How To: Get Android's New "L" Keyboard on Your HTC One or Other Android Device

Get Android's New "L" Keyboard on Your HTC One or Other Android Device

Google has finally announced the newest flavor of its mobile OS, Android L (Lollipop?), and I couldn't be more excited. While we won't see its official release until the fall, there are still some features we can get our hands on right now.

Most of the Google Apps require you to have a Nexus device, like the Nexus 5 or Nexus 7, to see the new Material Design UI, but that is certainly not the case for the Google keyboard.

The Google Keyboard that was included in the preview build released today has been successfully ported and should work on most devices running Android 4.3 and above.

Update: June 30, 2014

The latest version of Google Keyboard now includes the new design, right from the Play Store. While the update has begun rolling out, it may be a few days until you see it on your device.

Fret not, I've got you covered. Just download and install the app directly from here:

End Update

Non-Root Method for Most Devices

There are two methods to installing this. The first is a simple modded application file that will work on just about all devices. Simply enable "Unknown sources" and install the .apk, created by XDA member asdfzz, directly from this link.

After the app is installed, skip down to Step 3 to finish things up.

Root Method for Nexus and GPE Devices

The second is for devices that ship with the Google Keyboard, like Nexuses and Google Play Edition HTC Ones. Pulled by XDA user bejunk, this method does require you to have a device with a custom recovery, though, so keep that in mind before getting started.

Step 1: Download the Google Keyboard ZIP

Download the directly on to your device, so we can install it via TWRP. After the download finishes, reboot into recovery mode by pressing and holding the Power and Volume Down buttons for 15 seconds, and selecting Recovery from the bootloader menu.

Step 2: Flashing the Keyboard

Tap Install from the TWRP main menu and select the .zip file you downloaded earlier. Swipe to Flash, and after it's done, Reboot.

Step 3: Activate Material Design Color Scheme

Now that you are rebooted the keyboard will be ready to go, but it will not have the new Material Design look to it. To activate it, open your Settings app and tap Language & keyboard. From there, tap Google Keyboard and change the Color Scheme in Advanced Settings to Material.

You also have a white and blue color scheme, but those look identical to previous versions of Google Keyboard.

Other Features in L's Google Keyboard

The new keyboard also comes with Phrase Gesture typing, which allows you to utilize the space bar when gesture typing to continue on to a new word. There is also an emoji shortcut added to the Enter key on the bottom right of the keyboard that is activated with a long-press.


If you find the keyboard force-closing, that means you are missing a .lib file, so to fix it, download this file and place it in /system/lib. You will need a file explorer with root permission like ES File Explorer to do this, though.

After you copy it over to your .lib folder, you will also need to change the files permissions. To do that, tap and hold and select Properties from the overflow menu. Make sure the permissions read rw-r-r, then reboot your device.

Bonus: New Wallpapers & Sounds

Also included in the preview build of Android L were new wallpapers and system sounds. The wallpapers can be downloaded and placed anywhere in your internal storage, but the sounds need to be put in their appropriate folders.

After extracting the file, you will need to place the files in each of their corresponding folders in /system/media/audio/. I used ES File Explorer again to move them over, but keep in mind this does require root permission.

Alternatively, you can just place the notifications and ringtones in the Notifications and Ringtones folder in your internal storage if you do not have root access.

By no means will this give you the complete Android L experince, but it should be enough to hold you off until its official release. Keep checking back to find more Android L goodness and leave us a comment if you find anything yourself!

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.


Hey I got an error msg trying to install the apk file.
File existing with same name signature conflict

Just converted my phone to GPE HTC One everything works except this apk......and I didn't check off unknown sources

Any suggestions

Since you have a GPE phone you have a google keyboard app already installed to your system apps. That means this apk cannot overwrite it and therefore can only be installed via the root method.

I did check it off lol auto correct

Where did you get the Sense 6 themed TWRP?

downloaded zip and flashed successfully .so file already exists with rw-r-r permissions

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest