Guess what we’ve got for you today. Some Android 4.2 goodness for you to try out in the form of the new Gesture based with the hovering suggestions that the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 have. The folks over at Droid Life have managed to put up an apk file as well as a flashable zip file of the new Android 4.2 keyboard that has apparently been pulled from a Nexus 4 system dump.
The apk seems to be from an early build, and the floating predictions may not look as they sharp as they actually appeared in some of the Nexus 4 demo videos, but I can say from personal experience after having installed it that it works smoothly, accurately, and is by far the best Android keyboard ever made available to date – period. It automatically predicts the next logical word in a sentence, picks references to names from your contact list so you don’t have to spell them out by typing the letters individually, and the floating predictions look uber-cool. Perfect show off material!
Here’s how you can install it on your device. You need to be on Android 4.0 or higher though. Assuming you are, there are two methods of installing the new 4.2 keyboard, depending on what kind of a ROM you are running on your device.
How to install the Android 4.2 Keyboard – Method 1
If you’re on a phone with a custom UI like Touchwiz, or HTC Sense or Sony’s Xperia UI that has the stock keyboard disabled, you can just download the file from the link below and install it like any other apk file. You do not need to be rooted, but you do need to make sure you have “Install from unknown sources” enabled in your phone settings.
Once you have installed the apk file, just enable “Android keyboard.” from the Language and Input section in Settings, and switch to the new keyboard.
How to install the Android 4.2 Keyboard – Method 2
If Method 1 doesn’t work, you’re probably using a ROM that is based on stock Android (AOSP, AOKP), or you are using stock Android on a Nexus device. In this case, you’ll need to download the ZIP file below, and flash it through CWM recovery. Which also means that you need to be rooted, as the zip file will flash the new keyboard to your /system/apps folder. Before you flash the new keyboard, it is recommended that you back up just the stock keyboard OR to be on the safer side, perform a full backup of the system image in CWM recovery.
Once you have finished flashing the zip file in recovery, just reboot your device, and activate the new Android 4.2 keyboard from the Language and Input option in your phone settings.
Go ahead and check it out. It’s really cool to use, and installation is a cinch. And don’t forget to let us know how you liked it.