How to change keyboards on Android devices

For organizations that utilize touchscreen only devices such as the Zebra TC21 or TC72, users may still desire an onscreen keyboard for input. While the stock Gboard that ships with the devices is often adequate for minor use, all the bells and whistles such as GIFs and Voice to Text take up screen space. Using another keyboard option can present less complexity on screen. The following instructions will walk you through the process of downloading, installing, and configuring a new keyboard option on the device. While Panatrack does not direct users to any specific keyboard option, we will list a few apps that have been tested.

Download a Keyboard from the Play Store

Keyboards can be downloaded directly from the Google Play Store, which offers a variety of options from simple to complex options. Panatrack has had experience with several keyboard applications including Simple Keyboard and Hackers Keyboard. While each app has advantages and disadvantages, our team recommends testing options and consulting with users before a company wide deployment. Using the different options on keyboards can change their sizes, screen position, long press options and more. The removal of GIF options is often popular among Panatrack users since it is tricky to add ‘Shocked Pikachu’ as a GP Item.


Enable New Keyboard

Once your new keyboard is installed on your device it may auto open and direct you to follow these steps. If not, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Open the Settings on your device selecting it from the apps drawer or from the pull-down notifications and settings bar.
  2. Scroll down and tap System.
  3. Select Languages & input.
  4. Select Virtual keyboard.
  5. Select Manage keyboards.
  6. Tap the toggle next to the keyboard you just downloaded.
  7. Tap OK.
  8. Open your keyboard in any app such as Chrome, Google Search, or Panatrack.
  9. Select the Keyboard options button that is presented in the notification tray or in the lower navigation bar (depending on the Manufacturer)
  10. Select the keyboard you want to use.

Test and Deploy

Once your keyboard has been installed and configured with any options you may have set, it is time to test. Panatrack recommends selecting one or two users to try out the new layout and provide feedback. Once the initial kinks are worked out and users are comfortable the remaining devices can be installed and configured. As the new keyboard rolls out, check in with your other users and make sure that they like the solution and are not having any issues with it. With newer technology and incremental changes in the workplace, especially for employees in a warehouse or stockroom, it can be hard to ask for assistance on something considered ‘simple’. Organizations may find that offering two different keyboard options works even better depending on the use cases of business groups.

To learn more about scanner options and the Panatrack solutions, Contact Us.

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