I am looking for an Android keyboard which would be used by linguists to enter International Phonetic Alphabet characters in Android. These would be used in at least two places that I can think of. For one, when talking notes or writing parts out a dictionary, this keyboard could be used to jot down the phonetic sounds of words. Secondly, occasionally the user taking their own notes may want to come up with made up words and Debbie these words in some form. As the phonetics of these words may cross languages, it is likely that the person jotting them down will want to insert some form of IPA symbol, or symbols, either within the word itself, combined with language artifact subtleties of meanings conveyed via spellings, in the word that is being mad up, or clearly write down the IPA symbol sequence in brackets following the made up word for later reference when getting back to the jotted down note.

Since the complete set of Unicode IPA symbols is quite large, the method for selecting them is having a user-declared size for a set of initial scrollable keyboards, and a second set of scrollable keyboards with all the characters in IPA, in a similar fashion to which Android has a main set of swipable screens where the most frequently used apps are placed, and a separate app drawer space where all apps are stored. The way the keyboards would be swipable is in the same way that in Swipe or Gboard you can select the swipable emoticon keyboards via the smiley key switch and swipe through to the characters sought, and when these are selected they are moved to the most frequently used emojis or smileys area. Except that with IPA symbols you might need six to ninety or one hundred and eighty frequently used IPA symbols, for serious linguists using them in the described and other fashions. So you need a setting to say how many most frequently used sequentially swipable character keyboards you want, you place the character there from the full Unicode IPA set, with some logical treelike order to select the IPA characters from the full set, with IPA characters arranged together in some logical fashion, according to language families or sound similarities, a stitch to determine the IPA symbol selection layout would also be present. So, as the user picks various characters, they are copied to the frequently used characters keyboard, which would have, say, 36, characters each, according to what the user defined in the setting preferences. You could also arrange IPA symbols app you would get similar sounds by looking pressing an IPA sound key (and the user might want to configure this speech aspect as well, such as which base letter to have appear on the keyboard, and which long press sounds to add to that key. This way, the user would have maximum flexibility allowing the keyboard to serve their purpose.

So, is such a keyboard for Android available and where can I find it?

I'm running Andy's 7.0 Nougat.


  • I'm not 100% sure about this, and it wouldn't exactly be easy, but I think the official Google handwriting recognition software can be configured ot handle this. – Austin Hemmelgarn May 22 '18 at 18:24
  • Have you considered using X-SAMPA instead of IPA? – Kodiologist May 22 '18 at 18:55

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