Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to type Ghanaian language characters on your Android phone

Before I begin to share this excellent news, big ups to Kasahorow! It's a project that came out of the GhanaThink Foundation that is doing big things! Earlier today, I was looking to type something in Twi on my phone so I needed ɛ and ɔ characters so I proceeded to Nyamfowa.com to copy them and use. And then it dawned on me, the Kasahorow folks were working on a keyboard to allow typing these Ghanaian characters on Android. So I emailed Henry and Paa Kwesi and Henry came back with a solution he'd worked on. I went through the instructions and now I am whatsapping away in Twi! Dɛɛdɛw!

So, this is how you can enjoy what I am enjoying at the moment! Go to this link and read about the actual project on Github. Do you see Eyedol? Yup, isn't Henry an idol for making this happiness happen?

Step 1. You need to install the AnySoftKeyboard app on Google Play as this Ghanaian language pack depends on it to run. It is an extension to the AnySoftKeyboard Android app. Go to the (Google) Play Store, via your Android phone or tablet and download it. You can even do so by going to this link on a computer and downloading it to your device while logged in to your Google account.

Step 2. Once, AnySoftKeyboard is installed, go to your Settings and select Language & input. It might read as Locale & text or Language & keyboard based on your Android version. A dialog box will open about allowing this keyboard. Accept it and shout to the phone saying "I want to type in my language" in Twi, or Ga or Ewe. :-) Press what you need to press to approve the keyboard.

Step 3. Make sure you allow third-party applications to be installed on your Android phone. To do that, go to Settings & then Security. Make sure unknown sources are checked. Approve what you want to do when any dialog box opens and shout "Let the thing come" in Twi, Ga or Ewe.

Step 4. Go to this link, preferably on your phone, to get the actual African keyboard. You should see Jojoo's name there somewhere. You are in the right place. Click the link that says "anysoftkeyboard-ghanaian.apk". Download the APK and then install it. It's an extension o, so don't expect to find it amongst your apps or something.

Step 5. Find the AnySoftKeyboard app on your phone and access it. You can do via going to your apps and scrolling till you find it or going to the Play Store on your phone, going to the menu, choosing my Apps, findind AnySoftKeyboard and opening it. Click Keyboards upon opening, scroll down and uncheck all the Queen's language English stuff and check the Akan, Ga and Ewe keyboards with the bright red, yellow, green flags next to them. And then red, gold, grin! :-)

Step 6. Go back to your Settings and select the Language option. There should be a keyboard option. Click whatever is default and change it to AnySoftKeyboard. You are almost there!


Step 7. To activate the keyboard, you have to type. Go to your favorite place/app to type anything. If I were you, I will open up a Whatsapp chat with my Ghanaian buddies and name it kasahorow or something. When you try to type, your default keyboard should be an Akan keyboard. Click the -> ABC -> thing right below the typing box to change amongst Akan, Ga and Ewe keyboards. Isn't this just the coolest thing you've done all day? Now, post a comment on this blog. No, I won't insult you in Twi if you don't. And then go and follow Kasahorow on Twitter, like them on Facebook, add them on Google+. If you are feeling like money, you can always long press on the e character to get the cedi sign ₵. ₵ool huh? :-D

PS: +kasahorow has made this even easier. Just download this from Google Play.
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