Using cursor keys in iPadOS 13.4

Now that iPadOS officially supports using the cursor keys to control an actual cursor on screen, can we use this using the TB? In the settings there is a setting to ‘tap the option key five times to activate the mouse keys’ but that doesn’t seem to do anything? Has anyone got this working yet?

TookiTheGreat - should work just fine since we use standard codes for cursors, and so does Apple.

Will check in Apple stores once they reopen after health guidelines are eased.

Further to that - for ‘tap’ of option key 5 times, that means sending the option code without a shifted key.

In current TextBlade firmware, we send the option key when you apply it to an entry, like a letter key for example.

In the new firmware infrastructure, we can set this to send the option key even if you do not enter any character following it.

So you’ll likely want our newer release to play with 5 tap feature.

The normal cursor keys on your current TextBlade of course already send cursor commands to apps.

So at issue is the interaction with iPadOS’s virtual mode mode via a temporary mouse function map to the cursor keys.

New infrastructure gives us broad leeway to alter how control keys respond to your gestures so we can map this however is desirable, such as with this virtual mouse cursor mode inside iPadOS.

We think there’s some less awkward ways to get this rather than layers of abstraction in Apple’s 5-tap mouse-key mode. For example with new mouse support on iPadOS, it should be possible for us to issue mouse moves directly, without going through apple’s emulator.

Apple’s older mouse emulator keyboard shift mode has historically been a bit confusing for users, since they get stuck in it sometimes inadvertently and then don’t know why their character keys don’t work normally.

We can support it, but we think there’s likely a better way to serve the end-user’s objective.


So can you advise when we can see the new firmware please?

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Laverda - working through our firmware checklist, and it’ll be a bit yet. Power-modes looking pretty good now.

I think it is worth pointing out that while you have given little bits of info in many posts since June 20, 2018, at this point it is generally really the same info as before when it comes to anything that could be considered an update of progress.

I mean, there are many comments about “working through our checklist” and comments about power improvements are old news as well.

IOW, if we are only going to get little bits of info for a long time instead of a big one, it would be nice if it was new info!

Such as what things, since the last “checklist” comment, have been settled, or even just improved? On the power end, what are some specific examples of improvement. Finally, of course, any other things that haven’t been specifically referred to yet.


You have used the same words many times over the past few years.

There comes a point when you need to deliver on what you have already stated you will deliver.


dbk + laverda -

We discussed working on the new power management and boot sequence code in recent posts. There were about a dozen discrete operating cases to handle. Each involve interactions between multiple cpu’s, power circuitry, and different battery and connectivity states - so there’s lots of permutations and combinations.

Each of those cases had to be coded, tested, and bench-characterized for validation.

When we last posted, we were mid-way through those. Now those cases are pretty well put to bed, and dev team members have moved onto other items needed to field the new firmware infrastructure release.

When you restructure your firmware architecture, these are lots of these kind of requirements that are emergent needs - not your primary objective, rather, they are consequential demands from the new foundation. But you still have to design, deploy and test that new code. If you don’t do that carefully, you can introduce bricking or other scenarios in your new architecture. The tests show our new methods are inherently more resilient, so we’re pretty happy with how it has turned out.

While these aren’t fancy features to crow about, they’re nonetheless critical for robust operation. The knowledge base from users like you, using the current firmware release in the field, showed us where these needs are, and prompted what we just built.

That power code part of the work began around fall, and looks to be fairly complete now. We haven’t been posting on this particular topic spanning years - we hadn’t even identified the need until after substantial Treg input from you all.

We certainly know you’re anxious to try out this new release. Though the words we posted may seem unimportant, they do accurately reflect a lot of hard work by our team.

Criticism is fair game. Please consider though, how it might feel to complete a complex, intricate requirement, that required lots of methodical, difficult effort - if it were then dismissed as trivial. We know that’s not the spirit of the comment, but the guys making it do take a lot of pride in what they just completed. We know of no other keyboard with power management software that comes close to what we just built in.


Have to start with the end:

No, that wasn’t my point or issue. It was that we pretty much kept getting the same types of comments about the power issue. Often pretty generic (like saying you have made a lot of progress) and sometimes more specific (like when talking about longer battery life). But in both cases, we weren’t seeing new details which could count as “update” information for a long time. With that in mind, now I can go back to the rest of your post:

I believe that counts as new details.

And that is a measurement of progress. Many may want more, but this is what I’ve been complaining about the lack of for a long time!

Oh, and feel free to mention what things they are moving on too! :slight_smile:

I can certainly understand how you have to have the new firmware stable in areas that may not be the primary objective to avoid serious problems. A rewrite is certainly going to be complicated. And people here should know that since some of the most vocal critics would sometimes complain about any change and how it might cause new problems which would take a long time to solve. If that’s the case, then a rewrite certainly can do that.

Again, a measurement of progress - thought the "looks to be FAIRLY complete can be a bit worrisome! After all, every tregger has seen things that weren’t ready that was once thought to be solved way back in 2016!

Now, of course, I’d like even more info. But the main point I wish to make is that the post above does give new info and some stuff that related to how things are progressing.


In the past you have made comments about being 90% at parity and sometime after that you said “over” 90%. While we all know that the last 10% can take 80% of the time (or not), it is also still measuring progress.

So, care to update that figure? It’s been a very long time.


Dbk - there’s lots of stuff we did solve in 2016, and more since that time too.

We made hundreds of software builds and releases. Treg users have been using those extensively with the current release they’ve already had in hand.

What we’re discussing now is the gen2 firmware infrastructure, where we have reimplemented the whole system on a new, much more efficient code platform.

Your post above makes it sound like we’ve been saying we’re 90% done since 2016.

That’s not an accurate or fair statement, and we don’t think that’s what you mean to suggest.

We in fact got to 100% completion of gen1 firmware, and shipped hundreds of units to treg customers like you.

Last year, we went to work on gen2 firmware to make room for and support the many user requests. That’ll let us respond quickly, so we can go ahead and start general release.

Now we’re > 90% done with this new gen2 code platform.

It’s important not to conflate the gen1 and gen2 code efforts.

Taking posts out of context, it’s easy to miscast what we said.

We don’t believe that was your intent. It’s important to recognize the work and sacrifice of the team to make gen2 available from the start of general release.

Gen2 firmware has cost us a lot to do, but it’s the essential foundation for all those extended freedoms and features you all have requested.

Wow, lots of misunderstanding! Let’s just focus on what seems to be the key bit of confusion that all else grows out of:


I don’t know what was misunderstood exactly, but I wasn’t conflating the two. I wrote:

In the past you have made comments about being 90% at parity and sometime after that you said “over” 90%.

The key part is the reference to “parity” - which as far as I can recall has ALWAYS been your description about making gen2 up to feature parity of gen1. Not about gen1 itself. For reference, you wrote this last November 18:

Hrishi1379 - to your question - we’re now north of 90% feature parity.

There was another, similar post, a little before that but I couldn’t find it. However, it was about parity as well. Thus the 90% reference is about where gen2 stood at that time.

Anyway, that is what I was referring to.

Which means my interest in an update on that “north of 90%” also refers to what the present percentage estimate is of gen2 firmware features.

Does that clarify things?

Update: While I couldn’t find the other reference to 90% (perhaps it was in a different thread), I did fine a reference to 80% on September 11:

More than 80% of all feature parity functionality has been migrated and validated.

So in about 2 months or so, you did at least another 10%. Now four months after the 90%, I’m wondering what figure you can put on it. Hey, it might still be the same as in November if new problems came up. All treggers know how that can happen.


Mark & co -

People are just looking for some hope, that you’re making progress. It’s like a gas-guage in Windows … we don’t want to see it frozen for two years at a time :smiley:

We’re not worried about it jumping from 30% to 100% at the last moment before you ship, but if it stays on one point for too long (despite hidden progress), people begin to give up hope. Don’t let that happen!

Your team has invested too much time and effort to let something as simple as communication be the thing that ruins TextBlade … wishing you all the best.


Very true Cameron. I am a patient man, but after more than five years without the product, it was enough, and have cancelled my order. I simply lost all of my interest, and realized that I don’t really need it, no matter how groundbreaking it might be. If there were tangible updates, and real community interaction, I might have kept my order in place.

All-in-all I am very disappointed and sad that it came to this; hopelessly waiting for something for over 5 years after the order was placed (yes, oder at that time, not pre-order as it is now, which is setting better expectations at least).
Also, I really was a great advocate of the product, and have recommended to a lot of people over the years (who of course have cancelled since). Once it gets released, I am sure that there will be a lot of individuals and influencers who will act as marketeers of the product, so I understand the company perspective of only shipping test units to a selected few (hundreds are still very few in this context IMO), and not minding the “non-tregger” customers bailing out slowly but surely. I understand it, but don’t like it - I am too selfish, haha: I really don’t like to be robbed of the excitement for a new groundbreaking cool gadget. Nevertheless the excitement is totally and completely gone now.

Ref. refund I have written quite a few emails to Waytools in the past week or so, but have not received any response from them, not even acknowledgement of me asking for help. Crossing fingers that the refund has worked after all, I am yet to discover that.

Stay healthy and peace.

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@waytools thanks for the update. I have also been waiting for over 5 years and 2 months now, I am an user that would certainly have been happy with gen1. According to your own post, the team is over 90% of gen2. My fear is that before you go to GR you unilaterally come up with the “need” of gen3 and now we are talking about another 2, 3 or even 5 years. Therefore, how can you calm my fear? I am not sure if I would be willing to wait for another a hypothetical gen3 if it takes a considerable amount of time, as I am already fairly frustrated with over 5 years.

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Dear Waytools

As a Tregger who left his TextBlade on a plane in Spain a few years ago, I remain keen to return to the Tregger team. Any chance to receive a replacement if you are rolling out new Tregger hardware.

Let’s see, with everyone pretty much staying in place now, it should be safe to give you another one! :slight_smile:

Of course, if it is the new firmware, who knows when that will even be available!

With the note that gen1 firmware achieved 100%, it would have been nice to ship to all (preorder) customers, and not just hundreds of treg customers. Particularly since the hardware seems to be pretty much unchanged for quite some time. Then the gen2 could have been worked on and shipped, providing new features, without all the grousing from everyone waiting.