When I bought a Samsung Nexus S in December, I had problems using the Android keyboard because I have big fingers. They aren’t the sausages I remember when I shook George Duvivier‘s hand, but they’re big.
Inevitably, when I used the keyboard in the portrait mode, a key press would often result in a mistyped letter. I thought a Bluetooth keyboard would help with this problem and I miraculously received one for Christmas.
The Apple Wireless Keyboard follows Apple’s design aesthetic, which I happen to like (in spite of the Macintrash category I use on this blog).
I thought it would be a simple task to pair the two Bluetooth devices, but for several months, I was unable to find a suitable IME app that would work. You would just think it would work, but it didn’t. Last December, I tried Teksoft’s BlueInput demo and Elbrain’s BlueKeyboard JP. Neither of them worked at the time – I couldn’t get the keyboard to pair with the phone.
I don’t know if it was the Gingerbread update to 2.3.3 or an update to BlueKeyboard JP, but the last time I tried to connect them, the Nexus S and the Apple Wireless Keyboard started working together. I did the following:
On the phone, turn on Bluetooth – “Settings/Wireless Networks/Bluetooth“
Power on the Apple Wireless Keyboard
If the keyboard isn’t listed under “Bluetooth devices” select “Scan for devices”
Once the phone finds the keyboard, it will display “Paired but not connected” under the device name
Under “Settings/Language & keyboard “check “BlueKeyboardJP”
Under “Settings/Language & Keyboard” select “BlueKeyboardJP settings“
Check “Connecting Process”
“Selected keyboard” should have the Bluetooth keyboard’s name checked
Finally, open an app that uses text input. Touch and hold (long press) in the text box until “Edit text/Paste/Input method” pops up. Select “Input method” then select “BlueKeyboard JP.” In the Status bar, next to the Bluekeyboard JP notification icon, it will say, “Connecting….”
Elbrain’s documentation for Bluekeyboard JP shows that the notification icon changes color for three different states – Disconnected, Connecting and Connected. It’s very subtle.
I’m currently using version 2.16 of Bluekeyboard JP, which has ads displayed at the bottom of the screen. Since I got Bluekeyboard JP working, I thought I’d use the paid version, which has a user dictionary, but the comments in the Android Market for BlueKeyboard Pro JP say that the paid version also has ads.
Update: I just installed Teksoft’s BlueInput demo 1.8 and it also works, pretty much the same as BlueKeyboard JP.