MultiMap Software Q&A

By wish list request (thx to MaggieL), we’ve created this thread for discussion about TextBlade’s MultiMap software.

Your questions are welcome here and our engineering staff will check in periodically to respond with info for you.

I just switched my TB over to the blank key caps, question and idea is might be a neat idea to be able to upload or have options for people with blanks be able to purchase overlays for keyboard or easy attachable key marks so if you want practice Colemak or qwerty u just put overlay on. But just an idea. I know lots of peeps will just say print a side sheet but there is a market for the overlays why not be the ones that make the money for them from the jump. Just a thought.

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There had been some talk about MultiMap being able to show a transparent overlay over running apps that would highlight keystrokes as they are made. Be nice to do something for macros too…

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I can see that feature parity across the different supported platforms for MultiMap will be a challenge. I see the same thing in other software I use like Garmin Pilot

Maggie – have some neat stuff in the oven for Macros. Think you’ll be pleased.

On platforms –

TextBlade is a cross-platform device, and its onboard MultiMap capabilities work anywhere you can type.

I think your question is aimed at the companion app, which lets you setup your mappings, and offers enhanced UI. As we port our iOS app to new platforms, the goal is a consistent user experience.

Feature parity is important – and there’s good news there. iOS, Android, Mac, and PC all have sufficient technical foundation to support our MultiMap design. Both iOS (since 8.0) and Android (for many years now) support keyboard extensions. Mac and PC allow similar low-level access.

As a developer – you also know that each feature takes finite time to port. Here’s a common choice app developers are faced with (using Android as an example):

A. Release Android features as they are available

B. Release for Android once all features are ported.

We feel it’s important to get new capabilities in folks hands as they are available (option A).

As an Android user/developer, interested to get your take.

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Yeah, we’re talking about MultiMap.

And feature parity across platforms for multi-platform apps is just inherently a challenge, which is why I mentioned Garmin Pilot. For example… Garmin Pilot currently supports synthetic vision on iOS but not on Android; it’s roadmapped for Android but isn’t there yet. At the same time, Foreflight doesn’t have an Android version at all, and I doubt that they ever will. Same for Animoog.

Absolutely concur with Option A. Especially since one hopes that MultiMap will evolve and add features over the product life; unless and until somebody makes a magic cross-mobile-platform framework (which AAPL will resist kicking and screaming) features are unlikely to release on different platforms simultaneously. For anybody.

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Is there a list of the included configurable layouts somewhere? I just want to know if there is a french-canadian layout in it and which one of two it is.

TextBlade is currently offered in 12 keycaps configs (listed below).

You can see pics of many of them on the Blog.

The MultiMap library contains these layouts + more. Some customers choose Legend-Free Keys for the freedom to experiment and switch layouts, or custom-tune their own.

Junk - tell us what’s most important to you for the French-Canadian map implementation.

Depends on the way we can access double green keys. Are you ready to disclose it? So I could come with the best layout with the less modifications over the US Qwerty (to keep the “/” and “’” at the same position as the US for coding and url typing purpose). Those 2 characters position could be improved over their current position on the french canadian keyboard.

I use this layout (the apple layout, bluetooth keyboard) https://support.apple.com/library/content/dam/edam/applecare/images/en_US/keyboards/canadian_notebook.png

I agree. Will the multimap be ready to ship with the first shipments of textblades? Are there any videos you can share so we can see the multimap in action?

Yes Hockeyguy - MultiMap ships with the first TextBlades.

We’re excited for folks to see it, and can share videos once our MultiMap patent filings are complete.

What does this actually mean? What operating systems are supported from day one?

What I understand is:

We are told iOS is supported day one.

We are also told Android development begins after the iOS version is finished enough to be a basis for development, because Android development is harder.

The phrase “a couple of months” has been used to describe the interval from first TextBlade ship to Android MultiMap availability (in the context of discussing the fact that TextBlade internal software cannot be field-updated without MultiMap). We’ll see how many months “a couple” is.

The suggestion has been made that until then, Android users “borrow a friend’s iPhone” on the occasions when they need MultiMap.

If that’s the case I think it’d have more to do with focusing their development efforts on one platform than Android dev being harder (it’s not). I think iOS fits their image more so it’s understandable they pick an OS and stick with it. That is, it’s understandable as long as multi map isn’t a requirement for normal Text Blade usage, which is my understanding.

Only recounting what we were told here re: “Android dev is harder”…personally I don’t buy it, but that may be my software biases talking. I suppose it is harder if you’re mostly an iOS dev, and a lot of mobile devs are.

Thanks for the helpful answers Maggie.

All — Once you’ve installed a map on your TextBlade, you can use it anywhere.

TextBlade’s companion app (which allows MultiMap users to create custom maps) is available for iOS at first ship. Mac uses the same code base and will come soon after.

Android is a more significant port (since we have a large iOS / Mac code base), and will take a couple months. We’ll kick this off once the iOS version is complete. Android also runs on a wide variety of hardware, making the process of vetting software more involved.

We’re very keen on supporting Android, and will be releasing new features for Android as they are available.

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I am happy there is a OSX version. I do not own any smartphone.

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Not sure how soon after the iOS version the Mac one is likely to appear. Since you only need MultiMap for to make changes to a keyboard you could probably get away with borrowing one for a short period. in fact if you are happy with the keymap that arrives preloaded when your TextBlade is delivered (you will have selected the language) then you may never need to use MultiMap - it is intended for customisation above the supplied layouts.

Don’t forget that MultiMap is also required for any field updates to the internal TextBlade code.

Of course, that will be perfect when it ships. There’s been copious time available for QAing it already. :slight_smile:

So this is a little worrisome. Shipping should start anytime now (and thus, also, multi map being in the wild).

Shouldn’t the patent filings have been done a while back when shipping was intended before the hardware issues found? Please don’t manufacture delay due to sw patents.