Keyboard apps for Android are plentiful. There are heavyweights like Gboard, SwiftKey, Fleksy, and Chrooma, as well as other lesser-known competitors like OpenBoard or Mint Keyboard. Another notable alternative keyboard is FlorisBoard, an open source keyboard focused on privacy and highly customizable.
What happens in FlorisBoard does not leave FlorisBoard, and although it does not have all of the functions present in Gboard, it is very close to it. In return, it includes a lot of options and allows you to create a completely personalized theme so that it has the look you want.
An open source Android keyboard
FlorisBoard is an open source keyboard app that you can download from F-Droid, directly from its project page on GitHub or through Google Play’s early access program, by joining this group first. It is compatible with Android 6.0 or higher and is quite light: installed it takes 29MB of storage. Gboard is 190MB.
After installing FlorisBoard and opening it for the first time, you will come across the typical installation wizard. It’s not as fancy as other keyboard apps, although it does include what you need to enable the keyboard and set it as default.
What is missing are the language settings, which are not part of the installation wizard, but must be changed yourself from the settings. You can choose the languages of the FlorisBoard in the settings, on the Writing tab. Similar to Gboard, you can set multiple languages and switch between them while writing.
The FlorisBoard options are very extensive, separated into four tabs. There is no shortage of classics like adding a row of numbers, but you can precisely configure the spacing between keys or integration with the clipboard. FlorisBoard supports gesture writing, although it is disabled at the factory: you must enable it in the Gestures section.
FlorisBoard does not share data with anyone, so all suggestions are generated on the mobile itself. Again, these are disabled at the factory, waiting for you to enable them in the Write tab. The bad news is that these suggestions currently only work in English and are nowhere near as good as those offered by Gboard.
Besides having a good ton of options in its settings, another strong point of FlorisBoard is the possibility to customize its appearance through themes. Other apps have themes, but FlorisBoard allows you to create a theme to your liking.
In the Themes section of the settings, there are three ready-made themes, including a clone of the Gboard look. However, the most interesting is to use the floating button to create a new theme. The theme editor allows you to change the colors of virtually any interface element, assuming you have enough patience.
If you don’t want to create a theme, you can also have FlorisBoard adopt the colors of the application interface you are using, in the purest Chrooma Keyboard style. It is deactivated at the factory.
FlorisBoard is a keyboard app that promises, although it must be remembered that it is not finished. Some of its functions are still in development, although today it has a lot more than you would expect from a virtually unknown keyboard. It is an application to follow for the future.