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I got the Pro¹ X in the mail earlier this week and I need help


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First off, thank you to the F(x)tec team for pushing through against adversity and sending the Pro¹ X out to us loyal keyboard fans! I had ordered through the website in August 2021. I'm really glad to be one of the lucky few who already has this fun piece of hardware! I got Model QX1050 in the mail earlier this week. I've been playing around with the device and need help. Some things, like opening and closing the keyboard, I'm getting used to. Other things, not so much . . .

The first issue that I came across has nothing to do with F(x)tec. Transferring from one Android device to another Android device has come a very long way since I last had to do that a decade ago between the Droid 2 and Droid 4. On the whole, I'm satisfied with how many settings and how much app data got transferred over from my KEY² to my Pro¹ X. However, even with a Google One subscription that is supposed to give me more functionality, my Google Messages did not get transferred over correctly. Recent texts seem to have gotten corrupted. Anyway, point being I need to restore the device to factory settings to try and get that fixed.

However, unless I'm missing something, I'm not sure that I will want to use stock Android on the Pro¹ X anyway.

There seems to be no software customization at all on my device from F(x)tec. Where are the landscape-optimized custom apps (launcher, calendar, email) that are promised on the website? How about the customizable keyboard shortcuts? The fancy [F] F(x)tec logo key just acts as a home button. How do I access accented letters on the physical keyboard? Holding down a letter just repeats that letter over and over (e. g., "eeeeeeeeeee"). The [Sym] key just brings up a "Choose input method" virtual keyboard menu. Why do I have to hold down one of the [Shift] keys to type a capital letter? In every other phone with a physical keyboard that I have used (those I mentioned above plus two versions of the BlackBerry Passport), the [Shift] key has been sticky. Also, I don't see a way to enable autocomplete. I ended up disabling that feature on the KEY² because a glitch kept giving me a bad suggestion, but I was looking forward to tapping on suggested words again as I transitioned back to using a landscape keyboard. Finally, I always see an Android System notification on reboot about configuring the physical keyboard. Choosing different keyboard layouts seems to do nothing, so am I just supposed to follow the old advice here and leave it unselected?

Hopefully the keyboard and software issues above can be fixed with future updates or with workarounds or with the upcoming LineageOS version. I really hope that I can be as productive on the Pro¹ X as I have been on my old smartphones! But there is one more potentially serious issue that has me pretty worried.

When I play sounds, I often hear a tapping noise coming from the bottom of the phone. The Quick Start Guide only indicates that there is a microphone there, but there seems to be a second loudspeaker at the bottom of the phone too. This is particularly evident when playing a short notification sound. I hear two distinct sounds, one before the other, almost every time that I play a short notification. But on longer sounds, it's also obvious: there tends to be a regular tapping sound coming from the bottom of the phone. In addition to the tapping sound, the sound quality coming from the bottom of the phone seems to sometimes change. I hope that one of my two speakers is just defective and needs to be replaced, but I noticed that there were speaker issues mentioned in the June updates on Indiegogo: "minor speaker/microphone issues. Specifically, the speaker occasionally generates a slight static and metallic noise when outputting sounds." While those issues were "fixed", I seem to be experiencing something similar now. I haven't tested the microphone yet.

Anyway, I would really appreciate some support on the keyboard software and speaker issues! If I should send these notes over e-mail, please let me know.

Edited by JECE
added "the" to final line
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Welcome on board 🙂
I have not got a Pro1X my self (yet), but from the Pro1, indeed the software is very close to stock Android with only minor differences for handling the slide out and the keyboard, and a few other details. And I expect the same for the Pro1X
For the Pro1 we need to use the Yellow arrow (fn) key, to access the yellow symbols. I expect the same goes for the Pro1X.
How FxTec handled different language layouts this time I do not know, but I expect we have got rid of the odd problems related to the letter shift of the original Pro1 qwertY layout. But do not know yet.

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12 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

For the Pro1 we need to use the Yellow arrow (fn) key, to access the yellow symbols. I expect the same goes for the Pro1X.

Is this part about the yellow symbols a response to anything in particular that I wrote above?

I didn't mention this above, but my only issue with the yellow [↗] keys is that they also aren't sticky. You have to actually hold one of those keys down and keep it held down while you tap the key with the yellow symbol that you want to type.

Except for the smiley face, which I thought did nothing. But while playing around with the keyboard just know I discovered that if you hold down a yellow [↗] key, the [Alt] key with the yellow smiley face and a third key ([E] for ´, [U] for ¨, [N] for ˜, [I] for ˆ, [`] for ˋ, [S] for ß and [C] for ç) simultaneously, you can type some of the special characters. Yes, you read that right. To put an accent on a letter, you need to hold three keys down simultaneously, let go and then type the plain letter. That's obviously unusable for a keyboard that you can only really use with two thumbs. The unfortunate soul who may want to type a capitalized Ç on a regular basis would need to learn how to hold four keys down at the same time.

Stock Android just doesn't cut it for what we expect to be able to do with a physical keyboard . . .

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I was trying to describe how to get things on the stock Pro1 (though I use FinQwerty on the Pro1).
I expect it is related on the Pro1X, though somewhat different without the shifted layout..

On the Pro1 stock layout see the more complete descriptions also included here: https://android.onse.fi/finqwerty/#pro1
It also describes how to get accents for the stock layouts
E.g. Alt+U followed by an e gives ë
 

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10 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

On the Pro1 stock layout see the more complete descriptions also included here: https://android.onse.fi/finqwerty/#pro1
It also describes how to get accents for the stock layouts
E.g. Alt+U followed by an e gives ë

Ah, that makes sense. The last paragraph on my previous post suggests that you need to hold three keys down simultaneously, but you don't actually have to hold down a yellow [↗] key. Still, the fact that the [Alt] key isn't sticky either makes typing accents and the like a pain. This especially true in Spanish, which uses tons of acute accents. The [Alt] key and the [E] key are right on top of each other on the left side of the keyboard, so holding them down at the same time isn't easy and certainly wasn't designed for thumb typing. And there isn't a Spanish keyboard on that website for a workaround.

Anyway, I don't want all the issues listed in my original post to get buried.

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22 hours ago, JECE said:

How do I access accented letters on the physical keyboard? Holding down a letter just repeats that letter over and over (e. g., "eeeeeeeeeee").

Try to test with different apps. On the original Pro1 (with Lineage 16.0) long-pressing a physical button worked for bringing up the accent selector box, but only for certain apps. For me, it works in what I call "smartphone-typical" apps like QKSMS or the Settings Menu. It does not work in some apps that are more serious about physical-keyboard typing, like, e.g. CollaboraOffice or ConnectBot.

I guess apps can opt in or out of that feature, which I think makes some sense: depending on context, users might expect a long-press to auto-repeat the character rather then to bring up the accent selector.

edit: The above applies equally to the sticky-shift feature. It works on Pro1 (LOS 16), but only for apps that choose to support it (the divide seems to be the same as for the accent selector box).

Edited by claude0001
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25 minutes ago, claude0001 said:

Try to test with different apps. On the original Pro1 (with Lineage 16.0) long-pressing a physical button worked for bringing up the accent selector box, but only for certain apps. For me, it works in what I call "smartphone-typical" apps like QKSMS or the Settings Menu. It does not work in some apps that are more serious about physical-keyboard typing, like, e.g. CollaboraOffice or ConnectBot.

I guess apps can opt in or out of that feature, which I think makes some sense: depending on context, users might expect a long-press to auto-repeat the character rather then to bring up the accent selector.

edit: The above applies equally to the sticky-shift feature. It works on Pro1 (LOS 16), but only for apps that choose to support it (the divide seems to be the same as for the accent selector box).

I obviously can't test it out on LineageOS right now, but I just tried several apps on Android and none of them make the keyboard behave any differently.

It's a bit concerning to learn that even on LineageOS proper smartphone keyboard typing seems to be limited to only a subset of apps.

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23 hours ago, JECE said:

But there is one more potentially serious issue that has me pretty worried.

When I play sounds, I often hear a tapping noise coming from the bottom of the phone. The Quick Start Guide only indicates that there is a microphone there, but there seems to be a second loudspeaker at the bottom of the phone too. This is particularly evident when playing a short notification sound. I hear two distinct sounds, one before the other, almost every time that I play a short notification. But on longer sounds, it's also obvious: there tends to be a regular tapping sound coming from the bottom of the phone. In addition to the tapping sound, the sound quality coming from the bottom of the phone seems to sometimes change. I hope that one of my two speakers is just defective and needs to be replaced, but I noticed that there were speaker issues mentioned in the June updates on Indiegogo: "minor speaker/microphone issues. Specifically, the speaker occasionally generates a slight static and metallic noise when outputting sounds." While those issues were "fixed", I seem to be experiencing something similar now. I haven't tested the microphone yet.

Anyway, I would really appreciate some support on the keyboard software and speaker issues! If I should send these notes over e-mail, please let me know.

I am now able to confirm that these speaker issues are not persistent. There are stretches where the speakers seem to work just fine. I'm not sure if that makes the problem easier or harder to fix . . .

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27 minutes ago, JECE said:

I obviously can't test it out on LineageOS right now, but I just tried several apps on Android and none of them make the keyboard behave any differently.

It's a bit concerning to learn that even on LineageOS proper smartphone keyboard typing seems to be limited to only a subset of apps.

I don't know the actual part of stock OS, but Pro1 has a very different (and better) keyboard driver and a bit different setting which basically allows to redefine keyboard layouts and it has sticky shift (which I don't like) but non-sticky slant arrow (yellow arrow).

As far as I know, this part was not changed in Pro1-X so it should work using the same keyboard driver.

25 minutes ago, JECE said:

I'm not sure if that makes the problem easier or harder to fix . . .

Basically this behaviour makes the problem harder to fix because it is hard to reproduce.

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13 minutes ago, VaZso said:

I don't know the actual part of stock OS, but Pro1 has a very different (and better) keyboard driver and a bit different setting which basically allows to redefine keyboard layouts and it has sticky shift (which I don't like) but non-sticky slant arrow (yellow arrow).

As far as I know, this part was not changed in Pro1-X so it should work using the same keyboard driver.

I'm having trouble following you here. Are you saying that I should be able to find settings for the keyboard? I know that these settings should exist, since we were promised keyboard shortcuts and whatnot, but they don't seem to exist. It seems to just be the same stock Android keyboard functionality that gets a Chromebook keyboard to work. That limited functionality is a nightmare for thumb typing.

I'm surprised that you don't like the sticky shift, by the way!

13 minutes ago, VaZso said:

Basically this behaviour makes the problem harder to fix because it is hard to reproduce.

I'm not too worried about having trouble reproducing the issue. The speaker problem seems to happen all the time.

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6 minutes ago, JECE said:

I'm having trouble following you here. Are you saying that I should be able to find settings for the keyboard? I know that these settings should exist, since we were promised keyboard shortcuts and whatnot, but they don't seem to exist. It seems to just be the same stock Android keyboard functionality that gets a Chromebook keyboard to work. That limited functionality is a nightmare for thumb typing.

I don't know Pro1-X stock system as I have no Pro1-X yet.

7 minutes ago, JECE said:

I'm surprised that you don't like the sticky shift, by the way!

Basically I got used to type without sticky shift on stock OS of Pro1 and tend to use Caps Lock instead, but sometimes I press shift, change my mind (twice), then it writes only capitals, I press caps lock which does not help, then back to caps lock normal state, then shift key... so it disturbs me.

11 minutes ago, JECE said:

I'm not too worried about having trouble reproducing the issue. The speaker problem seems to happen all the time.

:S

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9 minutes ago, VaZso said:

Basically I got used to type without sticky shift on stock OS of Pro1 and tend to use Caps Lock instead, but sometimes I press shift, change my mind (twice), then it writes only capitals, I press caps lock which does not help, then back to caps lock normal state, then shift key... so it disturbs me.

Sounds like you'd really benefit from a sticky shift, then! It's just two key presses vs. the Caps Lock method's three key presses. (If out of force of habit you keep holding down a [Shift] key, you're still going to end up with a capital letter, so it's not like that aspect is going to disturb you.)

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5 hours ago, JECE said:

Sounds like you'd really benefit from a sticky shift, then! It's just two key presses vs. the Caps Lock method's three key presses. (If out of force of habit you keep holding down a [Shift] key, you're still going to end up with a capital letter, so it's not like that aspect is going to disturb you.)

I am holding shift to type capitals, except when I want all caps.
The basic shift, then character behaviour does not really disturb me, but the double-pressed shift causing a caps lock-like behaviour which is really annoying and that is what I hate so much.

Edited by VaZso
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47 minutes ago, VaZso said:

I am holding shift to type capitals, except when I want all caps.
The basic shift, then character behaviour does not really disturb me, but the double-pressed shift causing a caps lock-like behaviour which is really annoying and that is what I hate so much.

If the double shift in LOS had activated caps-lock, so Caps key could release it also, it would be a lot less confusing, than release by a single shift.
Currently if you click Shift and regret, you have to click TWO more times to cancel it (one to enter pseudo-caps, and another to exit).
Had it required the two clicks on shift within say half a second to get pseudo-caps, it would be natural to after a slight hesitation a second click on shift just released the sticky.

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9 hours ago, JECE said:

It's a bit concerning to learn that even on LineageOS proper smartphone keyboard typing seems to be limited to only a subset of apps.

I tend to disagree with that. The more you are trying to use the Pro1(X) as a "real" computer terminal, the more you are going to be irritated by "Android" features suddenly popping up in your face.

For me, the accent selector does have its use in some apps targeted at more casual writing. But, e.g., when coding, I often write sequences like '<<<<<<<<<<<<<<', '>>>>>>>>>>>>', '++++++++++++++', or '--------------------' when commenting programs. In these cases, I find it very helpful that my text editor (acode) does not bring up the respective accent selector boxes ('≤, «, ‹', '≥, », ›', '±', or '-, _', respectively) upon me holding down those keys, but instead autorepeats the symbol exactly as I typed it on the keyboard.

I guess it is a matter of use case. So, I think it is good that apps can opt to support or ignore that feature, as that also gives you the possibility to choose according to your needs ...

Edited by claude0001
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That would be good if the user could decide for each app which keyboard mode it should use, but that's not how it is. In a browser, for example, I rarely find myself wanting the autorepeat feature, whereas I often need accented characters, and by tendency I find browsers using autorepeat mode instead of giving me the character selector.

That said, with the Pro1 + LOS 18.1 I'm not missing the char selector box anymore, as I get all accented/umlaut characters I need with fairly easy-to-type Sym+Char combinations, but I'm sometimes annoyed when I would like to do autorepeat but get the character selector box instead...

Edited by Rob. S.
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13 hours ago, VaZso said:

I am holding shift to type capitals, except when I want all caps.
The basic shift, then character behaviour does not really disturb me, but the double-pressed shift causing a caps lock-like behaviour which is really annoying and that is what I hate so much.

Oh, interesting. Rapidly double-tapping the [Shift] key to turn on caps lock is behavior that I'm used to, but it does seem a bit superfluous given that there is a separate [Caps] key.

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12 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

Had it required the two clicks on shift within say half a second to get pseudo-caps, it would be natural to after a slight hesitation a second click on shift just released the sticky.

That seems to have been the problem, then. It's odd that it would enable caps with two presses of the [Shift] key seconds apart. Still, it's much worse to not have sticky shift at all!

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11 hours ago, claude0001 said:

I tend to disagree with that. The more you are trying to use the Pro1(X) as a "real" computer terminal, the more you are going to be irritated by "Android" features suddenly popping up in your face.

For me, the accent selector does have its use in some apps targeted at more casual writing. But, e.g., when coding, I often write sequences like '<<<<<<<<<<<<<<', '>>>>>>>>>>>>', '++++++++++++++', or '--------------------' when commenting programs. In these cases, I find it very helpful that my text editor (acode) does not bring up the respective accent selector boxes ('≤, «, ‹', '≥, », ›', '±', or '-, _', respectively) upon me holding down those keys, but instead autorepeats the symbol exactly as I typed it on the keyboard.

I guess it is a matter of use case. So, I think it is good that apps can opt to support or ignore that feature, as that also gives you the possibility to choose according to your needs ...

I hear what you're saying, but I think that most users buy a phone as a means to communicate with others while on the go. A physical keyboard makes it easier for me to write paragraphs just as I like them.

And it's not like you can't write sequences with normal smartphone physical keyboard behavior. It's not too hard to just rapidly tap a key. That even gives you more control over exactly how many <'s you need. You can also make good use of copy and paste.

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10 hours ago, Rob. S. said:

That said, with the Pro1 + LOS 18.1 I'm not missing the char selector box anymore, as I get all accented/umlaut characters I need with fairly easy-to-type Sym+Char combinations

I guess that I won't know until I get a chance to try it. Glad to hear that there is a workaround, though.

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