Kika Keyboard Takes on Google and Microsoft

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Kika Keyboard takes on Google and Microsoft

Recently, I was asked to review the Kika Keyboard for Android devices and compare it to Google Gboard,
Microsoft SwiftKey, and a lesser-known similar product..  Kika has been ranked a top productivity app in
more than 77 countries. With 400 M downloads and 60M MAU, the company stands out with an ever-
growing engagement rate of 120 times per day per person, which is equivalent to 50 minutes a day. So
read more to hear about this battle royale of Android keyboards. Can Kika defend its #1 Android keyboard
rating from the Google Play Store?

Let me say right away that this review is going to be a little different that most of the other ones I do.  As part of my testing I had a list of items to check out and my review will cover some of them. I reviewed each of these apps using an Acer Android tablet. So lets dig in!

Download and Activation

The first thing I looked at was how easy it was to download the keyboard apps from the app store and activate them on my device.  Searching in the Google Play Store I was able to easily find each of the keyboard apps and download them without any trouble.  The next thing I needed to do was measure how long it took to download each app.  I timed each app using the stopwatch on my computer from the moment I tapped the “install” button, to the moment it changed to “open”. The results were varied. Here are my timing results:

Keyboard Dl Time
Kika Keyboard 35 seconds
Google GBoard 39 seconds
Microsoft Swiftkey 42 seconds
Other Keyboard 30 seconds

The next metric I looked at was the number of clicks it took to activate each keyboard. So for this
measurement, I first opened up Evernote or I clicked in the Google search bar. Then, I looked to see how many clicks it took to activate the keyboard and have it pop-up on the screen. The results of this test are
as follows:

Keyboard Clicks to Activate
Kika Keyboard 5 clicks
Google GBoard 5 clicks
Other Keyboard 5 clicks
Microsoft Swiftkey 7 clicks

Keyboard Functionality

For the next phase of the review I moved on to testing the functionality of each app.  Just like the Download and Activation portion this app has a certain set of metrics to look at as well.

Predictive Accuracy and Contextual Accuracy

Predictive and Contextual Accuracy is the first thing I looked at. I must say, I was happily surprised that
each of these apps did extremely well. To test this, I used Evernote and started typing a bunch of
random sentences. Some of the sentences made sense like, “The big red ball is red and bouncy” or “I
liked Chocolate Ice Cream with whipped cream”. For other sentences, I purposely made them into
random nonsense like, “Eating Shoe Orange Pickle Car” or “Monkeys rubber chicken tent beaver.” They
sound silly, but what I was trying to see is if the keyboards would try to complete the sentences or allow
me to type anything without suggestions. I also tried to trip up each keyboard by misspelling and leaving
out words. For the most part, each of the apps made proper suggestions and helped add on to
sentences based on contextual or spelling corrections. There was also no unnecessary suggestions
provided in circumstances where no obvious suggestion was needed.

The auto-correct accuracy was the greatest amongst all the apps. From what I observed, complexity
didn’t cause trouble at all for any of the keyboards. The suggestions were accurate and made sense.
The only time any of the keyboards had trouble, was with spelling names of people or certain places
which understandably, the app wouldn’t really be able to know anyway.

 Ease of access to Themes, Stickers, Emojis, and GIFs

This is where there was a difference between most of the apps. The clear winner here is Kika Keyboard.
The two winners in this category are the Kika Keyboard and TouchPal Keyboard. The interface to turn on
Stickers, Emojis, and GIFs within the keyboard worked very smoothly. After testing Kika, I went on to test
SwiftKey. It was easy to use Emojis and GIFs, but looking for keyboard themes took some searching
around the setting screen. I finally found the themes by tapping the menu and paintbrush icon, then
swiping left to reveal a button to “View more themes”. I didn’t even know I was looking at the themes to
begin with. Lastly, I tested the Google GBoard and while it worked fine, I was disappointed to see that I
was limited to using only Emoji’s. I was pretty impressed with the Kika Keyboard’s features and was
definitely shocked by the lack of features by the Google GBoard.

Swipe Typing Capability

A lot of keyboard apps have swipe-typing capabilities these days. In fact, it’s almost expected to be a
feature. The Kika Keyboard, SwiftKey, and Google GBoard all had great swipe-typing capabilities. Each
worked as expected and was fast and smooth when typing. All of the apps were accurate and quick as
well. The one keyboard app that didn’t enable swipe-typing was the lesser-known keyboard. I tried to
swipe with it a few times but couldn’t get it to work, so I’m assuming it doesn’t have a swipe-typing
functionality.

Language Support

Obviously mobile phones are used by people who speak other languages besides English. Multiple
language support is needed in keyboards to handle other languages. I looked at each keyboard and
found that all, except the SwiftKey keyboard, had language support. If SwiftKey does have language
support, it wasn’t apparent to me while I was using it. All the other apps made it simple and easy to add
other languages to the keyboard.

Advertisement Intrusion

Another pleasant surprise was that all of the keyboards seemed to be advertisement-free for the most
part. This was surprising to me because users typically pay the price of free apps by dealing with
advertisements. This to me, is not a big deal since it doesn’t interfere with the functionality of the
keyboard itself.

Overall Opinion

Overall I feel that the Kika Keyboard application is definitely a viable competitor to all the other keyboards listed in this review. The features offered are competitive with all the keyboards and in some cases more advanced.  The download time and activation is quick and simple.  With multiple themes and language support users get plenty of variety and ability to communicate in pretty much any language.  Bottom line is I highly recommend the Kika Keyboard for anyone looking for a multi-featured keyboard app and think you should go to the Google Play Store and check it out today!

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