I'm using an ageing Nexus 6 with Android 7.1.1. The problem I have with most multi-featured keyboards is that they don't show and hide timely with my pace of app usage. So, with animations disabled, when I swiftly switch to an app and the keyboard was opened in last used app, it would not hide out with a breeze. Often I find a gap of one or more seconds which I find irritating and unproductive.

Using Back key doesn't really work in such cases. So with this problem in mind, I looked for lightweight keyboards and came across Hackers Keyboard. So far so good. It does irritate me and lacks some really useful functions, but what's disappointing is the size of its space bar. It is too narrow and I cannot increase its width.

Until now I used Gboard (Google Keyboard) which had enough width to accomodate my typing style. I also tried some other keyboards such as TouchPal, SwitKey, Google Indic Keyboard and while they provided sufficient Space bar width, they all suffered with the same problem of untimely display of keyboard when switching apps on my device.

So, is there a keyboard which matches my needs, both being lightweight and comes with a resizable space bar?

I'm perfectly fine with any suggestion (gratis or otherwise) within aforesaid constraints as long as the keyboard can be resized.

For reference: Hackers Keyboard and Gboard respectively.

Hackers Keyboard Gboard

  • Light-weight – or useful functions? What are the latter for you? And you've certainly already checked with my corresponding list? Do you just want to type, or do you need swipe functionality? Are paid apps acceptable? Must it be ad-free, privacy-friendly …? Is it permitted to come with the INTERNET permission (considered you will also type sensitive information like passwords)?
    – Izzy
    Jul 14, 2018 at 10:35
  • As long as it keeps up with my pace of app switching, I wouldn't mind it has modern features or not. No constraint on ads and permissions though. I already use adblocker, afwall+ and appops so I'm not much worried about privacy here. Though I would appreciate if somebody does recommend privacy friendly keyboard. // Sure, thanks, I will check out your list now.
    – Firelord
    Jul 14, 2018 at 11:06
  • Simple Keyboard then, maybe? Small and adequate, available from F-Droid (well, also from Play, but F-Droid stands for more privacy). I've not tried it, so I cannot tell how well it fits.
    – Izzy
    Jul 14, 2018 at 16:47
  • Thank you so much for maintaining such dense library on available keyboards out there. It really proved very helpful to me that. I tried most of the keyboards, barring some odd ones and paid ones (reserved for last), was quite content with "AnySoft Keyboard" (it disappointed me when opened for browsers) but found Go Keyboard fitting to my needs. It has a drop down icon at top bar to hide, is reasonably swift and is full of modern features. Please make an answer Izzy so I could accept it. :-) // BTW, I tried Simple Keyboard, but it is mostly GBoard (stripped out of its many useful features).
    – Firelord
    Jul 14, 2018 at 19:16
  • Feel free to self-answer – you know best how it fits! I've learned to avoid the "Go" stuff (used GoLauncher several years ago which worked fine first but finally drowned me in ads); looking at the permissions this keyboard requests I'm not sure if those are genuinely needed (record audio might be for speech input, but what for does it need accounts, reading call logs & contacts, set wallpaper and "device power", which it won't even get as it's bound to signature, and Internet? Sending something home?) and won't really recommend it. Tried Multiling O? Almost no perms requested.
    – Izzy
    Jul 15, 2018 at 10:03


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