Updated: March 2, 2023 Home » Smartphone and Mobile » Google Android
Who needs a T9 keyboard for their smartphones? I believe a whole new generation of cell phone users doesn’t even know how to use a T9 keypad. The T9 keypad is here to stay, it is useful for smartphones with small screens and the other advantage is speed, because of the large buttons and 9 simple grids, mistakes are not that frequent.
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Being a Nokia user for almost 10 years, moving away from a T9 keyboard system to a full android keyboard and iPhone’s keypad is something I find really hard to adapt to. Not that I am old, it is just that I am used to closing my eyes and typing out SMS. There is no right or wrong, just preferences, some manufacturers do include a T9 keyboard for ‘senior’ mode. For those with tiny hands, the full keyboard on iOS and Android is a perfect match made in heaven.
↓ 01 – A Keyboard
A Keyboard + Emoji Keyboard is a Free to download Keyboard with PREMIUM paid features that can all be earned for free within the application if you follow the instructions, Currently exclusive to Android, it helps you type faster and in the way you are most accustomed to,
Use 3×4(12Key) everywhere from Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, Skype and Line.
↓ 02 – Smart Keyboard Pro
Improve your typing experience on Android with Smart Keyboard Pro, a lightweight yet powerful international keyboard. You will feel at home immediately thanks to dozens of customization options: skin, layout, sound, prediction, smileys, calibration… everything can be personalized to fit your needs! Among the top features of Smart Keyboard Pro, you will find:
- T9 and compact layouts for most languages
- Builtin and downloadable themes (Open Skins)
- Custom text shortcuts (AutoText)
- Voice input
- Easy switching between languages
- Prediction with physical keyboard
- Emoji keyboard
- Self-learning smart dictionary
- Quick actions with gestures
↓ 03 – Old keyboard
The keypad layout as on the old mobile phones. Very suitable for people who have a problem with small keys. Your parents and grandparents now are finally able to write SMS. Upon researching, the Old keyboard is the best T9 keyboard for android. It is still somewhat clustered with additional keys, nonetheless it is still free, almost as good as Nokia’s keypad. Head over to Google marketplace and download this app, it is free. (EvenBetter)NumberPad on the other hand is the closest thing to Nokia’s T9 keypad. However, it cost 3.99 USD.
↓ 04 – Perfect Keyboard Free [ Discontinued ]
Take command of your Android device’s touchpad keypad with a Perfect and smart Keyboard for android. You can customize the look of the keyboard with eight different themes and add additional functionality to your device. Perfect Keyboard lets you use custom dictionaries, control background and text colors, and adjust the keyboard’s vibration density. In short, Perfect Keyboard allows you to set up your Android phone or tablet’s touchpad keyboard so that it works best for you.
- Multi Touch keyboard
- User dictionary, built-in dictionary, International dictionaries (separate downloads from the Market)
- Configurable auto correction
- Redesigned and optimized keyboard layout and style
- Custom vibration intensity (haptic feedback)
- Long press “Enter” key to bring up smiley alternatives
- Long press on “/” key in URL mode to bring up domains (you can configure the domains in the settings to better fit)
- T9/compact layout.
Actually I found the Smart Keyboard Pro even better (than NumberPad) as an ex-Nokia user. If you like entering words such as Stourbridge as multiple T9 words (St our bridge) just hit the T9 button twice each time you want to start a new selection.
You need to go through the settings carefully (eg turn on auto learning) to get the total Nokia environment.
If you could type at the speed of light on a Nokia, you can on Android with this. Thank you so much for showing me this app, you have saved my sanity.
5 Stars for this app.
T9 reminds me of the good old Nokia keypad… fast and can be typed using 1 hand
Smart Keyboard Pro is a fast multitouch keyboard with multi-language support, skins, voice input, T9 and compact mode
It was really hard for me to move from Nokia to Android, I miss the T9 keypad but eventually i got over it.
Qwerty is great for those with Girly fingers rather than manly hands. I have had to keep deleting as I input this.. Now as I type it without deleting and re correcting anythib. I really hops one I’d the phone cpany bring out a new phone that has a alpjanumeric keypag.
Whoa guess you’re still searching for a better 4×3 keyboard by the looks of it ?
I am a girl with girly fingers and a 6″ screen and I still struggle with QWERTY! I’m keen to try a t9 app, to me it seems more user-friendly than a swipe keyboard but we’ll see. I’m pretty new to the smart phone world.
touchpal beats them all.
t9, autolearn, nice skins, multiple lang switch with just a swipe on space, and ability to ADD frequent used symbol combinations like ;) , :-* or <3 even a full emailaddr or phonenumber :D
try it, its free :b
does it have language prediction software so it suggests words when you type the first few letters?
It is fully bloated nowadays unfortunatly, otherwise I agree. It is not fun to get popups each day which can not be turned off, even though they are turned off in the settings.. That keyboard is now the most hated one.
Hi, if you join in the beta program of TouchPal and install the TouchPal lite version you don’t have more annoying ads in screen and no more pop ups, try it!
Adware alert on touchpal
I also like TouchPad but the app is no longer on the play market.. do you know where I can find it?
What is keybord for t9?
I’ve been using smart keyboard pro for a couple years now to support my T9 preference. I’ve always felt it was a bit slow, though, and prone to typos as a result. I’ve been searching for an app with a quicker response, more like Samsung’s keyboard. No luck yet…
Thank you all for your comments… This article has been an oasis. I am in the same position.
If you’ve owned mobiles since before most Smart Phone users were born, then the QWERTY is annoying and slow (ridiculous idea to put a typewriter size keyboard in a handheld device, imho) and the unnecessary junk that comes with most jd board apps now is blocky aimed at children or the unhinged.
Nothing is as fast as a Samsung 3X4 T9 keypad and they were wrong to completely phase it out.
I will try the two apps mentioned above, thank you very much. I am severely visually impaired and a 3X4 really is necessary.
Word of warning: if you have poor vision don’t go near the Messagease. It may have 9 big letters, but the other 17 are so small you can’t read them so can’t even get through the tutorials. I’ve given them feedback but they just got angry.
So this has all been typed using my old Samsung phone, under the desk at work.
I have a S9+ and using 3×4 Samsung keyboard right now. It’s great I just want what I used to have with my last keyboard that lets just say were involved in Illegal activities. Yes.
Hi Mike, I have the S8+ and am trying to configure the 3×4 keyboard that is on the phone so I can use it to type messages and emails but cant seem to get it to do that.
You say you are using it on your S9+ can you give me any pointers as to how you got t configured on your phone.
I totally agree. QWERTY pad is very useful for PC keyboard, but for smartphone is very bad device. Ergonomic failure.
especially for smartphone below 7″ screen, the button become tiny and very hard to touch properly (also capacitive touch make the failure worst, better resistive touch).
With T9 pad, you can touch the button effectively than qwerty. once I did speed test with my friends. They use android qwerty vs me, use T9 old nokia. With same text and emoticon, my speed was twice than them! even triple than Blackberry with very tiny qwerty button.
Honestly, for texting, I prefer to use button pad with T9 than touch screen T9. With button pad, your finger can feel the button you want to push is right or not. Even with my old nokia, I can texting precisely without see the phone!
Oh, wow. I’m so glad i found my soul-brothers and sisters on this page. Martinez, i have exactly the same issue as you. I want my physical button pad T9 mobile but with wifi, whatsapp and other smartphone features. why can’t i get it??
I use Redraw Keyboard, and i think it’s one of the best out there. You can even translate words in real time. You should give it a try ^^
Thanks for this. Qwerty on a phone is ridiculous.
Do any of these support swiping to make words? I’ve installed Smart pro and it doesn’t seem to. Thanks if you know.
I thought I was the only one who wondered where the smart in smartphone was ! Been using a 5.5″ screen android and really struggling with the size ( too big) – missing calls etc . Was seriously thinking about going back to “real buttons” feature phone but you have inspired me to try my older Sony phone (4.2″ screen) with all wifi, 3G etc switched off and using Smartkey Pro T9 keyboard – phone and SMS only.
Been using Perfect Keyboard Pro for years in T9 configuration, although when I had a HTC the proprietary keyboard was really good and I did not feel the need of PK.
LG and Samsung T9 keyboards are decent but not perfect.
I would buy in a heartbeat something like this: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/mobile-accessories/phones/galaxy-s8-keyboard-cover–black-ej-cg950bbegww/ with T9 keyboard instead of QWERTY: all the goods of a smartphone with the physical keyboard of a Nokia 3310…
This calls for a Kickstarter campaign, at least now I know I’m not alone. :-)
Can’t imagine how smart is a smartphone,i’m still using very simple 2g phone nokia c1-01,and am able to do all googling that i need.
Smart keyboard pro is awesome, also been using it for years now. I truly miss my HTC T9 keyboard that I had on my old HTC Desire. How I miss that device :/
GO Keyboard is very good for T9 layout keypad.
I agree. Go Keyboard has been my staple for many years however updates (like Keyboard Pro which I have also used) have not been done for some years now. This will become a problem in the near future as Google has stated it will be removing outdated apps (see https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/06/google-play-will-hide-and-block-downloads-for-outdated-apps-starting-later-this-year/).
The Old Keyboard is terrible because it has no prediction. You have to tap two or three times on each key just to get one letter, which makes it slower than qwerty.
Omg I’m not alone out here!! Kept asking daughter where can I get the old style T9 keyboard with prediction factored in?? How difficult and complicated has life become? Why must we humans continue to make life more and more difficult? T9 predictive text was amazing when new by far the quickest way to write a message etc then along comes the new tecno methods and we take 3 steps backwards (bit like suddenly needing 2 hands to see the time on a new wrist watch?? Push button to light up and view the time? Crazy world!! Or we have to down load 2 apps for a key board! 1 being a platform to launch a key board!! Have really spent hours trying to solve this k board prob I do hope you have all solved my problem cos I don’t honestly have the time in life to tap a key 3 times to produce letter C bye bye the old school app, bye bye the European ther 4 key B apps that cost, or million adverts, platforms etc cheers x
Smart Keyboard Pro has saved my life.
I’m 35 years old and using mobile phones since 1996. I’ve got my first phone with 14, using wap via gprs 2000 the first time…the first “smartphone” was a LG viewty 2009 and nothing is fast and comfortable then the t9 Phonepad Keyboard. The other people always have a look on my keyboard ?
I find t9 much more faster than qwerty input
I have an Android with a big screen but I always type using t 9
Also I am young but I grew up accessing mobile internet trough wap
T 9 with predictive text worked marvellously. It never broke. Why the banishment from all who loved it?
Can someone tell me why I can’t get touchpal on my stylo 3(?) anymore? Yes, I know. I need to upgrade.
Smart Keyboard Pro is the best I ave ever used and still in use. But I learnt it is no longer being updated by the developer. I am not happy that no features are being included again.
The above article is not accurate. T9 means that it should have “Predictive” capability. A keyboard can be a 3 x 4 keyboard but not necessarily a T9 keyboard. The Old Keyboard app presented in this article is a 3 x 4 keyboard but it does not have T9 capability. I’ve installed it at the Google Play Store and it is not a T9 keyboard. Just wanted to clarify for the benefit of the readers.
What I want is simple: A phone that can dial out by using a standard 10-key layout.
Why has Perfect Keyboard Free been banished? I really, really miss it ☹
TouchPal problem solved with Netguard. I use an old .apk of it (com.cootek.smartinputv5 5163 126.96.36.199) that i saved long ago, not trusting the market. Nowadays I discovered Netguard, who can block internet acces on any app even without a rooted phone. So I downloaded the necessary dictionaries (and a bunch of other common world languages – who knows the future?) and saved them all. Then I reset my phone (and debloat with Uad), install Netguard and lockdown internet access, install TouchPal, copy language folder into correct path, and TouchPal does not load anything anymore!!
I really wish a community effort to get a real T9 like TouchPal apk for FOSS stores like F-Droid (no trackers, no ads) and build those dictionaries together.