Openmoko keyboard mockup

Ian darkstarsword at
Wed Jan 7 17:27:13 CET 2009

>  Maybe it would be better to have a full-screen input mode where you
> can see what will be typed (maybe keep the rightmost 20-30 characters of
> the string visible in the keyboard app, then actually pass it to the
> program when leaving 'full-screen' mode or pressing 'enter', etc). That
> still allows you to see what you are typing with a full-screen keyboard
> (which is what it seems most people are wanting from the transparency).
>  Extra points could be awarded for allowing applications to give the
> keyboard app a description of the 'active' field to be displayed
> in a 'full-screen' mode.

Yeah, that reminds me a lot of the fullscreen keyboard on the Nokia N800:

The keyboard can be brought up by either:
- If enough pressure is applied to select a text field (significantly
more than the stylus can, but still only requires a firm push with a
finger/thumb), though this doesn't always work reliably
- Pressing the "rocker" key in the middle of the directional keypad
when the stylus keyboard is displayed
- Changing the settings can enable it to always come up, even when the
stylus is used (or disable it altogether).

Once displayed, some notable functions which may not be obvious from a
screen shot:
 - If it was activated for a text field which can be edited (ie, not
an X terminal), the text will be placed in the text field on the
 - The text field in the keyboard supports highlighting, overwriting,
moving left/right and so forth
 - As a word is entered, the single most likely completion in it's
dictionary will be displayed in the text field in another colour - if
tapped on, it will enter that word.
 - the button on the upper left (an underlined down arrow) dismisses
the keyboard and passes it's input to the application
 - the return button will also dismiss the keyboard, but will
additionally send a return keystoke
 - The large back key is backspace
 - The odd looking button just left of the return key brings up a menu
allowing cut, copy, paste and changing dictionaries/languages if a
second language has been selected in the settings (which appears to
also have the option to use both dictionaries simultaneously, though I
have not tried that functionality).
 - On the letters page, the lower right button selects punctuation in
a similar manner to many phones (1 tap: full stop, 2 taps: comma, 3:
question mark, 4: exclamation mark, 5: hyphen and so on). As it is
tapped, the symbols displayed update to indicate the current symbol
selected (in black) as well as the next two symbols that would be
selected by continuing to tap (in grey). These same symbols may also
be found on the 1!+ (numbers and common* symbols) tab, though they are
each on separate buttons (so, faster to enter ... for example)
 - Selecting the letters tab while in the tab swaps between lower and upper case

*what is considered a common symbol is debatable - the asterisk is on
the third tab, while Euros and Pounds are on the common symbols tab -
since I'm in Australia my preference would be to swap that around.
Notably, there are also many symbols (including accented characters)
which can be used in the small keyboard, which are not available in
the fullscreen keyboard at all (as far as I am aware).

You can also see an earlier version of the non full screen keyboard
(which I do not believe would be suitable for something as small as
the freerunner, especially with no stylus holder) here:

I personally wouldn't mind something similar to this on the freerunner
- probably best used in landscape/fullscreen mode with raster's
keyboard for portrait/small mode - accelerometer fun comes to mind to
toggle the modes - only needs to be active (and draining power) when
the keyboard is displayed (and probably a setting to disable the
behaviour somewhere logical).


On the day *I* go to work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be
heard from far overhead, the moon will not merely turn blue but
develop polkadots, and hell will freeze over so solid the brimstone
will go superconductive.
     -- Erik Raymond, 2005
Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.

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