When Google unveiled Android 4.2 on Monday, it demonstrated an awesome new keyboard that allows you to swipe across its keys to type. Most of you have probably used third-party keyboards with this functionality — such as Swype — but it’s part of the operating system in Google’s upcoming Android release.
You don’t need to wait until that goes public to get your hands on it, however. The new keyboard apk has been extracted from a leaked LG Nexus 4 ROM, allowing it to be installed on other Android-powered devices. You don’t even need to root your handset.
There are a couple of caveats to this, however: First, you need an Android handset that isn’t running Google’s stock Android operating system. That means the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is ruled out of this, I’m afraid. The reason for this is the package will attempt to overwrite the stock Android keyboard, which isn’t allowed.
If you have another Samsung handset, however, or one from HTC, Sony, or another manufacturer that uses its own user interface — in which the stock keyboard is already removed — then you should be good to go. The other caveat is that you need to be running Android 4.0 or above.
If your device is compatible, all you need to do is download the package onto your handset, which you can grab from Android Spin, then install it. You’ll need to ensure that you’ve allowed your handset to install packages from other sources first. You can find this option within the Settings app.
Once installed, you’ll find the new Android 4.2 keyboard within your language & input settings.
It’s worth remembering that this keyboard isn’t ready for primetime yet, so it may not be as smooth as you’d like. The swipe feature, for example, doesn’t seem too accurate on my Galaxy S III. However, traditional typing works very well.
Have you tried the Android 4.2 keyboard yet?