Friday Fix: Android keyboard not working

I have a Samsung Epic 4G. A really old-ass Android phone. Fortunately for me, Android is an open platform and a very talented pool of hackers and coders have created a vibrant non-commercial ecosystem.

Case in point, I am running Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) on a phone that Samsung never intended to get past Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). The features this opened up to me (running apps that previously were blocked, Google cards, enhance system customizability, etc)  made the phone feel as though it were brand new!

Now, to clarify, I am running the very popular cyanogenmod ROM. Currently running version 10. I could go into a whole other blog post about the bluetooth and memory issues I experienced in CM 10.1, but I just want to get to the fix I needed to get CM10 running smoothly.

I immediately started experiencing issues with the software keyboard after I loaded the gapps package for CM10. I was continually getting the error message, “Unfortunately, Android keyboard (AOSP) has stopped working”  popping up everytime I tapped on something that needed text input. This practically made the phone unusable. Fortunately, the Epic has a hardware keyboard and I was able to find a workaround.

First, you will need to download some alternative keyboard app. I had purchased SwiftKey a while ago when it was on sale, so I just added that to my phone again. I imagine that you can install your keyboard app of choice.

Select Menu (hardware key) -> System Settings – > “Language & input”

language & input

Select Language & input

Select SwiftKey or whatever keyboard app you downloaded

Select alternative keyboard app

Select SwiftKey or other keyboard app

Notice that the Android keyboard (AOSP) can’t be unchecked. This is a problem. Even though the SwiftKey keyboard now appears whenever a keyboard is needed, the Android keyboard is still being opened too. The error message is still appearing. This can be fixed by disabling the Android keyboard app.

In order to do this:

From the Home screen:

Select Menu (hardware key) -> Manage Apps

Swipe all the way to the right until “ALL” app list is displayed, and navigate to the list until “Android keyboard (AOSP)” is displayed

Navigate to Android keyboard (AOSP)

Navigate to Android keyboard (AOSP)

Select the Android keyboard to bring up its properties. Then select ‘Disable’.

Disable Android Keyboard (AOSP)

Disable Android Keyboard (AOSP)

This will deactivate the keyboard and thus, Android won’t continue to try to open the broken keyboard.

I haven’t had a keyboard error message since I have done this.

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