TL;DR - just skip to the second to last paragraph.
I received my TREG Textblade around December 13 or so (early Christmas present, woot!), but wasn't able to really use it right away because of the holidays. When I did try to use it, I was frustrated with it because I couldn't pair it with my MacBook Pro. I could pair it with my iPad and my iPhone, but the pairing process with my Mac just wasn't working properly. I had a few messages back and forth with WayTools and even got a call from Mark (though I didn't realize at the time that it was Mark) and some of his engineers. They had me try several things, but we ultimately didn't resolve anything. I sent them some bluetooth logs after the call, but I'm not sure it helped.
While I have a laptop, I use it more like a desktop. I do take it back and forth between my home office and my church office, but I attach an external monitor to it as my main display (with the laptop screen as my secondary display) as well as an external keyboard and trackpad. So, my main use case for the Textblade was to replace my external keyboard that I use with my desk-laptop. When I couldn't get my Textblade to pair with my Mac I was frustrated and didn't really use it. I finally got over myself and plugged in the BT dongle Waytools was kind enough to send me, and I started trying to acclimate myself to this new thing.
What I found was that it didn't take any time at all to get used to typing on it. As many others have said, the key feel and typing experience is very satisfying. The "thunk" of the keys as they bottom out feels very natural, and I've tried a lot of keyboards over the years. I learned how to type on an actual typewriter and while the key travel is nothing like that old thing, it's no less satisfying. I think it's a combination of the key travel and the force required to press down the magnetic butterflies that makes the experience top-notch.
I had been keeping up with the forums (mostly lurking) regularly since I ordered in 2015, had read the wiki that Taylor set up, and had poked around in the Textblade app, so I knew the possibilities of customization the Textblade had. However, I told myself that I needed to trust the engineers and just use the thing for at least a month before I went in and tried to adjust any of the settings like key mappings or boundary adjustments. I was going to turn on the Spaceblade Hot Corners because I was already accustomed to using my left thumb to press the command key for shortcuts, but that was all I was going to do at first.
Well, I didn't listen to my own advice and one of the first things I did was put the semicolon/colon key back in it's proper place. I mean, how dare they move my semicolon! I'm a programmer and use that thing all the time! I use Colemak and thought they were just not correctly implementing the Colemak layout. I was later corrected by Mark that no, they did this for the QWERTY layout too. The reasoning is simple and makes perfect sense if you get over yourself and think about it for a minute: you type the apostrophe and double-quote way more than the semicolon and colon, even as a programmer. So, when I put the apostrophe and double-quote on the green layer (where they had put the semicolon and colon) I was making it harder for myself. Now that I've put those keys back to where they originally were, it's already easier to use. (I just used the apostrophe twice in that last sentence!) So the moral here is: really truly take my advice and don't try to customize everything right out of the box. Give it some time. I have now adjusted a few of the boundaries and timings, but only after I was typing fairly consistently with most of the Textblade.
Sometime in the beginning of January, WayTools sent me a new spaceblade (where the bluetooth chip is housed) and I was able to pair with my Mac first try with it. I sent my original spaceblade back to WayTools and they were able to reproduce the pairing issue I was having with it. They said it was a rare issue with the BT radio in that spaceblade and that they will be adding specific factory testing to prevent future spaceblades from coming out with the issue.
So, now I don't have to use my dongle for my Mac, which is great! I do still carry the dongle around (the keyblade magnets are strong enough to hold it through the nano stands, even in my pocket ... I can post a picture if anyone is interested in what I mean), and use it with the occasional Windows computer or older Mac that I work with at my church. It's great having the dongle for the random computers that I have to work on, because I don't have to worry about taking up a jump slot or going through any pairing process. I just plug in the dongle, jump to slot 6, and I'm up and running.
Because of the holidays, some scheduling conflicts, and the weirdness with pairing with my Mac, I didn't get my walkthrough/orientation call from Mark when I first got my Textblade. So, almost two months after receiving my Textblade, I had my call with Mark on Monday, February 5th. Our call lasted almost 2 hours and 40 minutes, but the time flew by. The level of workmanship and thought that has gone into this product is stellar. Mark is very personable and his knowledge and passion about keyboards (and input devices in general) is inspiring. While I thought I had a pretty good grasp on the capabilities of the Textblade, I found out I hadn't nearly explored the app enough or really understood the information presented to me in the guide.
Basically in my zeal to just get up and running with the thing, I neglected to fully understand everything I could do with it. But here's the thing: even if you never use any of the layers beyond the green layer and maybe the edit/select arrows, this keyboard is vastly superior to any other keyboard out there. When I showed my Textblade to my pastor (I'm always getting him in trouble with his wife when I show him new tech he then has to have ), he was typing on it immediately without ever hearing about the Textblade before. When I showed him that it only has 9 keys and that it uses multitouch, he was astonished that he didn't even realize that when he was typing on it. It's that good.
Once you have acclimated yourself to the keyboard, then you can start exploring and customizing it to your heart's content. If my count is correct, there are 13 different layers where you can assign any single character or combination of modifier keys and character to (almost) any position. Add to that 2 more layers of macros and you quickly realize just how amazing this nine button, folding marvel is.
Now I know for those of you who have not yet been invited into TREG that this report just seems like another slap in the face, that some other random guy has a Textblade and you don't. But here is what I think you can take away from this: Other than the rare BT chip issue I had initially, I haven't had any other problems with my Textblade (other than user-error of course). And there are many, many other TREG users who have had all their issues solved with the latest firmwares. Of the 80 or so people who have reported anything on slack, only 9 of those are having problems, and 5 of those reports are from more than 5 months ago about things that others have now reported as working fine. So while I don't have any specific information about general release, the feeling and consensus is that it's coming very soon.
If anyone has any questions about my experiences or typing on Colemak (which I learned in 2015 in anticipation of receiving my Textblade) or key mappings I've changed, I'll be more than happy to respond. I'm probably going to followup this post with another one about my typing speed findings.