Android 2.3 (Gingerbeard) contains a new revised keyboard with a new look, which supposedly to be easier to use and improve typing speed on the Android mobile smartphone devices.

Most Android devices on the market right now is running on either Android OS 2.1 or Android OS 2.2 (Froyo). If you own a Android machine which running (or upgraded to) Android 2.2 operating system, try the following hack to port and install Android 2.3 Gingerbread keyboard interface onto any Android device running Android Froyo 2.2 operating system.

Note: The Android device must be rooted prior to installing the new layout on-screen keyboard.

  1. Important: Create a backup of the phone, including LatinIME.apk from /system/app folder.
  2. Download the hack files: GingerBreadLatinIME.zip.
  3. Copy the file to the root folder of SD Card on the phone.
  4. For Droid X and Droid 2 only, navigate to Clockwork -> Mounts and Storage -> Mount System.
  5. Boot into recovery mode.
  6. Install the .ZIP package.
  7. Reboot the device.
  8. Select “Android Keyboard” under Input Method to activate the new keyboard.

The hack is not perfect though. Some functionality is missing, such as auto-complete. In addition, some Droid X (DX) users are reportedly been shown a miniature version of keyboard, which is practically useless.

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