.4 KitKat version. It’s the same app, and users just need to change the theme in settings. That said, many other smartphone or tablet owners will likely want to try SwiftKey, Swype, or give Google’s new keyboard a try.
Read: Nexus 6 Review
If you’re looking to change the keyboard on your Android 5.0 smartphone or tablet, the quick instructions and images below will help you do so in just a few taps, and less than a few minutes. It’s really easy, so lets get started.
To start you’ll head into settings by tapping the gear-shaped icon in the notification bar, then scroll down and select “Language & input”. This menu will have all the options you need. From changing keyboards, to choosing a different theme for the current keyboard.
Next you’ll need to tap “current keyboard” which will popup a window showing which keyboard is currently being used. Most likely the regular Google Keyboard. Then select the “Choose keyboards” option, as pictured below.
From here users will get a big list of keyboards installed, as well as additional language options if enabled. I’ve installed SwiftKey, and it’s an option below, if no other keyboards are installed you won’t have options. Simply tap SwiftKey (or keyboard of choice) to enable that keyboard. However, this has only enabled it, and hasn’t changed your keyboard.
Now you’ll go back to the previous Language & input screen and again tap “Current Keyboard” which will now have two choices. The Google Keyboard, and the newly enabled SwiftKey keyboard. Now all you do is select the keyboard you’d like to use on your smartphone, and you’re all done. It’s that simple to change keyboards in Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Then, if you want to try a different theme on the Google Keyboard (or any manufacturer) they usually have the option in this same settings menu. We’ll explain Google Keyboard, but the others are very similar.
In Language & input tap “Google Keyboard” then select Appearance & layout > theme > and select the theme of your choice.
Android 4.2 started with Holo Blue, and Android 4.4 KitKat made it Holo White, where the key popups and gesture typing trails are blue or white in color. This is the keyboard you’re familiar with from Android 4.4 KitKat and earlier versions, if the new material designs aren’t your favorite.
That’s it, you’re all set. Now enjoy any keyboard or theme you’d like.