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Tip: Change Keyboard Themes in Ice Cream Sandwich Without Root


When the Ice Cream Sandwich SDK first dropped and developers started building ROMs from it, a couple of the releases included a keyboard theme switcher. You could easily toggle between the old Gingerbread keyboard, the new ICS one, a “Stone” colored ‘board, and even a basic grey version. Once Android 4.0 was released on phones though, the theme chooser disappeared, sort of. It’s still embedded in Android, but you have to find it by using an app such as AnyCut that allows you to search your phone’s available activities. 

To switch keyboards themes:

1.  Download and install AnyCut.
2.  Open AnyCut and create a “New shortcut.”
3.  Choose “Activity”  and then find and select “Android keyboard Debug settings.”
4.  Name the shortcut whatever you like and then find it placed on your home screen.
5.  Open the shortcut, tap “Keyboard theme” and then pick a theme.
6.  Open a text box and enjoy!

*H/T to AnandTech for the “hidden” menu reminder.

  • Anonymous

    I’m unable to open the application. On my Galaxy Nexus it shows a small great box in the lower left hand corner and nothing else…

    • Uncheck the box to Force GPU Rendering.  I had a ton of apps that used to do this until I randomly unchecked this and they started working again.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Smart Keyboard Pro.. forget these stock keyboards

    • LionStone

      yep, yep…rockin the Galaxy keyboard…good stuff!

  • Anonymous

    Hm… this can be used to open Rocket Launcher, right?

  • Tyler

    Still prefer the ICS keyboard. Just need developers to be able make new themes for the keyboard.

  • Ted Zoller

    Still using FlexT9 keyboard….

  • Anonymous

    swype ftw

  • Mack

    Just tried this in CM7 out of curiosity and it worked!

    • Guest

      The only theme CM7 doesn’t have is ice cream sandwich. for obvious reasons. All other themes are the same though. 

  • Anonymous

    Tried ’em all for a quick min… I’m back to the ICS keyboard. Still a fun option though.

  • U Mad Bro? No But Your Mom Is

    Awesome, and thanx! And something cool to note here, unlike the stock keyboard, when I choose another one it doesn’t do that whole annoying lag that it normally does in horizontal mode. 

  • Anonymous

    I wish SOPA would censor the stone theme. *gags*

  • Anonymous

    Ugly themes
    Achievent unlocked

    • mostwant3d1

      Spelling Fail

  • PC_Tool

    Is there an app like anycut that just lists the activities and lets you launch one?  (Without creating a stupid shortcut you’ll never friggin’ use again)

  • the gingerbread keyboard seems to type faster..

  • Anonymous

    Whenever I open the app it looks like this. It also does it when I open app protector pro and two other apps. I though the apps were just not optimized for ICS but what gives??

    • Turn off “force GPU rendering” and it should fix it. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Hahahaha thanks guys.

    • PC_Tool

      Either disable compatibility in developer settings, or uncheck “Force  GPU Rendering”.

      Grr…ninja’d by Kellex. Curses!

      • I was having the same problem with this and a couple of other apps.  Thanks for the easy fix!

  • Anonymous

    pretty cool

  • yay!!!