OpenBoard Android keyboard removed from Google App Store. Let's search the forks

Hi everybody.

I don’t know if your guide recommends OpenBoard the great Android keyboard with connectivity stripped out, but, it appears that the project is dead with some people fixing it up via at least one fork that I was able to find in the discussions. The issue that drew my attenion says that it disappeared from the Google App Store. It appears that a developer re-submitted it under their own account linking to the original code, but, in my opinion, a fork would be better at this point as I have no idea who they are since they link to the original repo.

Please share if you are able to find more active forks or discussion around this. I would love to see this wonderful keyboard continued to be developed as an alternative for those whose threat model includes a keyboard that can never connect to the internet.

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Ah shit, OpenBoarld is just the keyboard I use, there is the default one on GrapheneOS but it doesn’t offer the BÉPO keyboard on it.
The problem is that I have the impression that all alternative, privacy-friendly keyboards have been abandoned, AnySoftKeyboard and FlorisBoard haven’t been updated since early 2022.

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Florisboard is currently working on implementing word prediction/spell check. You can see the progress on their GitHub repo. The work hadn’t been public until a few months ago, when the dev made the announcement he was working on it. You can build it yourself, but it seems like it won’t be too much longer until it’s out

i always install it from fdroid. doesnt look abandoned

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Avcording to F-Droid, it’s been more than a year since its last update. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

Even in the Gihtub update tracker, it’s the same for OpenBoard, FlorisBoard and AnySoftKeyboard, they all seem to have been abandoned.

My impression was that FlorisBoard was still being worked on through their beta version, though I haven’t checked it recently.

Personally I’ve just opted to use the default Samsung keyboard on my device for usability, while blocking all internet connectivity with NetGuard. The significantly easier typing on a keyboard I’ve customized justifies the potential loss of privacy to me. I tried other open-source keyboards mentioned in this post before, but none of them felt smooth or finished enough to use without noticeable compromise.

openboard have got recent closed issues. so for me its still active. and they have lots of contributors (very important, cause i cant read code), the fork someone has listed no contributors. there are bad actors everywhere. people even come to this forum and say hey i made an open source script to do x go ahead and run it to help out. nope.
imo, if you cant read code stick to apps that have lots of contributors on github, more eyeballs on code, if it doesnt have any, then id think twice about installing the app.
on gitlab i dont know what the equivalent is to contributors for github.

also why must an app always have updates?
i mean if its a keyboard or calculator and its complete, what more do u want?

remember these apps on opensource are volunteers, on their own time. so they have a life.

if someone is pushing their open source app heavily with no contributors id be hesitant to install that app.

I’m adding this final comment after watching the fork.

It looks like the one by Helium314 is going to be it.

They added in many of the pull requests from the original repo which were waiting for DSLUL to approve. The new fork has a load of people submitting pull requests for review and giving each other feedback.

Helium314 says they don’t want to become a maintainer, but they were tired of waiting for DSLUL so took the initiative and may rename the keyboard if they get to that point and DSLUL doesn’t accept the changes into the original repo.

The replacement Play Store app still lists one that is not released by DSLUL and is listed as “OpenBoard valencià”. It links to DSLUL’s repo in the description, but this is not DSLUL in any confirmable way (I checked their profile, blog, social media, etc.). DSLUL hasn’t announced this in the repo and one user asked about this release and has received no reply (see issue #817 in the original repo).

Slightly off-topic but I’m searching for a FOSS keyboard app that has swipe typing for English and also has a Korean (Hangeul) keyboard layout (no swipe needed).

OpenBoard and its fork by Helium314 seems to have no swiping
AnySoftKeyboard has experimental swiping but no Korean support
Florisboard has experimental swiping (US English only) and Korean, maybe the best bet?

Or a combination of 2 keyboard apps and switch depending on what input is needed?

What about using a proprietary keyboard such as the Samsung keyboard and then denying network access? Would that be enough to make sure it’s not sending any data?

The fork that I posted has swipe functionality added. It does not appear to have a Korean layout, however.

There is one Fork of Openbaord available on the play store

Can you post this?

Last update to most keyboards was last year, including the florisboard beta.

The sad truth is that there’s simply no good FOSS keyboards.

If you have GrapheneOS you have access to the AOSP keyboard, which is usable and is supposedly kept up to date, or can use Gboard or SwiftKey without network permission, provided you’re in a profile without Play Services.

Non-GOS users’ best option may be Simple Keyboard.

Why do you believe this matters?

Apps can use communicate between them. It’s known several apps communicate with Google Play Services to exchange info, for example.

So, if you block the app access to internet, but allow apps such as Play Services, the app can still send and receive data, so as long as Play Services or the other app allows the communication.

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You are right. But I was wondering of you know that that is happening in this case at all.

Also note that at least gboard does have the option to disable them using your input. I do quite agree that it may not be reliable.

And besides that you can disable internet access from play services if you don’t need all features of it.

I don’t know what information actually gets exchanged between Gboard and Play Services. But since Play Services is meant to serve as the interface between apps and Google (including for ads and “analytics” - whatever that may mean), that “theoretically possible” communication is actually quite conceivable.

I’m the first person you replied to, by the way, let’s see what @Private_Plan has to say.

Honestly, as long as there are no security issues. Does it really matter for a basic keyboard, sandboxed with android, and doesn’t even have internet permission, to not get updated for quite a while?

If a malware managed to break android sandbox and somehow infect the keyboard you have far bigger issues anyway