Quick-Keys Keyboard brings a rough virtual keyboard for webOS smartphones to the App Catalog | webOS Nation
 
 

Quick-Keys Keyboard brings a rough virtual keyboard for webOS smartphones to the App Catalog 29

by Derek Kessler Thu, 19 Apr 2012 8:22 pm EDT

Quick-Keys Keyboard brings a rough virtual keyboard for webOS smartphones to the

Some things we never thought we'd see. Like Microsoft somewhat getting their act together or Rod Blagojevich kind of sort of admitting his guilt. Or a virtual on-screen keyboard for webOS smartphones, especially in the App Catalog. Now, webOS 3.0 and the TouchPad by necessity have a virtual keyboard, and it's been demonstrated to work at phone sizes, and way back when there was even a hack to enable one in webOS 2.x, though it never really made it to primetime.

Now, live in primetime and the webOS App Catalog is a new app by D Gardner: Quick-Keys Keyboard. The app throws a virtual keyboard into the notification area that you can use to type on your Pre without ever opening up the keyboard. Or you can use it on a TouchPad, if you're thinking the default virtual keyboard is just too darn big at any size. This $0.99 app lives in your notification area, ready to pop up and get you typing with a mere tap. Well, at least a close approximation of typing.

Somewhat by necessity, Quick-Keys Keyboard types words one-at-a-time in the dashboard and a space or enter sends them into the appropriate app. It's a tedious existence, especially without any predictive or autocorrecting type available. Obviously we'd prefer that it put the letters we type in the app's text field as we type them, but we also can't imagine this was particularly easy to code. Maybe in a future update - perhaps one that brings a serious visual refresh. webOS is by-and-large an elegant operating system and the Mojo and Enyo SDK widgets have ensured that it's not hard to make apps that look good too. Quick-Keys does not.

Despite the relative ugly, Quick-Keys Keyboard does bring some neat features, like a quick-text option that lets you set up to 28 different one-tap shortcuts that circumvent the one-word-at-a-time typing method for pre-canned messages that appear in your text field with a single tap. It can also insert the current date/time, and in a format of your choosing. Quick-Keys Keyboard has some potential as a creative solution to a problem that's been with webOS for three years now, but it's going to need some serious user interface and experience polish before it's ready for primetime.

29 Comments

Thank you for doing an article about my app.

Also there is a YouTube video with a brief intro found here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-rs9x-ElPo

Also there is 55 Quick-Keys available, there are roughly 28 on the front set of keys. Once you tap the refresh button it will take you to the second available set of Quick-Keys.

How do you backspace?

There are Three different Keyboard Layouts : AZERTY, QWERTZ, and QWERTY (default).

For the "AZERTY" Keyboard Layout the delete/undo button (red arrow button) is directly to the 'left' of the enter key button (return key, that is a green color).

For "QWERTY" and "QWERTZ" Keyboard Layouts you will find the delete/undo button (red arrow button) directly above the enter key button (return key, that is a green color). Note that the letters must be lower case and not shifted to uppercase, to view the delete button.

You are free to use the delete button whenever there is any text in the top edit window. Sending the text one word at a time is the best way to be able to correct your spelling or mistakes before sending it to the application. If text was typed directly into the app there would be no way to correct yourself if you tapped the wrong letter, without using the physical keyboard backspace button.

When inside "App Mode" found by tapping on the top left rocket-ship (spaceship) icon you are free to type immediately (not one word at a time) with full access to delete, edit, or move around in the text with no limitations.

Quite surprised of no mention at all of the Swype-style input options. Perhaps the review was on the original version. The updated version, aside from a little bit of ugly :) is quite nice. It's especially good on the Pre3, as there is definitely enough screenspace for it. It's a little tight on the Pre2.

Wow, what an interesting development!

I love it purely for the custom shortcut keys. My full-name email address is irritating to type repeatedly on the TP.

You guys should check out my app.. It is almost finished, and does the input right into the app like they said they wished this app did :) (Note, a have not yet used the "Quick Keys" app)
my app is almost finished, it does everything but enter/backspace.. Link here https://github.com/patrickc14/virtual-keyboard-webos

Hi patrickc!

It not competitive with my pre3 using webos 2.2.4

This one can type directly into the fields of other apps, but by changing it to go word by word instead of doing that, the user still has the ability to backspace and edit. With yours, once it's in the text field you cant change it.

That is a known bug. I am working on getting backspace/enter working on it. And option/symbol working as well..
 

I do miss the virtual keyboard I had in my Pre-... so I might give this a try!

here is the link I create an .ipk file to install via WQI, but it not competitive with my pre3.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22219433/com.awesomeapps.virtualkeyboard_0.0.8_a...

and here is the picture: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22219433/Capture%2014.PNG

Hmm.. thanks for pointing that out. i'll take a look at it and find out why it looks like that

I really don't understand the word-at-a-time thing. For a long time now there is a homebrew app called Hebrew Fonts & Keyboard ( http://www.webosnation.com/hebrew-fonts-keyboard?order=value&sort=desc&p... ) that gives a virtual keyboard in the notification area that inserts every letter to the app. It's in Hebrew to solve the problem of no Hebrew-support in WebOS, but I don't see any problem in making it work in any language.
Am I missing something?

You can't backspace or edit when you type directly into another app. That was the biggest complaint with version one of this app. That's why it does one word at a time - so you have a chance to correct it before it's sent.

This is the app that I took (with permission from the developer) and made into my VKB app (linked to above)
I'm working on getting it fully finished so I can get it out the door :)

I really missed the virtual keyboard from my Pre- and this is a very good replacement on my Pre3 =) I bought it on the first day it was out.

sounds good....I will buy it

heard webOS is dead...than why am I spending so much money on new apps lately

they seem to be popping up quite frequently !

works good ...needs some getting use to....really like the slide to type feature and the space send.....good for when I walk the dog or when my other hand is busy wrapped around a cold beer

Gonna have to pick this up and check out Patrick's. This will be great for when in meetings/training and I don't want to be sliding out the KB and be obviously typing away (like yesterday). Good stuff!

pretty damned sweet tbh.

hi there, how can i purchase it outside the US?

does it break the sweep up of toolbar app start and also does it break the HP app catalog like older vkb items did ??

...not intended to be a slur on a valuable work in progress very much appreciated...

The app definitely doesn't break anything.

As for the sweep up of the toolbar, I'm assuming you are referring to the wave launcher? If you are, then yes you can still use the wave launcher with the app with no issues.

The HP app catalog still works fine with the Quick-Keys Keyboard and does 'not' break anything when the app is installed and you can even type into the text field using the Quick-Keys Keyboard app.

I like the stock keyboard better, if only it could work in landscape. But it works well for just type and messaging and that good enough for me.

The Quick-Keys Keyboard app does work in Landscape.

You will want to open the Quick-Keys Keyboard ( while in Portrait ) then simply turn your phone sideways and the landscape keyboard will pop up.

Note: that for the landscape keyboard "tapping" is off by default, this is changeable inside the Keyboard Settings page. If the enable tap in landscape option is off, slide your fingers over the keys to type.

I just revived my Pre Plus (VZW) yesterday, and remembered I had installed the old virtual keyboard from Preware. Figured out how to start it up, then found out (again) why I lost interest a year ago: backspace no workee. Kinda puts a damper on it. But there's always hope.

I'm making a keyboard app for Android. It may be available for webOS in the future.