Hands-On with Google Keyboard 5.1

In the latest developer preview of Android N, Google released an updated version of their stock Keyboard which includes lots of differnet themes to choose from. All of them are colorful and bright…well, other than the solid black one of course.

Luckily, the good folks over at Android Police were able to rip the official APK file of Google Keyboard 5.1 and upload it to APK Mirror. Here at MBEDDED, we were anxious to try out this new feature and see what capabilities it had. So we installed the APK over a current installation of Keyboard on a 2015 Moto E running Android 5.1 Lollipop, so we can verify that this update will work on Lollipop devices. Unfortunately, interchangable themes are the only thing new here (besides new emojis that are only available in Android N), however that’s not really a big issue since nothing like this has been available in the stock Android keyboard before.

Here’s screenshots of the 13 different solid color themes you can set as your own:

Of course, as seen in Google Keyboard 5.0, you can choose between either having a border around your keys or not to see them better with these themes as well.

What’s cool about this new feature is the fact that you can set any of your own images as the background of your keyboard. Here’s some screenshots to demonstrate:

As you can see, by simply selecting your image, cropping it, and tapping “Done” can give you the ultimate personalized keyboard. This feature has been available in other third-party ones like Swift for a while now, however, but it’s nice to see Google finally add something like this to one of their stock apps.

If you would like to try out these new themes on your Android device, simply download the APK linked below to your device and install it. If you don’t know how to do so, follow this guide. Since this update isn’t fully available yet, be aware that there may be occasional bugs here and there. I experienced a couple of crashes when trying to type something in, however it hasn’t happend again.

> Download Google Keyboard 5.1 from APK Mirror (Android 4.2+)

Are you excited about themes in Google Keyboard? Let us know your thoughts below!