How often do you type an email or text on your Android device and see the predictive text appear just above the top row... only your word isn't there. Why not? Who knows. But there's a little hidden feature that might make your life a bit easier and the predictive text a bit more intelligent.
When you type out a word, the suggestions are typically pretty solid (Figure A).
Suggested words on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.
But if the word you're looking for isn't there, or you're hoping for a better word to use, what do you do? Simple, you long-press one of the suggested words to see a pop-up of possible choices to select from (Figure B).
A pop-up from the word Steam.
There are two caveats to using this:
- The same pop-up will appear, no matter what suggested word you long-press
- Words in your personal dictionary will not appear in the pop-up
If you find the perfect word for your sentence, tap it, and it will appear in your missive. What's really interesting about this system is that you can actually enter an entire sentence (maybe even email or text) simply by long-pressing suggested words and tapping the word you want. I managed to type out an entire paragraph with this method, although it doesn't make perfect sense unless you skew reality just a bit (Figure C).
An entire paragraph from predictive text.
If you don't like this feature, you can turn it off. Simple follow these steps:
- Open Settings
- Tap on Language & input
- Tap on Google Keyboard (assuming this is the keyboard you use)
- Tap on Text correction
- Tap to disable Next-word suggestions (Figure D)
Turning off Next-word suggestions.
The good thing about next-word suggestions is that, for the most part, they don't get in the way of using the keyboard or entering your text. However, if you want to disable the feature, you can.
Typing on your Android mobile device gets easier with every iteration of the platform. Have you found a means to make your mobile typing even easier? If so, let us know in the discussion thread below.
- Pro tip: Add the numbers row in the Lollipop keyboard for more efficient typing
- Convert your scribbles to text with Google's Handwriting Input app
- Logitech K480: The last mobile keyboard you'll ever need
- Create Android keyboard shortcuts for words that you use frequently
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.