Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and here's to a new year, may it be a happy one for all of you!
Sorry I've been so quiet on the update front, didn't have much to say. So, I'll try and cobble together a quick update for everyone.
My attempted video blog ran into a series of technical errors, glitches, and then my phone storage somehow filled up when it was supposed to be writing to the external card that still has several gigabytes free. For added fun, it seemingly can't transfer files over to my computer without corrupting them. I will keep trying on that front.
Mark called me for a second week check in, and walked me through the app and the many amazing and thoughtful details that they put into this thing. Honestly, I think that he should make a video or something talking about all these various features and include it with GR TextBlades. Meanwhile, I think I'll try to put together my own quick start guide to the TextBlade. No promises on when that will get done, since the new year and my return to college are fast approaching.
I have been using the TextBlade pretty much exclusively since I got the BLE dongle and drivers that actually let it talk to my laptop. I keep getting a number of interesting and bizarre errors while typing, which fall into a few categories:
-iOS problems. iOS devices and I have a long standing grudge, and I have suffered numerous problems due to having to configure the TextBlade on an Apple device. The first several of these come from WayTools stating the wrong requirements for the app; they said it required a device running iOS 9 or higher, so I bought myself an iPain--I mean iPad--Mini, first generation, running iOS 9.3.5. The app lagged, some features didn't work, and it corrupted the custom maps that I made. I talked to WayTools and they explained that really, the minimum requirements were an Apple device with the A7 chipset, rather than the anemic A5. So, I bought myself an iPain Mini 2, the cheapest thing I could find with the A7 and a 7.9 inch screen. When that arrived, I returned the Mini 1 (Given how physically similar they are, it was a very near thing about making sure I returned the correct one!) and tried working with the Mini 2. There are still persistent problems, including NEW corruptions to my custom maps.
-Precision problems and learning curve: the TextBlade is cutting edge of typing tech, and it's also a complete reinvention of the wheel. There IS a learning curve on this thing, and if you are as sloppy a typist as I am, it will let you know that very clearly. I've been testing and dialing in my muscle memory and the settings of the TextBlade itself, but I still hit the wrong characters every here and there, most frequently q instead of a, and h instead of n or k.
-The third type of problem have been honest to goodness bugs with the TextBlade. They are rare but they do happen. It can sometimes be slow to start up, or temporarily forget how to do backspace and just give me '. (Those are next to each other on Colemak, but I was very careful to only press the corner marked backspace and I still got '). Another problem I saw was that, after doing an OTA update to the latest test firmware, caps lock stopped working on my Android devices. Still haven't figured out what's going on there.
Some of these problems are related to my feud with all things Apple, and corrupted maps and such. (Those persisted onto the new iPain, and I had to start from scratch for all my custom tweaks) Some of these are problems with how the TextBlade works on some level, because honestly, this thing is about as complicated as a brand new smartphone, only with moving parts thrown into the mix.
I've been working with WayTools to try and hunt down these problems, but the fact is that a lot of these would be crippling to general release right now. And sure, I'm a weird edge case in how I can't get along with iOS and all the custom tweaking I'm trying to do, but it's still enough of an edge case that I can understand WayTools wanting to make sure that these problems don't cut off general release at the knees. I really do think that general release is coming, and that the TextBlade is the future of mobile and desktop text input. But it's not perfect yet--better than anything before, but still with some problems that would give it a bad rap if it went out the door right this instant. If WayTools had caved to pressure and shipped this thing mid 2016? There would be some really weird bugs all over the place, and some new features that they have added since I joined TREG wouldn't have been implemented or included.
I know, waiting sucks, especially for something really exciting like this. But the wait will be worth it, and it's getting shorter every day. Hang in there, and keep looking forward to the point we can all say,
typed on TextBlade