TREG: Just how much is portability relevent to the TextBlade...?

One advantage that gets overlooked in respect to this customisation compared to normal keyboards is that it all happens on the TextBlade independently of the host. There is no need to have any special software loaded on the hosts if you want to customise the keyboard.

As an example I have all my systems set to expect a UK International keyboard, but on the TextBlade I am actually using a Colemak based layout with customisations added to support both my typing style, and the apps I most frequently use.

The fact that the host systems will still work fine with a standard UK keyboard is convenient for those who do not have a TextBlade of their own, while I get the advantage of all my customisations when working with those same systems.

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I take a lot of notes and was for a while using the iPad Pro as my note machine. I now tend to use the TB with my iPhone 6S+.
This means I always have a reasonable sized screen with a full keyboard wherever I go. They both just slip into my pocket and job done.
Need to make some notes? I can set up on a really small footprint (see post from the other week showing usage on seatback table).
With more and more apps having full keyboard support due to Universal apps then the keyboard really adds power to the application.
Editorial and iThoughts are 2 of my go to applications. I can now block out a mind map or whole blocks of paragraphs pretty much anywhere.
When I got the iPad Pro, I pretty much ‘downsized’ from carrying a Mac and a PC all the time and remote into them through the Pro.
With the TB I can even leave the Pro at home a lot of the time and still know that I can do productive work if/when I want to…



What about putting the TextBlade on top of an onscreen keyboard on iPad (not using TextBlade extension), while using it in the lap?

With all the shield layers, TextBlade should not interfere with the onsceen keys, I guess?
Could any of the TREGers test how that works on iPad, and if it could be comfortable in a pinch?

(Picture taken while connected and working with Apple BT keyboard. On-screen keyboard is Tempest, but standard iOS is also fine.)

(Typed on my Colemak PaperBlade :wink: )

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I just did a quick test and it seems like it could work. On problem could where the typing shows up. For example you are typing a new note in the Notes app and have the textblade at the bottom you’ll be fine until your typing gets near the bottom of the screen. Then you’d probably need to type a bunch of Returns to push stuff up and then reposition the cursor.


Replies on this forum open a typing window at the bottom so I guess you’d have to slide the TextBlade up.

It’s possible to have the on screen keyboard in place when using the TB (briefly press j, k, l, ’ at the same time) so that would push up the bottom boundary of the app area. In that scenario you’ve no worse off screen space wise than using an on-screen keyboard.


I forgot about that!

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I have found that the UAG (Urban Armor Gear) iPad case would be an excellent candidate to combine these. That is what I plan on using. You can fold out the iPad and use the screen cover as the “platform” to set up the TB and type away.

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Yes, that was exactly my point. Thanks for clarifying :smile:

Only thought of this as a solution when having no access to a table, and then using TextBlad in the lap on top of an iPad. Then no need to carry extra whiteboard, lapdesk or such.

The drawback is the flat viewing angle and less screen estate, but for plain writing or note taking, it might work well enough. What do you think?

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Just done a brief test, the TB keyboard extension doesn’t take up enough screen space, but the normal on screen keyboard does. The iPad (and iPhone) remove the onscreen keyboard regardless if which your using if they discover a HW keyboard, but the TB key combination of j, k, l, ’ brings up the on screen keyboard regardless of the actual one in use.

I think you’d need something to stop the iPad sliding off your legs / knee, though the Apple cover should do that in most cases.

Also you’ll need to put it in screen lock, being a bit vertically challenged (i.e. short) I usually end up sitting with my knees slightly lower than my hips, and in that position the iPad invariably did it’s screen rotation thing so the screen was upside down.


Thanks a lot for testing this. I have the same experience with screen turning upside down while on the lap, and have to switch on the screen lock.

There is a trick with regards to TextBlade on-screen extension:

  1. Switch to iOS native keyboard
  2. Undock keyboard (long press keyboard button, bottom right)
  3. Switch back to TextBlade extension.

Now the extension is floating, and room for TextBlade. But only works in some apps – other apps displays text both above and below :frowning:

Future enhancement for the TextBlade extension, could be a second mode, expanded upwards to make room for a TextBlade resting on top of screen (only for tablets, of course), so not having to switch to native iOS keyboard.

Not now @waytools, but in app version 2.0 …

So I haven’t really gone on a trip yet since I got the TextBlade, but I do short train commutes. Two things have surprised me, compared to what I predicted would be my use cases:

  1. I use the TB mainly with my MacBook Air (often closed and connected to an external monitor).
  2. I haven’t been tempted to leave the Mac behind at work and just connect remotely using ssh/VNC when necessary.

My main iOS device is an iPhone 6. We do have an iPad Air at home, but that really belongs to my wife.

I carry the TB about 98% of the time when I’m out and about, walking, running errands, etc. I have found that it’s pretty easy to find a flat surface when necessary to bang out an email or an extended set of text messages. The exceptions are when standing in line, or on a crowded train with limited table-seats. In those cases, I revert to shorter messages tapped from the screen. It’s possible to employ a book or closed laptop or something to use the TB on your lap, but the awkwardness would be embarrassing, and my iPhone might drop, so I haven’t tried this maneuver.

I used to carry my Apple Bluetooth keyboard on trips, but I’ve stopped using it even at work, in favor of the TB.

—typed on TextBlade on Mac—


Instead of this, since I don’t think it’s something WayTools should really handle, have you thought about getting a keyboard such as Nintype? IIRC, you can go into its settings and change the height essentially pixel by pixel.

Since it doesn’t matter what keyboard is under it, you could grab that one and adjust it to exactly the height that you want. Then all the apps would adjust their views to account for only that much space.

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One of the many jobs that I do is repairing airline self-checkin kiosks. For this I need to have a USB (not bluetooth) keyboard in my toolkit.

My company is just a sub-sub-sub contractor to the airline, and we don’t get any special allowances when flying. They’re also really strict with carry-on baggage weight restriction. Having the TextBlade (plus dongle) in my toolkit is a lot smaller and lighter than a USB keyboard and means that there’s more room for more other tools.


I’ll be thinking of you next time I crash an airline kiosk for fun :smile:

For myself its not so much portability as it is customization. My work requires me to connect to esoteric system that require terminal access, shift function keys, and other idiotic keystrokes. My problem isn’t so much a keyboard, but a keyboard that can do what I need it to do. Most BT keyboards are about portability so they tend to remove keys to accomplish that. I usually end up having to choose which ‘thing’ I need the most, shift funcktion keys, arrow keys because this idioitc menu system doesn’t accept tabs, keyboard that dont have tab keys for auto completion because who needs that for 500 character long directory paths right, or something else. I’m always making those compromises.

But iOS has customizable keyboards? Yeah right. “Customization” seems to mean ‘what skin can you throw over the standard keyboard’ not actual customization.

“In theory” I shouldn’t have to do that with the Waytools keyboard. So I’m looking forward to what I can do with it

There are some pretty crazy keyboards out there. Weren’t people talking about MessageEase on here several months ago?

I feel you on the lack of programming keys, though, especially for software keyboards.

There is also the iOS Tempest Keyboard with more than just skins, and weigh only 0.0 gram:

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My problem is that I need all the ‘weird’ keys like F1-F10 AND be able to do Shift+F1->F10 at a bare minimum.

Not to mention ctrl- or shift-ctrl- as well

The systems I connect to require key commands that havent’ been used since Turing’s day. That’s really my pet peeve. Which is why any tablet or ‘not an actual computer’ thing is something I can barely use due to the need for me to use these esoteric key strokes. You’d think software keyboards would be able to accomodate this by now, but it doesn’t seem like anyone cares for some odd reason…

Hopefully in the near future, this might solve the problem: