Google has released
a Hindi Input app for Android phones that also supports transliteration. The app allows users to type Hindi words in English characters, converting them into Hindi (Devanagari script). The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, and installed as the default keyboard on devices running Android 2.2 or later versions. However, the app will only work if the phone already includes support for Devanagari characters.
The app sports a toggle button to enable transliteration, following which the keyboard converts English characters to Hindi automatically, in addition to giving other word suggestions. The transliteration mode can be turned off to convert the keyboard into an English keyboard. In addition to transliteration, the app also features a Hindi keyboard with consonants being alphabetically ordered into 2 pages, while long pressing a key gives access to other forms of a character.
We tried using the keyboard and found it to be accurate in converting English characters to Hindi words. The transliteration mode is pretty useful and makes the experience of typing in Hindi less cumbersome as one doesn't need to spend time figuring out different characters and combine them to frame a word.
Google was already offering a web based English to Hindi transliteration tool and a Chrome extension. It also offers transliteration tools for Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Urdu, Bangla and Marathi, among others. We hope Google also releases similar keyboards for other Indic languages. Release notes:
- Toggle the button "a" on English keyboard to turn on/off transliteration mode.
- In the transliteration mode, you can type Hindi word in English characters and the app will convert them to Hindi.
- By turning off the transliteration mode on English keyboard, you can type in English.
- Toggle the globe button to switch between English and Hindi keyboard
- Consonants are alphabetically ordered into 2 pages. Press the paging button "1/2" "2/2" to navigate between pages. Long press the character key to select various forms in the popup.