One of the (many) great things about Android is that it's so customisable. Sometimes it's hard to know where to go to change settings, though, so here we explain how to turn off predictive text on Android and how to set other keyboard preferences. See also: best Android phones you can buy in 2016
We're using a Moto G with Android Lollipop here, and the Google Keyboard, but the process is largely the same for KitKat and other keyboards you may be using. The process has slightly changed in Android N, so we've added additional instructions for newer users where necessary - we also use Android N in the above tutorial video.
How to turn off predictive text on Android
Drag down from the top of the screen twice if you have a recent iteration of Android to bring up the quick settings. Then tap the cog icon to open the settings menu. On other phones, it might be a slightly different route to settings, but you can always check the app tray for the Settings app and pin it to your home screen if you want a really quick way to change settings.
Scroll down to Language & input and tap on it. Under the sub-heading Keyboard & input methods you will see which keyboard you are currently using and - not so obviously - the settings for it beneath that: the menu item states the name of the keyboard and the language. If you're running Android N, tap Virtual Keyboard.
Tap on the name of the keyboard - in this case Google Keyboard and you will see all the available settings. To turn off predictive text, tap Text correction and then at the bottom of the next screen, turn off "Next-word suggestions". It's slightly different in Android N - tap Text Correction and toggle off the "Show Suggestions" option.
Text correction options
Another option in the Text correction menu is your Personal dictionary. You can add words to this, and it's useful if Android tends to auto-correct someone's name or another word you use regularly. When you add a word, you can also enter a shortcut to type that word - that's invaluable when you have long or complex words.
Yet more options include toggles for showing correction suggestions; personalised suggestions (which shows words you type a lot or are learned from other Google services); and showing contact names as suggestions.
If you back up a level from the Text correction menu, you'll find the Gesture Typing menu. In that, you can disable the ability to type words by swiping across the keyboard, turn off the gesture trail and turn off automatically adding spaces between words when you swipe over the spacebar.
In the Advanced menu, you can set the delay time for a long key press - such as when you hold down 'T' to get the number 5 - and the vibration duration for a keypress. Here you can also prevent usage stats being sent to Google.
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