I noticed that when slide-typing (does it have an official name?) into text fields (as opposed to text areas), suggestions do not appear. It just puts in the first word it guesses I was trying to type and doesn't give me any other options.

Why is this and is there a solution to it?

  • a) It's called "swiping", and b) an alternative keyboard app? Playstore has tons of them. Even Google's own IME (supports typing, swiping, and voice input). – Izzy Dec 13 '13 at 9:52
  • I was talking about Google's own IME. – Zoltán Dec 13 '13 at 10:07
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    Sure it's this one? Maybe something with it's settings then. I rawly remember there was something like that. You could check in Settings→Language & Input, tap the gear symbol next to "Google Keyboard", and check the settings for auto-correct and suggestions. – Izzy Dec 13 '13 at 10:38
  • Yes there are suggestions, my problem is that they're not always there. They're only there in text areas (e.g. text message), but not in text fields (e.g. google search). – Zoltán Dec 13 '13 at 10:54
  • Ah, now I see what you are pointing to (and reading your Q again, that's what you wrote initially and I missed). I remember having missed the suggestions here and there as well (using the Google IME on ICS), but never paid attention to "regularities". That might well be "working as intended", as Tunga's answer suggests. Should be configurable, but obviously isn't. Sorry, no ideas about "fixes" or "work-arounds"; though you might try alternative keyboards whether they behave differently. – Izzy Dec 13 '13 at 11:26

Android doesn't have a distinction between "text fields" and "text areas" like HTML has. One control, called TextView (or EditText, but they're both the same underlying control) handles all text fields, whether they're editable or not, and whether they're one line or several.

That's not to say that every text field behaves the same way. TextView gives the app the opportunity to set hints for the keyboard, to tell it what kind of text is being edited (called the input type). One input type tells the keyboard that the text being entered is a search filter. The keyboard's free to interpret these hints however it likes: in this case, Google Keyboard doesn't show any word completions/suggestions when the input type is a search filter.

You can avoid this problem by using a different keyboard app which interprets the input type and other hints differently. For example, SwiftKey shows word completions for search filters just like for normal text. (I've just tested it on Google Search.) SwiftKey also supports gesture typing like the default keyboard.

If you're interested, you can learn more about the different hints apps can give to the keyboard by playing with my app IM prove. (It's a free app with no ads, so all I get if you use it is a warm fuzzy feeling when you leave a good rating.) With this app, you can set all the hints, and see what effect they have on your keyboard. You can compare different keyboards this way.

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This is normal, because Google Search offers its own predictions/corrections. It's kind of silly, but that's how it works.

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