I could not recommend AnySoftKeyboard to my mum. I could recommend Florisboard, tho.

Openboard is virtually dead from what I can see. So that leaves Florisboard as the only open source alternative (that I know of) that could really be used by the masses. And the world would actually be a way better place if we all opensource freaks could install Florisboard on our family/friends phones and them barely noticing anything weird.

The problem is… no word suggestions yet. It’s been years and we are still lacking what is almost an essential feature of a phone’s keyboard.

I wish I could really work on it, but I lack the knowledge to do so; so I hope I am bringing some attention to the project.

Is there any other alternative I am unaware of?

  • tubbadu
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    705 months ago

    OpenBoard’s developing is being carried on by one of the original developers: https://github.com/Helium314/openboard

    It allows to include an external swipe-type library (proprietary, from Gboard) in case you need it, and it works really well. The only problem is that currently it’s only available on github, so you can only update manually or with obtainium

  • The state of OSS keyboards is lamentable - no shade to devs, because most projects seem largely abandoned, except for Thumb-Key, which is exciting, active… and mostly not my bag. 8VIM is a fun version of this, but again, I’m mostly a two-thumber, so these slow me down.

    Floris is almost there, except there’s little development activity, and the lack of autocorrect keeps me from using it most of the time. The clipboard is great, and the alt-key keyset is fantastic (it includes interrobang!). But the swipe is decent, and it has a 9-pad number entry which - although it can sadly not be made the default - should be mandatory.

    AnySoft has some serious stability bugs that keep me from using it.

    So I use OpenBoard most of the time, because its autocorrect works pretty well. It has no swiping. It has no 9-key number entry. It has no interrobang. While I like the multiple-choice paste history, most of the time the multi-step paste is just more work.

    Gboard has all of these, but it comes from Google.

    Keyboard development mist just be unfun; I agree with you: it’s a sad state of affairs.

    • @csfirecracker@lemmyf.uk
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      75 months ago

      There’s a fork of openboard that you can add the DLL for google swipe typing to. I’m currently using it and the swipe works as well as gboard

    • @not_amm@beehaw.org
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      35 months ago

      AnySoft is still testing because of all the functionality it has, which is massive compared to other keyboarda. I moved to a fork of OpenBoard, but I recognize all the effort put in both AnySoft and FlorisBoard

    • @Creat
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      Do I understand you correctly that Floris had swipe typing? Cause I tried the OpenBoard fork that has it, and it was horrible. It technically worked, sometimes, but most often was even slower than hitting individual letters. Usually I have to correct maybe 1 word out of 20 or so with GBoard, and even then what I want is one of the suggestions 95% of the time. with the OpenBoard fork, 3 out of 5 words were wrong and the correct one was suggested like 2 out of 5 times.

      If its swipe is usable, I might give Floris a go…

      edit: ah, English only. Not gonna work for me. I also prefer to have multiple languages active and being able to swipe in any/all of them. guess I’m stuck with GBoard…

    • Communist
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      5 months ago

      Try out the two handed mode on thumbkey, it works great as a fellow two thumber

      • Is this normal? It looks messed up, and I’m not sure how to fix it. If I make the font tiny enough, both sides fit, but it’s useless. I’d expect half the letters to be on one side, the other half on the other… no?

        • Communist
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          5 months ago

          This is how it looks for me, I didn’t get a screenshot in your comment.

          You’ll probably need to fiddle with the look and feel > key size because it’s set by default for a one-handed experience

          • Yah, I deleted it because (a) I forgot to link a screenshot, and (b) I fiddled with the font sizes for a while and got it to fit. It’s a bit too small for comfort, for me. I’d rather have it split (deduplicated) and be able to make the keys larger, which seems important when slight swipe angle changes mean the difference between two characters.

            Thanks for letting me know about that, tho!

  • doomkernel
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    5 months ago

    There is a fork of OpenBoard which is pretty active the repo is on github. It release an update a day ago

  • Dizzy Devil Ducky
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    135 months ago

    Definitely one of the biggest things keeping me from switching from gboard to an open source keyboard is that I use my keyboard for not just English, but Japanese (12 key and handwriting recognition), Chinese (both simp. and trad. pinyin and handwriting recognition), Korean, and French and I have yet to find an open source keyboard that has all of those wrapped under a single keyboard.

    • @tetris11@lemmy.ml
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      95 months ago

      Man I just want an open source keyboard where changing language settings ISN’T a single key next to the spacebar.

      I hate starting a perfectly legible sentence in one language and then suddenly getting weird completions in another, just because I fat-thumbed the spacebar too much to the left.

      • Dizzy Devil Ducky
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        35 months ago

        That would also be amazing. There have been plenty of times I wanted to hit an apostrophe or z, x, or c and accidentally switched to another language. It’s annoying.

    • cyruseuros
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      45 months ago

      My man heard of CJK input methods and thought they were a study guide. Then threw in English and French to confuse the enemy. Props to you dude! That said, you’re a walking i18n nightmare.

      • Dizzy Devil Ducky
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        35 months ago

        I’m definitely one of those people who can barely speak, read, write any CJK or French, but I at least still use them from time to time. Especially as a vocaloid fan (for CJK).

    • AItoothbrush
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      45 months ago

      Mr international. I only need hungarian, english, swedish and spanish and all of them work with the basic layout so im lucky.

    • @Gooey0210@sh.itjust.works
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      5 months ago

      I’ve never thought about that If a language has characters the handwriting is a really big deal Also, there are many apps that do different similar tasks, but not all at once

      Also: have you ever tried foss keyboards, let’s say, for simplified or traditional Chinese? Is the suggestion feature working well?

  • JustEnoughDucks
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    65 months ago

    Why wouldn’t you recommend AnySoftKeyboard?

    I have used it for a few years. You have a ton of good setups, good language support with decent autocorrect. The only thing that is less intuitive is swiping to change keyboards and the emoji selection menu.

    I guess the lack of a clipboard has burned me recently too (locked out of bitwarden because 2FA password was stored in bitwarden and the fingerprint scanner didn’t work because I added a fingerprint)

    • @InstallGentoo@lemmy.zip
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      25 months ago

      Florisboard has many good features and is insanely customizable which are not present in AnySoftKeyboard. The only thing lacking as of now is the inferior swipe typing and word suggestions.

      • @marty_relaxes
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        35 months ago

        Not asking to start an argument but do you know what those features and customizability optons are?

        Because I am currently running a German/English/Terminal-mode multi setup with everything set up right around how I need and the customization in AnySoft keyboard was quite honestly astounding to me (if very cumbersome to discover everything).

        So if Floris offers even more possibilities I am wondering what they could even be?

        • @InstallGentoo@lemmy.zip
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          15 months ago

          I tried AnySoftKeyboard again as it’s been a while since I used it and here are my thoughts.

          • FlorisBoard has a lot of small things that can make interacting with text easier. You can have a toolbar in addition to the number row which has buttons for copy, paste, select all, cut and paste. This eliminates the need for long pressing text to invoke these actions. There’s a layout called “Quick Text Editing” in ASK but that disables the number row. This is quite a deal breaker.

          • It also has a clipboard manager which was missing in ASK.

          • You can add a secondary toolbar which has buttons for undo and redo. This is one of the most useful feature for me. It allows you to, well, undo and redo text basically everywhere. This is helpful since text input fields don’t have a way to undo and redo text. It can be a lifesaver in many occasions.

          • Swiping left/right on the spacebar is faster and feels natural compared to ASK’s one character movement per swipe. Swiping from one end of the spacebar to the other end moves the cursor by many number of letters depending on speed. On ASK swiping from one end to other moves the cursor by only one letter.

          • You can create custom themes on FlorisBoard locally by editing a few variables. This is not a huge thing but it might be useful.

          • In FlorisBoard long pressing letters inserts symbols instead of variations of the letter.

          Of course most of these are small and won’t concern most people, but these are good quality of life additions for me.

          • @marty_relaxes
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            15 months ago

            I see, that makes sense and is very interesting. I will remember this for some inevitable phase of going from never touch running system to ohh shiny down the road. While I suppose some of these are just things working differently on the two boards, I see your points.

            Although I did learn in this thread that ASK also has a clipboard history and undo! Though - to be frank it is hidden under an up-swipe of the spacebar.

      • JustEnoughDucks
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        15 months ago

        What features does it have that aren’t present in AnySoftKeyboard?

        By word suggestions do you mean autocorrect? That is really a dealbreaker for me with touchscreen keyboards and switching languages 😅

        Trying it out now though.

        Is there some way to get rid of the massive utility row? Or customize long press length? Or have only punctuatiom symbols on the period and numbers in the qwerty row? Doesn’t work for the dutch keyboard for some reason.

        • @InstallGentoo@lemmy.zip
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          5 months ago

          What features does it have that aren’t present in AnySoftKeyboard?

          I wrote a long reply to another comment in this thread. You can check it.

          By word suggestions do you mean autocorrect?

          Word suggestions when you type a few letters. But yes it’s autocorrect is severely lacking.

          Is there some way to get rid of the massive utility row?

          I believe it’s called “smart bar”. It can be disabled.

          Or customize long press length?

          Yes

          Or have only punctuatiom symbols on the period and numbers in the qwerty row?

          I don’t know about this.

    • @noodlejetski@lemm.ee
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      25 months ago

      wait, how does a supposed lack of clipboard (which ASK does support) cause you to lock you out of a password manager?

      • JustEnoughDucks
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        5 months ago

        No I do not store critical passwords in my clipboard like the other poster suggested.

        It was bad timing and stupidity on my part. A bit complicated. Story here:

        I updated my Bitwarden encryption settings, so it kicked me out of every instance I had, which stored my password for my 2FA. Normally this is no problem because aegis has biometrics. I had added a fingerprint earlier in the day because mine wasn’t working well, and didn’t realize that it would shutdown fingerprint access to the app (and it sent no notification). I made a backup of the bitwarden database, but I chose account-locked encrypted because it was the suggestion.

        I hadn’t made a 2FA backup code for bitwarden yet because it doesn’t prompt you to when setting up 2FA (at that point in time) like all other apps and I just completely forgot. Definitely fixed that now.

        I had just used the password for Aegis earlier in the day because my fingerprint was being very unreliable (hence changing it later)

        My server had a password backup, but I had moved a few months before and hadn’t had time to set it all back up, and my harddrive encryption passwords were stored on bitwarden (backups on a paper I couldn’t find)

        Ergo, my clipboard would have saved me because I used my password like 5 copy actions earlier. I ended up getting access through a local app instance of bitwarden that hadn’t received the encryption update while my computer was disconnected from the internet.

        Stupid, but a clipboard would have saved me time and stress in that case. All od the stupid mistakes that culminated have been fixed now. Important lesson.

        • @noodlejetski@lemm.ee
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          55 months ago

          so you mean clipboard history. ASK has got that too, just hidden a little bit, you need to swipe up on the space bar and long press the paste button on the menu that pops up.

          • @marty_relaxes
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            25 months ago

            Learn something new everyday… Thanks! This is sure to come in handy at some point.

      • @Pantherina@feddit.de
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        -15 months ago

        They permanently store critical PWs in the clipboard? Hell no. Not even Florisboards internal one I would trust, even though assuring that is secure would be great

        • @noodlejetski@lemm.ee
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          They permanently store critical PWs in the clipboard?

          well, that sure would be an idiotic way of managing one’s credentials.

          • @Pantherina@feddit.de
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            15 months ago

            Even on latest Android, every foreground app can read “your clipboard”. That is the (like everything in Android) very basic 1-entry one. Florisboard is great if you preset the right stuff, as the internal clipboard can replace it (sync from system) but you can disable “sync to system”

            Just make sure to always copy with the Keyboars and not the system popup, which UX-wise is absurd

    • @unknowing8343OP
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      25 months ago

      Once you use Florisboard you realise that even with all those options in AnySoftKeyboard, you cannot fully setup something as modern, well-functioning and organized as Florisboard.

      There is one thing that makes me shut AnySoftKeyboard down everytime I come back and try it, which is that, when you hold down a key to show the alternative options… you have to really put your finger up over the options to select them… but only from the second row up. Makes no sense and no one seems to realise how wrong that is.

      • JustEnoughDucks
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        I just tried it for a few days. Using it right now. I think in 2-3 years it sill be a pretty functional keyboard for more than monolingual people.

        It’s super uncustomizable now and not very functional (for me) right now.

        • There are open bugs because there literally no autocorrect works (well one bug was closed but people aho use the beta release say that it still doesn’t work). This makes it take 2-3 fimes longer to type anything without tons of mistakes.

        • no word completion

        • Haptic feedback only works if you force ignore system settings even when system vibration is on (people have reported that it will also turn the system setting on)

        • no option to split up punctuation between comma and period so you have to search throufh a giant menu much more slowly. In-sentence punctuation left and end-sentence right is much more functional and modern

        • no keyboard layout options

        • “smartbar” auto hide (when enabled) simply never ever hides

        • spacebar swiping quickly doesn’t act reasonably. It pushes you 6-7 characters into the new paragraph

        • no split keyboard for landscape typing

        Your critique about AnySoftKeyboard is weird because people don’t realize how wrong it is because it doesn’t happen to them. You just have to hold and release for the symbol. You can slide left or right and definitely do not have to have your finger on the symbol to select it. It is likely there is a bug on your system.

        I’m interested in knowing what is “more modern, well functioning, and organized” about it if AnySoftKeyboard has more features, better language support, modern autocorrect and word fill, can have the exact same layout and 10 other layoits, and is more customizable.

        Still haven’t found a person who can list a feature that florisboadd has that AnySoftKeyboard doesn’t, even thouvh multiple people have said “it has more features”

        • @unknowing8343OP
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          We all know Florisboard has no autocorrect or word suggestions yet. The whole post is about this exactly.

          Why would I want to hide the smart bar if it’s actually useful, quick and modern, unline AnySoftKeyboard… which you have a set of options that either bring too little or too much.

          No keyboard layout options in Florisboard? In fact, I can do something in Florisboard that I cannot do in AnySoftKeyboard in terms of layouts: I can pick a “spanish layout” for English language. Which is perfect because I hate having to change layouts and relearn key positions, something that AnySoftKeyboard forces you to do.

          In terms of features that Florisboard has that AnySoftKeyboard doesn’t… how about a modern and useful top bar that does many more things than the static AnySoftKeyboard’s? How about left-right movement with spacebar? How about swipe deletion? How about good-looking password manager integration (and not AnySoftKeyboard’s aberration)? How about being able to separate layouts and languages? Clipboard support?

          Many of the “cool” modular things that AnySoftKeyboard can do are:

          • for niche power users
          • things than can still be included eventually in Florisboard

          The difference here is that for AnySoftKeyboard to include anything that Florisboard does right would require much more work, muuuch more work (basically a full rework of the app); whereas for Florisboard integrating a fancy layout would be… a simple, one file PR.

          • JustEnoughDucks
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            Why would I want to hide the smart bar if it’s actually useful, quick and modern, unline AnySoftKeyboard…

            Because it is literally not one of those things. It is almost a direct 1:1 copy of AnySoft’s utility menu except takes up an entire new row constsntly without ever hiding and is missing a few things tbat Anysoft has like split keyboard. Literally the only difference between the two besides missing features is pop-up vs persistant taking up 1-2 extra rows.

            how about a modern and useful top bar that does many more things than the static AnySoftKeyboard’s?

            Again, what feature that is more “modern and useful”? It is completely static except that it can be manually hidden until the next character is pressed. Why even have a hide button then?

            How about good-looking password manager integration (and not AnySoftKeyboard’s aberration)?

            Have you ever actually used AnySoftKeyboard? They are literally the exact same down to the shapeHere is proof. The only difference is that AnySoftKeyboard respects light keyboard choice where Florisboard simply doesn’t respect day/night switches for “follow theme” or “system time” and Florisboard does not work in Firefox where AnySoft does as we also see in my screenshots.

            How about being able to separate layouts and languages?

            That is pretty cool actually! It’s really a shame that there is only one keyboard layout and it is per-language standard layout of what florisboard devs “think is right”. Why can’t i have a choice of better or worse bottom rows and only get to have the worst in florisboard? Also, Anysoft has different layouts per language, just not “mix and match”

            Clipboard support?

            Anysoftkeyboard has that. https://github.com/AnySoftKeyboard/AnySoftKeyboard/issues/3450

            Again, very interesting board and in the future it can be great! Just not yet for me personally yet. I don’t have a horse in the race, maybe the code is indeed much cleaner, better, and easier to maintain. Then it is definitely a much better future option!

            It is just missing a bunch of features and advertising on a platform on the basis of "better, more modern and more features is disingenuous at best. I have a problem with people spreading disinformation and BS marketing buzzwords with no.justification as their advertisement. That’s it.

  • Krafting
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    45 months ago

    This! I use it since 2021 and even tho it miss critical feature I just want to support the project! If people can donate or create code for it please go ahead!

  • @Pantherina@feddit.de
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    45 months ago

    Aosp keyboard is crap but has word suggestions. So this should totally be possible.

    Agree 100%, florisboard is the best.

    Its insane, you can use whatever messenger or browser you want if you literally have a keylogger in front of that

  • @silverwind@lemmy.world
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    35 months ago

    Florisboard is quite great if you only input English. I can theme it with catppuccin,which is a feature I am looking for. However,I hope that it supports fcitx5 input method (specifically fcitx5-chewing). Otherwise,it is unusable for me and I will need to use Gboard.

    • @Pantherina@feddit.de
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      15 months ago

      Its great for German too and even has stuff like Arab and french, I have a Tunesian 4-lingual friend that uses it afaik

  • @d0ntpan1c@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    35 months ago

    I’ve been using florisboard for a few months now. You will have typos. Auto-correct for obvious things would be nice… once you install a dictionary its not awful, but the dictionary struggles with simple typos since it isnt usually taking rhe surrounding words into context of the misspelled word. I think the only dictionary i could get installed was from libreoffice? So could just be a lack of common mobile typos in the dataset.

    Florisboard does support things i actually used from gboard like a function row up top with undo/redo, activating voice options, and a clipboard with history. It also supports things like apps that support the autofill hints similarly to how itd pop up on gboard. Of all the foss options, it was the only one that had these modern expectations, so i also think its the best bet for a gboard alternative people will actually switch to. Anysoft and openboard are way too minimal (not a bad thing, just not what an avid gboard user is looking for)

    Swipe on floris is ok. It definitely triggers when you don’t want it on occasion. And the lack of autocorrect makes recovery miserable.

    I tried openboard too, but i could not get openboard to a reasonable size on the screen. Pixel 7 pro is fairly big… and i use the smallest text scaling… but even the smallest layout options put the top row out of reach of my thumbs.