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Craig

Day One Impressions of Keyboard

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I'll start this by saying I've used PhotonQ for years, so familiar with keyboard sliders.   I got the Pro 1 today. 

My biggest comments right now are about functionality.   

My biggest complaint is their "solution" for slash and question mark.  No idea why they didn't include this as a key.  Slash important for urls and paths.  More important than a diagnol-yellow-arrow-custom-brand-new-modifier-key (2 of them actually) [that i dont even know what to call], or backslash, or back-apostrophe, or even brackets for that matter.

Next gripe is no modifiers seem to be sticky.  Unless there is something I have to set I haven't yet found, and I thought it was reported left shift was sticky, so maybe there's some setting...

To get the symbols in yellow print, you must use the default layout and the arrow-modifier-key - this includes the symbols on the number row, that don't work with shift.

If  I select the us-international layout  (I'm prompted to select a layout via notification), then shift works with the number row, but there is no way at all to get / or ?  (besides on screen keyboard) that I have discovered.  Additionally I couldn't figure out which key would do the right-alt behavior, i assumed/hoped it would be the Sym key, but it doesnt seem to do much under any layout.  No idea what it's for.  So I couldn't even get the basic symbols I'm used to like the é in San José or the ¹ in Pro¹ or the €.  (which are normally right-alt with e, 1 and 5 respectively).

Esc key is non-functional as Esc.  It behaves as the android back button. 

The Fxtec key appears to behave solely as an android home button.  If you hold another key simultaneously, it still goes home upon release.

I feel like the delete and back space should be swapped.  I keep going for the wrong one.  Will probably get used to it, but make mistakes.

The shifted layout doesn't feel right at first cuz one keeps expecting to go all the way left for letters and for keys to be balanced, etc.  With a little practice I'll probably be okay with this, but doesn't seem ideal.   My hands seem big enough but I haven't done any serious typing yet.

If there is an easy way to remap, I will most certainly change the right arrow-modifier key to be a normal /? key, and sym key to right alt, so I can use US international correctly.  Then make the left-arrow-modifier-key into a function modifier to get F1 F2 etc.

 

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Unfortuntely they have not provided a way to customize things. But they can be overruled.

See e.g. FinQWERTY, so whatever he is dong, others could do too... I know he is CONSIDERING an improved US QWERTY, so maybe it is just a matter of waiting - or of enough people giving him a wish and a donation.

Note how he for the Nordic ones let shift and the digits give what is expected in the language, but leaves Fn+Digits as what is printed (YellowArrow=Fn). For an improved US those could mirror each other.

Note that he changed the Esc slightly so IF the program handles Esc, it gets an Esc, and if not it jumps back. with fallback

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1 hour ago, Craig said:

My biggest complaint is their "solution" for slash and question mark.  No idea why they didn't include this as a key.  Slash important for urls and paths.  More important than a diagnol-yellow-arrow-custom-brand-new-modifier-key (2 of them actually) [that i dont even know what to call], or backslash, or back-apostrophe, or even brackets for that matter.

I never noticed that on the pictures.  I guess apostrophe is an alt-key on my Relay 4G, and that is in more sentences than question mark probably.  But still, question mark seems like it would be best to have as a non-modifier key.  I know it is a modifier key on a regular PC keyboard, but we aren't touch typing here.  Hoping it is just something I'll get used to.  I guess they were going for what people are used to in their muscle memory for touch typing on PC keyboards.

Note:  To be clear, I am being picky here.  I am overjoyed that they put as much effort into the keyboard as they did.  Some of those keyboard cases that companies produced were crimes against humanity, with no spaces between keys and a grid layout and flat keys.  

Quote

I feel like the delete and back space should be swapped.  I keep going for the wrong one.  Will probably get used to it, but make mistakes.

I saw that on your video.  I've gotten by with no delete key at all on my Relay 4G for 7 years.  I think that backspace should be larger than delete, because backspace is used *all* the time.  Delete is a rare thing if you end up on the wrong side of what you want to delete and don't want to arrow over, I suppose.  Backspace functions as delete if you have a block of text highlighted and want to delete it.  So, yes, I don't like that backspace is smaller than delete.  Given how they made the number row keys smaller, swapping the backspace and delete would have given higher priority to the backspace key.  I haven't used a Pro1 at all yet, so I'm curious to see if the number row keys are more painful to hit.  If they are, then some app that can remap keys would be nice, to possibly swap the backspace and delete.

Quote

The shifted layout doesn't feel right at first cuz one keeps expecting to go all the way left for letters and for keys to be balanced, etc.  With a little practice I'll probably be okay with this, but doesn't seem ideal.   My hands seem big enough but I haven't done any serious typing yet.

I heard you mention that in the video.  It looks to me like P and Q both have a 2 key, plus extra space buffer between them and the sides of the phone.  In other words, it looks like they are the same distance from their respective edges of the phone.  What am I missing?  What is making some of the numbers shifted in location?

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If there is an easy way to remap, I will most certainly change the right arrow-modifier key to be a normal /? key, and sym key to right alt, so I can use US international correctly.  Then make the left-arrow-modifier-key into a function modifier to get F1 F2 etc.

If you find a good remapping app, please let us know.  I know @EskeRahn has used something for the foreign characters, but I don't know if that works in this context?

I am of the mind that fxtec shouldn't spend a lot of time creating custom apps for this phone (email, etc.).  However, if there is one thing that they could create, it would be a separate app (not part of the OS, in case people want to use custom ROMs) that would allow complete mapping of the keys.  This assumes there isn't something on the market that works perfectly with the Pro1 keyboard.  This phone is all about the keyboard, so that type of app would make perfect sense.

Edited by david

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I certainly have other comments, but I'm trying to keep this thread keyboard related...

There's a setting 'auto rotate screen' which by default is disabled. When disabled, stock launcher and some apps automatically go landscape when keyboard open, and portrait when closed.

However, some apps don't go landscape when the keyboard is opened. For example, discord. For this to go landscape, I have to enable auto-rotate-screen. But with that enabled, even with the keyboard open, those apps will rotate 3-ways (portrait, landscape, or upside-down landscape. It cant go upside-down portrait).

If auto-rotate screen is enabled and keyboard closed, the launcher screen can go those same 3 ways. I couldn't find a way to prevent it from going upside-down-landscape (which is the wrong way for opening keyboard), which I seem to recall being able to set on PQ...

Edited by Craig

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11 minutes ago, david said:

.  I guess they were going for what people are used to in their muscle memory for touch typing on PC keyboards.

Yeah, and I'm used to typing slash with my right pinky, it's supposed to be over there, w/o modifiers, right next to shift!  So that isn't right.  Although I realize maybe it's different on non-US keyboards, but US qwerty has slash as diagnol right from pinky on home row, with question mark its shift funtion, right next to shift key.

But I know there's no room there.  So they coulda done like PQ and done it bottom row where they put the useless slant arrow.  [Note slant arrow was used to describe it elsewhere, sounds good enuff til me til a better term comes around.]  SAM_1300.thumb.JPG.a8b5c1e869bbf3f11d58e5c6e33f63cd.JPG

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9 minutes ago, Craig said:

Yeah, and I'm used to typing slash with my right pinky, it's supposed to be over there, w/o modifiers, right next to shift!  So that isn't right.  Although I realize maybe it's different on non-US keyboards, but US qwerty has slash as diagnol right from pinky on home row, with question mark its shift funtion, right next to shift key.

I hear ya! LOL  At least it is on the right side of the keyboard on the Pro1.  On my Relay 4G, it is on the S key, as a modifier!!!

9 minutes ago, Craig said:

But I know there's no room there.  So they coulda done like PQ and done it bottom row where they put the useless slant arrow.  [Note slant arrow was used to describe it elsewhere, sounds good enuff til me til a better term comes around.] 

Maybe a good remapping app will be found that will allow that right slant arrow to be mapped to "/".  It is even the right shape for it to sort of make sense. :-)

9 minutes ago, Craig said:

 

 

SAM_1300.thumb.JPG.a8b5c1e869bbf3f11d58e5c6e33f63cd.JPG

Nice picture.

How do you like the slant screen vs flat slider screen for typing on the keyboard and seeing what you are typing?

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As I've posted in the sticky key thread, you can remap each key for yourself. You probably need root to access the files (make a backup!) but that shouldn't be a problem.

See here: 

For the sticky I've not yet a solution, but maybe we will find that out. Otherwise just test it out yourself.
By the way, question mark could be handled like this '?', backslash is '\\' . You can also set multiple keys to give out the same character. This is done in the quoted keyboard as well (alt+slash = backslash, backslash = backslash).

Edited by SchattengestaIt
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5 hours ago, abielins said:

I can't understand why you would want the backspace key smaller and harder to find than the delete key.

The only reason I'd reverse them is because my instrict was to hit the del key every time I want to backspace.   This may be from PQ which only has backspace.  It may be from my laptop where del is above backspace.  But I'm still making that mistake...

And also, pro1 backspace is not necessarily bigger than delete...   backspace is wider, but delete is taller, i'd venture to say del  might even be bigger on pro1.   

And, top row is pretty close to the curved screen, it's possible to touch the screen when trying to quickly type on top row.  (this wouldn't be an issue if screen wasn't curved).

Edited by Craig

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I'm still less than 24 hours in, so I'll count this as another thing I observed on the first day.

 

Supertux should work with keyboard, after all it was written for pc.  But on Pro1, it can't register two key presses at once!  If I'm holding the arrow to move, I can't jump with space bar... I have to let go of the arrow.   This is not good... 

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Well good thing you can change all your keybindings and fix all the open source software 🙂

I'm planning on contributing to this project if I ever get the phone in my hands

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14 hours ago, david said:

I hear ya! LOL  At least it is on the right side of the keyboard on the Pro1.  On my Relay 4G, it is on the S key, as a modifier!!!

Maybe a good remapping app will be found that will allow that right slant arrow to be mapped to "/".  It is even the right shape for it to sort of make sense. :-)

Nice picture.

How do you like the slant screen vs flat slider screen for typing on the keyboard and seeing what you are typing?

Nice to see a fellow Droid 4 (ish, I know) fan! Motorola REALLY goofed when they stopped making those!

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2 hours ago, silversolver said:

Nice to see a fellow Droid 4 (ish, I know) fan! Motorola REALLY goofed when they stopped making those!

The Galaxy S Relay 4G is a Samsung phone.  Droids weren't available on T-mobile, so I had an HTC G2 (Desire Z) as my first Android phone, and then The Relay 4G.  I have gone through at least 5 of these phones.  I didn't think I'd need my last spare, but due to the shipping delays with the Pro1, I had to start using it about 3+ months ago.  And then that one failed too (screen flex cable) a couple weeks ago.  I finally got the replacement flex cables and fixed the one I was using and one of my other spares, so now I can continue to live in 2012 while I wait for a 2019 (2020?) phone to arrive. :-)

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5 hours ago, Craig said:

I'm still less than 24 hours in, so I'll count this as another thing I observed on the first day.

 

Supertux should work with keyboard, after all it was written for pc.  But on Pro1, it can't register two key presses at once!  If I'm holding the arrow to move, I can't jump with space bar... I have to let go of the arrow.   This is not good... 

It is possible (though would be disappointing) that the keyboard controller can only handle 1 input at a time. It is also possible that something in the driver can only handle 1 input at a time. I'd dig a little more into that if I had the hardware. :P

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2 hours ago, david said:

The Galaxy S Relay 4G is a Samsung phone.  Droids weren't available on T-mobile, so I had an HTC G2 (Desire Z) as my first Android phone, and then The Relay 4G.  I have gone through at least 5 of these phones.  I didn't think I'd need my last spare, but due to the shipping delays with the Pro1, I had to start using it about 3+ months ago.  And then that one failed too (screen flex cable) a couple weeks ago.  I finally got the replacement flex cables and fixed the one I was using and one of my other spares, so now I can continue to live in 2012 while I wait for a 2019 (2020?) phone to arrive. :-)

Oops! and wow! You can clearly see their patent attorneys were hard at work determining how closely they could copy the D4 without getting sued! It's like Motorola wasn't the only one who saw value in the platform at the time, and then abandoned it. :(

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22 hours ago, Craig said:

My biggest complaint is their "solution" for slash and question mark.

I completely agree. Am I missing something, or do these just not work? I can't find any combination of keyboard presses that actually enters / or ?.

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17 minutes ago, zurvan2 said:

I can't find any combination of keyboard presses that actually enters / or ?

You have to disable all keyboard layouts and leave it set to default.  Then slant arrow with P & L get you / & ?.

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3 minutes ago, silversolver said:

It is possible (though would be disappointing) that the keyboard controller can only handle 1 input at a time. It is also possible that something in the driver can only handle 1 input at a time. I'd dig a little more into that if I had the hardware. 😛

Yes, it is possible, but I hope it is able to identify additional keys.
There are definitively keys which can be pressed together like modifier keys anyway.

However, most likely the keyboard is physically built up as a matrix (just like in casual PC keyboards).
This matrix has rows and columns and the hardware see a keystroke by driving the rows and sensing the columns (or the other way around) so it can differentiate what column in what row of a key was pressed.

The possibilities and limitations of hardware are depend on the actual solution (schematic) and the layout of the keyboard matrix.

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55 minutes ago, silversolver said:

Oops! and wow! You can clearly see their patent attorneys were hard at work determining how closely they could copy the D4 without getting sued! It's like Motorola wasn't the only one who saw value in the platform at the time, and then abandoned it. 😞

Droid 4 came out *after* the HTC G2.  But the Droid 1 came out before.  Droid 2 and HTC G2 came out the same year, 2010.  I had a Sidekick 2008 and Sidekick 3 before that.  Not android, but the best keyboard out of all of them.  And the screen opening mechanism was the most unique and the easiest to initiate.

JoyfulImmaterialAcornweevil-size_restric

And yeah, when my Relay 4G started getting long in the tooth, I was shocked to see that there wasn't an option in the market to replace it!  They had all abandoned the keyboards by then (for Android phones).

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I played around with dosbox and windows 3.1 on pro1, and besides the lack of ESC key, another thing lacking are function keys F1/F3 etc.  Ideally that F key could be used with the numbers to make them act as f-keys.  Next solution would be to use the left slant arrow for that (while making shift work for the symbols at the same time).

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11 hours ago, Craig said:

I'm still less than 24 hours in, so I'll count this as another thing I observed on the first day.

 

Supertux should work with keyboard, after all it was written for pc.  But on Pro1, it can't register two key presses at once!  If I'm holding the arrow to move, I can't jump with space bar... I have to let go of the arrow.   This is not good... 

oO You kinda making me worried about n-key roll-over now.. I really hope this is just a software issue..

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9 minutes ago, Craig said:

I played around with dosbox and windows 3.1 on pro1, and besides the lack of ESC key, another thing lacking are function keys F1/F3 etc.  Ideally that F key could be used with the numbers to make them act as f-keys.  Next solution would be to use the left slant arrow for that (while making shift work for the symbols at the same time).

ESC behaves differently than the other keys?

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