How to Get Android L Keyboard Now?

This week, Google shocked the mobile and Android world by showing the next version of Android months ahead, similar to how Apple made fun of iOS, while also releasing it to the public in developer preview.

Android L is the new exciting kid on the block, but unfortunately, you won’t be able to enjoy it unless you own one of Google’s developer devices like the Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 tablet. While we expect it to eventually be available for other devices, not to mention 3rd party ROMs that users can customize, for now most users will have to enjoy our hands-on video below to see what’s new in Android L.

However, thanks to the open-source nature of Android versus something like iOS 8, many aspects of the release can and will fall apart as Android. As a result, users are starting to smash Android L (Android 4.5 or 5.0). Developer preview and extract some of the new features.

If you liked what you saw during Android L’s Google I/O keynote, especially the completely redesigned Google Keyboard, we’ve got it for you below.

While most of the Android L developer preview is about the new “Material Design” UI changes and notification system, we also have a brand new keyboard. And thanks to some friendly users XDA Developers Brand new Android L Keyboard is available at the moment for almost everyone.

Instructions

Whether you’re using the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One M8, or the brand new Galaxy S5, you can install third-party keyboards on Android. SwiftKey and Swype are a few popular ones, but last year the stock Google Keyboard was released on the Play Store. This made everyone enjoy the gesture based and predictive keyboard version from Google and now you can have the L version today.

All users have to do is download and install the file (called APK for Android) and install the stock Google Keyboard extracted from the L version. If you are already using the stock Google Keyboard from Play Store, uninstall it and install this latest keyboard. From there go to the keyboard settings and change the theme (or scheme) to “Material” instead of the stock blue or white keyboard options. Below are more details.

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You will need to enable installing apps from unknown sources other than Google Play Store. This is the same method required to install apps from the Amazon AppStore, so nothing new. Go to Settings > security > scroll down to select “Unknown sources”.

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Now all you have to do is download the linked file from XDA or the download link below and install it directly from the notification popup like any other app. After downloading, tap on the completed download, install and then replace the theme with the new design. How do we do this? We will explain that too.

Pull down the notification bar and go to settings with the gear-shaped settings button (on most devices) and go to Language & Input. From here you will see the Google Keyboard and will want to tap the settings button on the right edge. This brings you to the settings specifically for Google Keyboard. From here you will go down to Advanced settings or options and find “Color scheme”. Tap that and select Material Design.

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That’s all, you’re done. You now have the brand new material design Android L keyboard on your old device. We’re not entirely sure about all the innovations in the keyboard aside from the sleek new look and feel, but try it on almost any non-Nexus device and let us know what you think.

This won’t work on Nexus 5 because Google Play keyboard is installed by default and cannot be removed with some tweaks, but most other smartphones and tablets can enjoy the new Android L keyboard today. Let us know what you think and stay tuned for more Android L details and videos.