Like a lot of things in Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google’s default keyboard has been given a new Material Design makeover. But you don’t need to wait until Lollipop comes to your device to get yours hands on it, because it’s available to download right now.
The new keyboard has actually been unofficially available since Google I/O back in June, when the Android L preview build was first made available for the Nexus 5. However, you needed root access on your device if you wanted to use it back then. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case.
Setup is incredibly easy — all you need to do is download and install the Lollipop keyboard APK package, which you’ll find via the XDA Developers link below. First, make sure you can install APK files yourself by enabling “unknown sources” from within your security settings.
You may find that after installing the Lollipop keyboard for the first time, it looks no different. That’s because on some devices, the default look (at least with this build) is the same Holo theme that was used in KitKat. But you can dive into the appearance preferences in the keyboard’s settings menu to find the “Material Light” and “Material Dark” themes.
With Lollipop still not available to the public until November 3, this keyboard remains an unofficial release — which is why you won’t find it in Google Play yet. I’ve been using it for a few hours now on my Moto G, and it seems completely smooth and stable so far, however, there are reports that it will crash on some devices if used in landscape mode.