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Mobile Phone Keyboards

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countrykid | 21:24 Thu 01st Feb 2018 | Technology
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As far as I know, aside from changing the language, the keyboard layout on a mobile phone cannot be changed - or can it? My keyboard displays characters across three rows with the top row combining letters/numbers. Above the top line is a space for predictive text and that is split into 3 sections for three suggested words.

My partners says the keyboard display on her phone has "changed" in the last day or so but she has no idea why. Her phone (slightly smaller screen than mine) displays the characters/numbers across four rows, with numbers on the top row. Above the top row is space for predictive text but in last few days this has changed from three segments for three suggested words, to five segments. Also when she presses they key for numbers/symbols, some are now in a different part of keyboard.

Although my phone is slightly larger screen, the area taken up by the keyboard is the same on both. On mine I just have more space between each row due to having three rows rather than 4.
Having now 5 segments for predictive text - and on a smaller screen, means the letters are smaller and its easier to press the wrong segment since they are two close together. She like to change it back to how it was up until this morning. Any ideas? Both phones are Motorola

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My Motorola keyboard has changed a little recently, so perhaps there is an update rolling out.
Phone manufacturers often customise Android to their own requirements, so what one Android phone user sees isn't necessarily the same as what someone with a different phone sees. However all currently available keyboard options should be accessible by roughly following this path:
Settings > Languages & Input > Current keyboard > Choose keyboards > [keyboard of your choice]

Note that I've written 'currently' above because you can add to the list of available keyboards simply by installing a new app. For example, SwiftKey is very popular
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.touchtype.swiftkey
as is Google's own keyboard
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.inputmethod.latin
but there are lots of others available via Google Play.
As Buenchico indicates, there are many alternative keyboards available, including manufacture-specific ones. Most of the available ones are highly customizable as to height, number of rows, appearance, etc.

Personally, I use ai.type.keyboard, as it's the only one I've found, that gives a clear audible indication when it does an auto-correct.
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Thank you for these very helpful answers. I had no idea you could add a different keyboard via an app - but then again there does seem to be an app for just about everything - so why not. I'll spend a bit of time later looking at those via the links/suggestions given. I did go in to settings > language & input.....but apart from the keyboard being used, the only options seemed to be simply other languages - Google Hindi, Google Korean and so on. But hopefully with the suggestions given, we can find something that suits. As Hopkirk suggests, may be Motorola has tweeked things.......
Odd, but my keyboard seems to have reverted back to the previous one. For a while there were options down the left but they have disappeared. I have 3 lines of qwerty, the top ones doubling as numbers.
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Just wanted to update - mystery solved, problem sorted. My partner Sue felt sure she must have pressed "something" by mistake to have brought about the change re the keyboard layout/number of predictive text sections. To the left of the "space" bar on her keyboard is an icon that is like a globe/the world. Pressing this changed the keyboard back to how it was previously - three predictive text boxes and original keyboard layout. My phone's keyboard does not have that icon however I have now found out how to have a row of numbers at the top - which might help Hopkirk.
Begin a text message. To left of my three predictive text symbols is the Google G logo. Press the logo. Various icons displayed including three horizontal dots. Press these dots. This brings up three options for me: Text Editing, One-Handed, Settings. Press Settings. Brings up several options - Languages: Keyboard options: Qwerty, Azerty etc.. Preferences - key, number row. switching Number Row to "on" will give you three rows of letters and a top row of numbers. Thanks again for all answers


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