The N Is For New: Android Keyboard Shortcuts

A few days ago the first alpha build of the Android N preview arrived for the Nexus 5X, 6/6P, 9, Player and the Pixel C. Naturally over the next few days we’ll be finding plenty of lovely new features and optimisations. If you want to see my current top 5 features in a quick video, you can do so here.

So let’s kick things off with something I am already using far too often, much to the annoyance of those on the receiving end. Keyboard Shortcuts. These allow you to assign anything from frequently used pieces of HTML code, phrases or emoticons to your keyboard with a shortcut word. Simply type that shortcut and your phrase/emoticon will appear in the suggestion bar. As a heavily addicted emoticon user, this has pleased me greatly. Gone are the days of my keeping a Keep note with them all in for me to copy and paste into the conversation with the hapless recipient.

The only thing missing from this feature is backup and syncing capabilities. It would be really nice if the shortcuts I made on my phone appeared on my tablet automatically, or have them survive a reset or ROM change. But then again, this is the first alpha build so this could be added in later on.

How are you liking this feature? Are there ways that you think it should be improved? If so, please let us know and feel free to ask us any questions about other aspects of the Android N preview.