On-Screen Keyboard live and working in webOS 2.0; Update x2: Video! | webOS Nation

On-Screen Keyboard live and working in webOS 2.0; Update x2: Video!

by Dieter Bohn Mon, 06 Dec 2010 10:20 am EST


Remember those references to a Virtual Keyboard that were spied in webOS 2.0 code back in September (and, perhaps, the drama that ensued)? Well, now that webOS 2.0 devices are out in the wild, turns out it's more than just a reference. Using a Palm Pre 2, WebOS Internals went ahead and dug into the portion of webOS 2.0, entered "VirtualKeyboardEnabled=true" and after a UI restart hit Opt+Sym+K to bring up the software keyboard you see above.

The implementation is still a little buggy, but software keyboard on webOS exists right now - next step is a device that utilizes it. @DontBlameOil of WebOS Internals notes that it also works in landscape mode (until it crashes, that is). We're ready and waiting to see this live on a future device!

Source: WebOS Internals (Twitter)

Update: We busted out our vi skillsmounted our Pre 2 as writable, and had some dangerfun with our /etc/palm/luna.conf file. Sure enough: the virtual keyboard exists and works ...mostly. As @roneyii notes, it's not very useful as you currently need to use the actual, physical keyboard to bring up the virtual keyboard. As for the virtual keyboard itself - it's definitely a proof-of-concept affair. On a screen this small with what seems to be little-to-no optimization behind it, it certainly isn't something we'd want to use on a daily basis. Presumably HP has plenty more coming in terms of usability here.

For now, hit us up after the break for a video of the webOS 2.0 Software Keyboard - such as it is - in action.

Update 2: Belay the bits above and in the video that claim you can't bring the Virtual Keyboard up without the physical keyboard. It seems that the "Quick Wave" has been replaced with the Virtual Keyboard. That is - whereas before a slow, half-swipe up would bring up your 4 shortcuts in a "Quick Wave," it now toggles the virtual keyboard.