Retrospective: Khmer Smart Keyboard – Android Release Party and Typing Competition

Android users who have been waiting for the Khmer Smart Keyboard can finally download it on their devices! On the 27th of March, Geeks in Cambodia went down to the android release party and typing competition held by the makers of the app as well as USAid. From 5-9pm, we were treated to an array of activities at the Development Innovations building in Phnom Penh.

Attendees registering for the event upon arriving

Previously, we managed to sit down with the team behind this app and find out how the Khmer Smart Keyboard works, which was first released for the iOs. You can read all about it here!

But just for the benefit of the doubt, the Khmer Smart Keyboard is basically an app that allows you to easily type Khmer characters on your phone. Not a lot of other Khmer keyboard apps have managed to win the hearts of its users, but the Khmer Smart Keyboard has been making waves on the iTunes store with its great reviews.

Now that an android version has been released, it looks like the reviews are set to follow suit as well! The app currently holds a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating, with over 643 reviews!

But what’s all the hype over a Khmer keyboard, you might ask? Well, Greta Greathouse, Chief of Party of Development Innovations, summed it up best with her remark speech to kick off the event.

“Does anybody know why it’s cool to be able to type Khmer a lot faster on your smartphones? The actual number of Cambodians that actually type Khmer is very low because it’s a little difficult. And people are not using it; it’s not just that they’re not sending SMSes, they’re not going to be able to really benefit from everything that you can do – learn, transact on your smartphone,” she said.

“So it’s an important point to make all these technology more accessible to all ages and types of Cambodians from all different walks of life, incomes, and education levels. Easier typing is going to open that digital highway for many, many more Cambodians.”

Greta Greathouse, Chief of Party of Development Innovations, addressing the crowd with her remark speech

After a few more remark speeches by others, Kruy Vanna, Product Manager of the app, then gave an opening speech, accompanied shortly after by the android release video. Attendees were given a quick break of light refreshments and drinks, before everyone took their seats and the excitement finally begun: the typing competition.

In each round, two people battled it out head on with only a minute to type the most Khmer characters shown on a smartphone screen using the Khmer Smart Keyboard. The excitement was evident amongst the crowd as they cheered on their fellow friends, with some people even getting off their seats to take a closer look.

The contestants’ smartphones were broadcasted live to the audience through the screens behind them

The winner was finally announced after a few rounds, and he walked away with a brand new Leagoo Lead 2 smartphone.

The winner of the typing contest holding a green box containing the smartphone, next to Product Manager of the Khmer Smart Keyboard Kruy Vanna

Attendees and organisers posing together for a picture

Check out some of the highlights from the event in this video!


Posted by ក្តារចុចឆ្លាតវៃ on Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Interested in downloading the Khmer Smart Keyboard app? Download the android version here, and the iOS version here.