FlorisBoard | FOSS keyboard that respects your privacy ( florisboard.org )

I came across everyday topic on Techlore Discussions about free and open source keyboards for Android and discovered this little gem. It is FlorisBoard, a virtual keyboard for Android which respects privacy of the user. I can sigh with relief and finish my search for that singular keyboard for typing stuff on the go.

It has everything I need and more.

  • Multilanguage support: detailed layout options, popular presets
  • Swift and glide typing experience
  • Customizable gestures: switch language by fast swiping the keyboard itself left and right, change case by swiping up, the infamous cursor swipe on space bar
  • Emojis
  • Clipboard
  • Smartbar: quick actions and clipboard cursor tools
  • One-handed mode
  • Other look-and-feel settings
lazynooblet ,
@lazynooblet@lazysoci.al avatar

Why isn’t it on the play store, does that cost the developer?

vintprox ,
vintprox avatar

I hope to impose a better question: why would it not cost the developer? $25 may be a steal for some, but I don't think a proprietary store really deserves so much attention from primarily FOSS developer.

lazynooblet ,
@lazynooblet@lazysoci.al avatar

I’d like to use it by my phone is supplied by work and blocks side-loading. Oh well.

vintprox ,
vintprox avatar

This is terrible news. :( Sorry to hear that work makes you download from proprietary store front. I suppose, expecting phones with LineageOS, CalyxOS, GrapheneOS, etc given for work purposes is a bit much at this moment, but at least side-loading should be provided if we're to avoid monopoly. To me, it's never healthy if organization is fixated on using only the single app kit for everything.

h_a_r_u_k_i ,
@h_a_r_u_k_i@programming.dev avatar

Cool. Now I just needs a Japanese keyboard and I can finally ditch Gboard.

qyron ,

Why not just Simple Keyboard?

Acamon ,

Does it do emoji predictions? I’ve got a few relationships that use a lot of emoji in chats, and the ability tomjusy type ‘salute’, ‘sad’, ‘kiss’ etc and get the emoji without scrolling through a library is what’s keeping me on Swiftkey.

vintprox ,
vintprox avatar

Sadly, not yet. (Also missing this feature.)

cyberwolfie ,

Genuine question: is there any way for any keyboard application to be privacy disrespecting if their internet access is blocked off by a firewall?

kattenluik ,

I’m going to take a guess and say that it might be possible for it to still be, for example GBoard may share info with the other Google apps who then share it with the world.

Otherwise, if it’s completely blocked from the outside world? Definitely not.

cyberwolfie ,

Do you know if there is any way to check and potentially also block inter-app communications like that?

kattenluik ,

I’m sure there’s some way to monitor that using ADB or another tool, but at that point you’re wasting so so much time that you should just get an open source trusted app.

wolre ,

May try it out if I can get over the fact that I won’t have multi language support without switching manually anymore. I’ve been trying to move away from SwiftKey, but as someone who typed regularly in 3 (occasionally 4) languages and switches between them quite a lot, it’s a feature that I’m not sure I can live without. So far I haven’t seen any FOSS keyboards supporting multi language in such a seamless way.

YodaDaCoda ,

Dunno how SwiftKey does it, but florisboard allows you to switch language by swiping, check out the demo video in OP

PrimalHero ,
@PrimalHero@kbin.social avatar

SwiftKey you don't need to switch language. If both languages use the same same alphabet you can use both of them interchangeable without doing anything. For people that use multiple languages it's very useful.

csolisr ,

Can FlorisBoard implement the same thing? As a Spanish/English user, having both keyboard predictions available at once has become vital for my workflow

interdimensionalmeme ,

Adios gboard !

rufus ,

Why are the versions of FlorisBoard and OpenBoard, available on F-Droid so old? I really don’t like to download important apps from a github release page and keep everything updated manually…

Knusper ,

F-Droid has the most up-to-date versions (v0.3.16 and v1.4.5). Both of these just haven’t seen a release in a while, although the FlorisBoard developer seems to have recently returned.

uuhhhhmmmm ,

Check out Obtainium

glacier ,
@glacier@lemmy.blahaj.zone avatar

They haven’t been updated in a while. Luckily there is a fork of openboard that is being updated and works quite well: github.com/Helium314/openboard You can easily install and update it with Obtainium.

folak ,
library_napper ,
@library_napper@monyet.cc avatar

Is there any way to tap on a word after typing a message (while proofreading before sending) and get alternate suggestions?

The absence of this is why I left FlorisBoard.

FurtiveFugitive ,

Doesn’t appear so in the version i just grabbed from fdroid.

mojo ,

It was abandoned for almost a year, glad to see commits picking up again. Though the latest beta/stable releases are still incredibly outdated and broken, so not really in a usable state with the incomplete auto correct.

sayitghoul ,

The other problem with FOSS keyboards is that development always dies off with no more updates.

This makes it a non starter for me

vintprox OP ,

Exactly because the thing is FOSS, that becomes possible for more people with enough qualifications to resume it. In proprietary case, only very limited circle gets to touch the source code. We’re probably witnessing a curse with virtual keyboards in FOSS, like some niche kinds of software…

loki ,

There are a lot of “open source enthusiasts”, but not enough “open source contributors”

hdzki ,

FlorisBoard kinda died off for a year as patrickgold tried to implement statistical NLP suggestions. Thankfully, quite recently he opened up developments for contributors and people looking to help with the project on a long-term basis.

SnokenKeekaGuard ,
@SnokenKeekaGuard@lemmy.dbzer0.com avatar

I always loved swipe typing so much, its the one non foss thing i miss so much. Currently typing off of florisboard, but until we have word recommendations (next big release i think, tho probably a long ways away still) and even a little better swipe typing I cant say a gboard foss alternate is good enough.

Funnily enough i loved keypass 2 androids built in keyboard and would use that if the ui was better, plus swipe typing again. Atleast florisboard can understand most longer words.

But having tried every foss keyboard I can comfortably say, i like floris board the most.

CannotSleep420 ,
@CannotSleep420@lemmygrad.ml avatar

I’ve found AnySoft keyboard to have decent enough swipe support as well as word predictions. The only complaints I have about it is that the keyboard sometimes shrinks to a weird size if you use autorotate and its word predictions don’t support contractions.

TheSun ,

Have you tried AnySoftKeyboard? It has solid word predictions and the swiping works great… available on fdroid

SnokenKeekaGuard ,
@SnokenKeekaGuard@lemmy.dbzer0.com avatar

I have, can’t remember what I didnt like there lol. Its been a while

lemmyvore ,

Not OP but AnySoftKeyboard’s word prediction is not as good as GBoard’s. Especially when you need to use two languages, there nothing even comes close to GBoard unfortunately.

Mars2k21 ,
@Mars2k21@kbin.social avatar

I've been using it for a couple years now. It's been a good experience, and it works completely as a keyboard. Customization is great, and there are a lot of implemented features thay have made it my go-to Android keyboard.

I switched from Gboard since I wanted to use an open source alternative for something as simple as a keyboard. It works fine as a basic keyboard, although its a bit unpolished otherwise. Swipe typing is buggy and there hasn't been many updates recently. I don't expect a ton from an open source keyboard to begin with, but this one provides a lot and could be even better if it starts being developed often again. It feels unfinished in its current state.

It used to have text suggestions, but now they are gone for me. Not sure what happened. I'd have to check again, but I'm not sure if they were taken out a while back or something.

Flawed, but it its awesome to have an open source keyboard with this much capability.

Penguinblue ,

Swipe typing is not great. I come back to it every few months to try it again and always end up frustrated. It's good if you are a tap typer, though.

NathanUp ,
@NathanUp@lemmy.ml avatar

Swipe typing is brutal

txtsd ,

It needs to be so precise!

janguv ,

This is my problem with every keyboard (FOSS or otherwise) since Swype finished. Gboard is the best of the bunch now but I’m loath to use it. I have tried Floris and Open (a fork of it which has swiping) and others, and they are all painful on this front.

vintprox ,
vintprox avatar

What you guys call "swipe typing" is actually a glide typing, right?

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