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Simeji Keyboard: Pros and Cons

by - May 18, 2017

Hi! Recently I've gotten fed up with my Google keyboard and I finally decided to seek out some other options for my phone. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which is super old but I love it.

The most important thing in a keyboard for me is that it has emojis and can type in Japanese with a downloadable Japanese dictionary. This being said, when I search 'Japanese keyboard' in the Play Store, Simeji was one of the first that came up.

I've had Simeji in the past, but I couldn't remember why I got rid of it so I downloaded it again and decided to see if I liked it! Also, I apologize in advance for the wonky timestamps... Just ignore them.

At this point, I've had this keyboard for about 2 weeks so I'm ready to fully review it.

The app icon looks like this!


I'll start off by showing the basics of the apps, how to customize your keyboard, and ultimately how I like my keyboard!



Currently this is the launch page for the app. It talks about the new features and themes they have, and includes an advertisement which I believe you can pay to remove using the premium feature down below. I have the free version which means I have all the ads.


If you scroll down from the landing page you'll find some themes and keyboard skins you can use! Some of them cost money, some don't. I find that the super cute ones I like cost money. However, you can also customize your own keyboard skin and upload it from your gallery (for free!) if you click the MyBox tab!


I uploaded some photos of trees to customize my keyboard~

Back to the other tabs!


When you click the Kaomoji tag you get to this area!



Kaomoji can be downloaded for free, but it takes you to the app store to download another app for those specific ones. I didn't download any because the keyboard comes with plenty pre-installed, but I'll get to that later!

This is an example of some of the Kaomojis you can download ! When you click the download button it takes you straight to the Play Store !


If you click the stamp tab, you get all these cute photos (memes) you can send to people on LINE! I believe you might be able to send this on twitter as well but I don't use Twitter so I have no idea.
These are really cute and they have tags so that you can search whether you want a cute photo or a cat photo, but keep in mind the tags are in Japanese.

The Premium section is entirely in Japanese but I'll break down the important parts.



Basically, this breaks down all the features that can be expanded upon once you purchase premium. Also, note the little ad on the side. 

From their app description, here is a summary of what their premium service offers: 


“Simeji Premium” is the service that improve the ability and communication of your Japanese input. It can be used at 240 yen per month.


-Optional dictionary using only premium service
IT terms, business terms, medical terms, business fixed phrase, etc..
You can use specialized dictionary that can be utilized for business.



-Real-time translation
Japanese > English, etc., You can enter the translated content in real time



-Premium Back up
Back up the user dictionary to the cloud, it can be reproduced at any time.



-Hide ads 
You can hide the ads that are displayed on the Simeji.


So now I will break down the different kinds of payment plans that this app offers!


You can choose to have yourself billed once a month for 240 yen, every six months at 1200 yen and finally (it's farther down) you can be billed 2200 yen once a year.  

Keep in mind that the subscription that auto renews unless you cancel it! Also, keep in mind that does not make any of the themes free, they still cost money on top of the premium monthly cost.

Now let's go over to the settings.



 These are kind of self explanatory, but I'm going to hone in on the Keyboard section and quickly go through their options.


So what's cool about this keyboard is that not only can you change the typeface and the key colors. but there are a lot of types to choose from. You can use the flick style, toggle style, the QWERTY style and the AZERTY style. It depends on what you're comfortable with! All of these styles are available in both Japanese and English

My one issue with this keyboard is that, compared to keyboards I've had in this past, this one is ever so slightly pushed to the side a bit. I really had to adjust to typing with this keyboard, in both languages, and I can't really say I've mastered it yet. I've found that by putting the apostrophe key on the right hand side, it messed up the format of the entire keyboard and made me kind of have to shift how I type a bit. I was searching through the settings to see if there was any way to fix this, but at least for the free version it seemed stuck.

Another issue that I have, which is just with the app and not the keyboard, is the ads.

Sometimes when you open the app you're focused to stare at the screen for 3 seconds and look at this ad before they let you use the app. Usually I don't pay ads any mind, but these get irritating quickly.

So here's my Pro and Con list!


Pro:

Lot's of stamps and kaomojis
Cute options for customization
Lots of keyboard types
Pretty decent dictionary

Cons:

The weird shift of the keyboard tags ages to adjust to
The ads on the app can get annoying
Cute customization can cost $$
Going premium costs $$

All in all, I like this keyboard and it works for me for now, but I'm really not sure how long I'll keep this one. I'm searching for the perfect Japanese English keyboard, and while this one is packed with great features, I just can't get past the weird learning curve for typing.

I hope you liked this app review and found it helpful! Try the keyboard out for yourself and let me know what you think!

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