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It may not be an issue for those who have installed Haykuro's release of HTC's lovely Android keyboard (1st image below - see comments for instructions). But folks who enjoy further customization  can download an app for their Cupcake phone called Better Keyboard from the Android Market for $1.99. The listing currently says the offer will only last as week, but doesn't say what the price will jump to when the sale is over.

Better Android is the brand that serves up Open Home and some customized versions of Cupcake-compatible widgets. With a few of their products, you can put together a coordinated theme that integrates with virtually every nook and cranny of your operating environment. Each of their programs deserves a separate review, and this one is about Better Keyboard. But take a moment to look around their homepage for an idea of what else the company offers. Near the top you'll find screenshots of the four Better Keyboard themes currently available, as well as a sample meant to assist you creating your own.

The first image I'll start with is the HTC IME that Haykuro released - simply because I find it the most elegant and functional. It gives you direct access to the input settings, and a button to hide the keyboard.

HTC IME Keyboard by Haykuro at PhoneDog.com

Now for the Better Keyboard themes. These are a sample what you'll find independently available in the Market at the time of this writing, but some Open Home themes come with their own keyboard theme as well.

Better Android Keyboard themes at PhoneDog.com

Better Android Keyboard themes at PhoneDog.com

This last one really only works with a very simple wallpaper and no icons. You can see an example of it under ideal circumstances at the Better Android website. Here, I show how it can be a bit problematic for some users.

Better Android Keyboard themes at PhoneDog.com

The settings for Better Keyboard can be found in Settings -> Locale & text -> Better Keyboard. Audio and haptic feedback, auto complete, gestures, and auto-capitalization are among the options.

While I definitely think this application deserves a thumbs up, nothing currently beats HTC's keyboard, in my opinion. However, Better Keyboard offers a much simpler installation for those who don't want to spend a lot of time learning about Android hacks.


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