The 5 Best Chinese Keyboards for Android in 2023
A good keyboard is key to efficient online communication in Chinese.
With so many options on the market, it’s essential that you find a Chinese keyboard that works for you.
Lucky for you, we have found the top five Chinese keyboards for Android learners to make your search easier!
- 1. Chinese Keyboard
- 2. SwiftKey
- 3. Gboard
- 4. Sogou
- 5. Chinese Handwriting Keyboard
- Chinese Keyboard Tips
- Which Chinese Keyboard Is Best for You?
- And One More Thing...
1. Chinese Keyboard
The Chinese Keyboard by Desh Keyboards has great features, including the ability to switch between Chinese and English with ease and a built-in translation feature.
You’re also able to customize the keyboard and use stickers and emojis!
While these components are great, the keyboard only includes simplified characters and might be a bit too simple for more advanced speakers.
Overall, I’d recommend this keyboard to beginners, but more advanced students or native speakers may want to look elsewhere.
SwiftKey, a Microsoft product, is another Chinese keyboard option that has impressive customization features, allowing the user to shape it around their individual needs.
Like Google Pinyin, it allows for both Traditional and Simplified Chinese characters. SwiftKey actually has seven input options.
Some people may find SwiftKey to be the best option after tweaking it extensively, but others may be put off by the number of features and prefer the more intuitive Gboard (below).
SwiftKey isn’t for everyone, but the added features and customization will be useful for some.
Advanced features include typing enhancements, an expandable toolbar, location sharing and calendar sharing. You can also change the function of the keys.
Gboard is a Google product that has impressive features and is aesthetically pleasing, with customizable background themes.
While it’s not the most advanced keyboard, it has everything the casual user should need.
Keep in mind that Gboard has been found to be more restrictive in some respects than competitors like SwiftKey.
That is, Gboard doesn’t allow for as much technical tinkering as SwiftKey but does provide a lot of screen customization.
Gboard has also now begun to support both Simplified and Traditional Chinese.
It’s a more user-friendly app and doesn’t take much setup to get what you need.
The defaults should cover most of your needs without you having to mess with the settings, making it an easy-to-use tool for those who want to type in Chinese.
Sogou is widely popular among Chinese people and is certainly an option worth considering.
The Sogou keyboard has a robust wealth of Chinese words built in that makes it particularly advantageous.
Sogou is an excellent choice for advanced learners. However, the expansiveness of this keyboard can also help beginner users grow their vocabulary.
In practicing and increasing your vocabulary, you should be reading and writing a lot, sounding out the words and speaking the language.
When you encounter Chinese words you don’t know, don’t panic or let them hold you back. You can learn many tricks to make it easier to read.
Again, those looking for an option with both Traditional and Simplified Chinese will be happy to know that Sogou supports both.
5. Chinese Handwriting Keyboard
This keyboard app lets you practice writing Chinese by hand. Instead of typing, you can draw out characters with your finger and the keyboard will recognize it and convert it into text.
Plus, the app recognizes both Simplified and Traditional Chinese characters.
It boasts a high accuracy rate, and the conversion technology recognizes and converts characters in less than a second.
Chinese Keyboard Tips
- Consider whether you want to type in Simplified or Traditional Chinese. This comes down to your needs and your locations of interest, as different regions use different forms of Chinese.
- Be sure to use proper grammar and etiquette when writing emails and texts. Using a Chinese keyboard is a game changer that will empower you to not just participate in Chinese social media from your phone but also write emails and texts in Chinese. Be sure to remember appropriate etiquette based on who you’re speaking with.
- Consider how different keyboard features can help you with your Chinese learning. Do you want a simple keyboard layout? Or would you prefer something more advanced, more robust?
Which Chinese Keyboard Is Best for You?
Each one of the Chinese keyboards above could be argued to be the best. Each one has different advantages and disadvantages, leaving it up to you and your individual needs.
Chinese Keyboard is probably going to be the best for the beginner. There are great tools that help when you are first learning, but they may feel too simple for those with more knowledge.
Gboard has additional features that would benefit the more serious user. The combination of additional features like the Chinese swipe input and a robust array of English input makes Gboard a great overall option.
Sogou can be great for advanced learners who want to build their vocabulary and use a tool that’s used by native Chinese speakers.
SwiftKey is best for individuals with very specific requirements. It may seem a bit messy, but it can be tailored to suit your needs.
Chinese Handwriting Keyboard is best if you want to practice your handwriting skills or aren’t very quick with texting by typing.
The more you write and communicate in Chinese, the more comfortable you’ll feel with both the keyboard and the language. Take your new keyboard out for a spin on FluentU, where videos are accompanied by quizzes that, among other types of questions, require you to type in the answers.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Choose the best keyboard for your situation, and don’t be afraid to experiment with it!
And One More Thing...
If you want to continue learning Chinese with interactive and authentic Chinese content, then you'll love FluentU.
FluentU naturally eases you into learning Chinese language. Native Chinese content comes within reach, and you'll learn Chinese as it's spoken in real life.
FluentU has a wide range of contemporary videos—like dramas, TV shows, commercials and music videos.
FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. You can tap on any word to instantly look it up. All words have carefully written definitions and examples that will help you understand how a word is used. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.
FluentU's Learn Mode turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you're learning.
The best part is that FluentU always keeps track of your vocabulary. It customizes quizzes to focus on areas that need attention and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a 100% personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store.