Keyboard Settings on Your Android Tablet

By Dan Gookin

Quite a few options are available for the Google Keyboard on your Android tablet, some of which enable special features and others which supposedly make the onscreen typing experience more enjoyable.

Getting keyboard feedback

The onscreen keyboard can help with your typing by generating haptic feedback. This is either in the form of a pleasing click sound or by vibrating the tablet. To check these settings, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Language & Input.

    Samsung tablets keep the Language and Input item on either the General or Controls tab in the Settings app.

  3. Choose Google Keyboard.

  4. Choose Preferences.

    The two items that control haptic feedback are Vibrate on Keypress and Sound on Keypress.

  5. 5Use the master control to set vibration and sound options.

On Samsung tablets, tap the Settings icon by Samsung keyboard. You’ll then find check boxes for Sound and Vibration.

Not every tablet features vibration.

Ensuring that predictive text is active

Predictive text is on all the time when you use the Google Keyboard. Not every Android tablet uses that keyboard, so to ensure that the feature is active, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Language & Input.

    On Samsung tablets, you may have to first tap the General or Controls tab to locate the Language and Input item.

  3. Tap the item Google Keyboard.

    On Samsung tablets, tap the Settings icon by the Samsung Keyboard item.

  4. Ensure that the item Predictive Text is active.

    On some tablets, place a check mark by that item; on others, slide the master control to the On position.

If your tablet doesn’t show the Predictive Text item, it’s most likely on all the time and can’t be turned off. Do ensure that the Next-Word Suggestions item is active: On the Google Keyboard Settings screen, tap Text Correction and then confirm that the master control by the item Next-Word Suggestions is in the On position.

Activating keyboard gestures

Gesture typing allows you to create words by swiping your finger over the onscreen keyboard. This feature may not be active on your tablet. To ensure that it is, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Language & Input.

  3. Choose Google Keyboard.

  4. Choose Gesture Typing.

  5. Ensure that all the Master Control icons are set to the On position.

    Only the Enable Gesture Typing item needs to be enabled, although activating the other items does enhance the experience.

For some Samsung tablets, the setting is called Keyboard Swipe. Activate it from the Samsung Keyboard Settings screen by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the General Tab.

    On some Galaxy Tabs, tap the Controls tab if you can’t find Language and Input on the General tab.

  3. Choose Language and Input.

  4. Tap the Settings icon by Samsung Keyboard.

  5. Choose Keyboard Swipe.

    This item might be called SwiftKey Flow on older Samsung tablets. Also be aware that not every Galaxy Tab offers this feature.

  6. Tap the item Continuous Input.

Turning on dictation

Voice input should be active on all Android tablets, but that’s no guarantee. The secret is to find the Dictation (Microphone) icon on the keyboard.

On some Samsung keyboards, long-press the Multifunction key to locate the Dictation icon.

When you can find the Dictation key, and before you defenestrate the tablet in frustration, follow these steps to ensure that this feature is active:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Language & Input.

    Samsung tablets title this item Language and Input, and it’s found on the Controls tab or on the General tab.

  3. Ensure that Google Voice Typing is listed; if a check box is available, ensure that a check mark is in the box.

    If not, tap the box to place a check mark there.

The Microphone key now appears on the onscreen keyboard.