Nexus S and the Apple Wireless Keyboard

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.

Sony MDR-V6 and Sennheiser CX300 Headphones

Sony MDR-V6 Monitor Series Headphones

In the past couple of months, my headphones have failed. The ear pads on my fifteen year-old Sony MDR-V2 headphones began to deteriorate. The wiring connections at the jack and drivers became intermittent. I soldered on a new jack, but it was difficult to get the insulation off the fine gauge wire. I got tired of fixing them and figured I got my money’s worth. My earbuds started having an intermittent connection too.

It was time for new headphones. I’ve been in a few recording studios in the past 30 years, and I often saw Sony MDR-V6 Studio Monitor Series Headphones being used. These fit my budget (~$70 USD) and all those recording studios can’t be wrong. There’s even a Wikipedia entry for the MDR-V6. The headphones are circumaural – they go over your ears. The sound reproduction is accurate.

Sennheiser CX300-B Earbuds

When I ride my bike, I use earbuds, but only in one ear, so I’ll be able to hear the SUV, driven by a person talking on the phone, nearly kill me.

I chose a lower price point for earbuds, since I’m mostly listening to podcasts and the whizzing wind isn’t really conducive to high fidelity. Most of my music is ripped at 192 kbps VBR anyway.

I narrowed it down to the USD ~$30 Sennheiser CX300 in-ear stereo headphones and the USD ~$33 Sony MDR-EX75. I bought the Sennheisers. Hopefully they’re not counterfeit .