Feedback on Keyman 15.0 Alpha

The Alpha version usually sets the pace for the Beta and Released versions. So, if users can spot a feature they are not really comfortable with, and give the Keyman team a timely feedback, it will help them to serve language communities better.

Feel free to tell them what you will like to see, but also mention what they have done well to encourage them, because there are few staff on that team.

Please keep it in line with the Keyman Roadmap. Some more advanced features are built to come up in future versions.

To get the latest alpha version, go here: Keyman Pre-release Versions

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On the globe key issue, @darcy , tapping to switch the keyboard has some disadvantage. The app has to cycle through the list of keyboards from top to bottom, and it also has to load the keyboard layout. It takes about 5+ seconds to load the next layout on my device. Once I tap the globe key, even unintentionally, I have to wait for the next keyboard layout to load, and I don’t know which keyboard is loading until it’s done loading, then I will switch to, or back to, the desired keyboard layout. I have 4 keyboards in the app, including the default SIL EuroLatin. I will like to see the them all, and pick the one I want. I also won’t like the keyboard changing in the middle of a sentence because I accidentally tapped the globe key (on a small screen).

I really like the option to “adjust keyboard height” which you have added, and the option to choose what appears on the spacebar.

On globe key issue, note also this feedback:

I will try to benchmark this app in Android. I do not have an Android phone. I will get one and revert back in a week. or in the meantime, I request somebody please review this app.

This is closest app to keyman (AFAIK) with multiple keyboard layouts. We can understand how they are handling multiple keyboards with one app in Android. Around 25500 people have rated this app, avg rating is 4.

Globe icon in android needs to seriously looked it in Keyman. It’s the first thing user notices.

Like I have mentioned in my feedback. I use iPhone X series since Sep 2017. Since it has two globe icons, I am not noticing the problem. But my friends whom I recommended Keyman in Android, would not want to use due to Globe icon issue.

I will also test Keyman in iPhone 6s tomorrow and provide feedback.

I’ve just checked the behaviour described in that feedback, and compared it with Gboard. It’s true, though I’ve not before really noticed that feature in Android because I always set my Gboard app to switch language by long pressing the space bar, and removing the globe key or replacing it with emoji key.

We will all have to learn this new method of switching language in Keyman, but you can make the one tap switching smoother because it takes long to switch. An option to set the globe key behaviour will be nice, though I’m not making a feature request on that.

I just checked. It supports 42 languages. Apart from Fulah and Sinhala, no other native language of Africa is supported. So I can say the app is for the major world languages. None of the three major languages in my country is supported, so I only installed it but can’t test it.

I’ve always maintained that I have not seen a keyboard app that goes anywhere near to doing what Keyman does. Keyman gives power to speakers of minority languages.

As far as I and minority languages are concerned, Keyman is the king of keyboard apps.

I didn’t mean to compare the two apps and their capabilities
I just wanted to know how this app behaves with globe icon compared to keyman. Because both let’s users install multiple keyboard.

Keyman is powerful to keyboard developers for all languages, no doubt.

My personal aspiration is to see keyman look, feel n perform like stock keyboards. So when a minority language keyboard is installed, they should feel at ease.

Most of my bug reports are geared towards it.

In place of the globe key, the app has a language key at the top right corner. Tapping that key once switches to to the next keyboard while long press brings up a list of installed languages. (I tested that by enabling different layouts for English language).

That’s the same behaviour as the current 15.0 alpha.


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In iPhones with touchID, (iphone 8, 7, 6s, SE) Keyman globe icon behaves as follows

Tap: Next keyboard (It can be system keyboard or whatever the previous keyboard was, it’s system managed)
Tap and Hold: Keyman menu

@marc Keyman Android is handicapped with globe icon.
Once a user selects keyman keyboard

  1. User has to long press
  2. Select Next Keyboard in the menu
  3. System loads previous loaded non-keyman keyboard, say English
  4. If that was not the keyboard, user expected say Emoji, he/she needs to long-press and select the keyboard.
    This very inconvenient.

Globe key needs to be fixed soon, please

At least load all keyboards in long press, similar to all other third party keyboards.

Also, in iOS, we can uninstall EuroSIL keyboard, as long as we have another keyboard installed in Keyman.
We need a similar feature. EuroSIL keyboard would not be need for non-English language users. They would prefer system English keyboard.

Can you clarify what you’d like the globe key to do? Keep in mind there’s two different scenarios where a user would like to quickly switch to either:

  1. another system keyboard or
  2. another Keyman keyboard

We don’t have a way to generate one menu containing all the third party keyboards and Keyman keyboards.

I’ve created issue 5828 for that.

Please Watch this screengrab

Please check this above screen grab.


  1. Press and hold spacebar
    You get list of all keyboards, in which “Keyman” is one them

Anysoftkeyboard (open source)

  1. Press and hold return
  2. Then choose “Change Keyboard”
    You get list of all keyboards, in which “Keyman” is one them

JustKannada, it has two layouts installed “Just English”, “Just Kannada”

  1. Press and hold Globe Icon
    You get list of all keyboards, in which “Keyman” is one them
    Tap Globe Icon to switch between Just Kannada and Just English

Preferred method for Keyman:
Press and hold Globe Icon
Get list of all keyboards, in which “Keyman” is one them. Similar to how the list is generated by all the above layouts.

Tap Globe Icon
Toggle to next Keyman Keyboard layout.
If only one Keyboard is installed in Keyman, then use “Next Keyboard” method to switch to next system keyboard layout. Otherwise, “Tap Globe Icon” will not yield anything, when only one keyboard is installed.

This would be intuitive to average users.

We do not need to list all keyboards and Keyman keyboards. If we are able to list all Keyboards and Keyman (main app) as one of them, it would work fine. Similar to how all the other keyboards are listing.

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In Android you have a default input app/framework.

On my current phone it is gboard. In my old phone it was Samsung keyboard.

You can add additional keyboards to the app. You can install other apps like Keyman.

What gboard does is list its own keyboards then it lists other apps (but not their keyboards).

In theory if you want Keyman to behave like gboard, then the globe key should list all keyboards installed in Keyman then list the other input apps like gboard. So if you want one of the keyboards in gboard you would press the globe key in Keyman keyboard then select gboard then in gboard select the globe key and select the desired gboard keyboard.

The only keyboards you can directly switch to

Android unlike other operating system doesn’t really have any system keyboards per se. They have components (apps) that manage their own keyboards.

Different Android phones may come with different default input apps.

There is a way for an input app to register itself to the system so other input apps can switch to it.

But I have never seen an input app that can directly switch to a specific keyboard in a second app.


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Please Watch this screengrab

All third party keyboard apps have a way to list ALL keyboard/it’s parent app

We need that similar in Keyman for “TAP and HOLD” of Globe key.

Right now, Keyman can switch to only to “Next Keyboard” that too after multiple clicks.

Please check the video. Just Kannada app has two keyboards which are visible from gboard, anysoftkeyboard

As I said, there are two behaviours

  1. a way to cycle through each keyboard of the current app (which only really is useful if you have 2-3 keyboards at most, becomes a poor UI feature as number of keyboards increases.
  2. a way of listing all keyboards of the current keyboard, and other registered input apps.

Keyman can do 1, but only has part of 2.

To give it the same functionality as GBoard, long-press would list all Keyman keyboards, then below that have a single entry for each additional input app. (Not the keyboards of those apps, just the apps)

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We have two methods in Globe Key
A. Tap
B. Tap and Hold
Tap: is already doing 1. which you have described
Tap and Hold needs to do 2. List all Keyboard app. Not necessarily, all Keyman keyboards

There could be Android built in method for this. Gboard, AnySoftKeyboard and Just Kannada apps, all list the same.

Actually if you want to match gboard’'s behaviour then tap and hold would would need to list all installed Keyman keyboards. This is what gboard does. Additionally tapping to cycle through Keyman keyboards is a poor UI for selecting keyboards when multiple keyboards are installed.

You don’t want to have to tap five or six times to get to the keyboard you want. You need a UI mechanism to go straight to the keyboard you want.

Yea. I also like this idea. But since that is the default behaviour in Gboard and most Android keyboards, and many users have gotten used to them, it will be a good idea if Keyman will just follow suit to make the keyboard easy for users. Many people who have Keyman and the local keyboard installed on their devices still prefer to type the local language with English keyboards, and that’s because those keyboards are far easier to use than Keyman keyboard.

After installing Keyman app and setting up the local language keyboard for one user, the first thing he said after having a feel of it was that it is quite different from other keyboards. He said that in the others, after the first capital letter, the next was supposed to be small letter automatically. I agreed with him and said that feature will be available soon (my statement was based on the promise made by the Keyman team in their Roadmap and previous comments). But, unfortunately now, that feature is not making it to version 15.

If Keyman app gets closer to other keyboards in the way it operates, while still maintaining those her powerful abilities that makes it navigate the sea of thousands of languages, I think more and more users will use it and appreciate it more.

A note to @Marc and @darcy : I don’t know what the statistics on Keyman server say, but from what I am observing in my community (which may be true of other low-resourced language communities), there are far more mobile users than desktop users, so it will be nice if the mobile app is given priority.

I agree with you completely. I don’t use Keyman app to type English at all, so that EuroLatin keyboard is just sitting there idle. It will be good if I can uninstall it.

And/or, give me an option to set another language as my default language in Keyman.