What will your set-up with TextBlade look like?

I don’t think it is one of the NDA things, but I’m also not sure. If you downloaded the beta app that was made available to everyone with iOS back around Dec/Jan 2015/16, you can see if it shows the hap for the App layer. If it does, that would show you the key combo. If any other tester knows if this is NOT one of the NDA items, they could also pass it on.

Near as I can tell, it does exactly the same thing as command-tab (or add shift to get it to move backwards). Personal preference would determine what you like to do the most, but one advantage with the WT method is that they have a command you can put any place you want and could, thusly, not require any combo keys. Or maybe a simpler one.

It seems to work on Mac and iPad. The iPhone doesn’t seem to allow you to bring up a list of programs the way the other two do.

Going back to personal preferences, it also depends on what you are comparing. For example, “command” on an Apple keyboard is out of the way on the bottom - which is uncomfortable for me and I certainly am leaving the home position. So doing it on the TB, once you get used to the chords, is easier for the same keystroke, whether selecting command/tab on the TB or doing the special app layer method. But if I decide I have a place I can put it that won’t cause problems with something else, I could conceivably put it someplace really convenient that doesn’t require a chord.

Also, remember that normally if you are moving from mac to ipad, they will be in different jump slot - and each jump slot can have it’s own layout.

To give an example, I think the “Home” key on the TB doesn’t do anything on a Mac (been a long time since I looked at default key maps so I’m not sure this is still the case, but it was with my setup. This key is just to the left of the A key, so easy to get to. If I wanted, I could put the “next app” there and only have to hit that one key by itself. And I guess I could put “previous app” on the same key, but on the green layer. Green layer is really easy.

However, I belief that Home key on iOS takes you back to the home screen, so you may want a different approach there. Or you could change the normal Home usage on iOS to be moved to green/right shift/home.

One of the fun things with the TB is figuring out what the best customizations are for you personally.

An example for me was the fact that I simply almost never use the curly brackets, but I don’t want to lose them completely. I also found that I was also often doing something on my computer, but with a mouse (game) and would want to “undo”. Easy to do with one hand, but I wanted it to be even easier (less stretch). So I replaced one of the curly brackets with command undo. I replaced the other one with a paste command that is just for one hand use. I think I put the curly brackets on the green/shift layer, but I’d have to double check. Like I said, I don’t use them.

I think there are two types of iOS app switcher keys. One gets you into the command-tab mode of displaying running apps as icons. The other gets you into the mode that you normally see if you double-tap the hardware button on your iOS device. You can also actually hit command-tab which is what I usually end up doing.

There is also a key combo that gets you into the app search mode, which is actually quite nice since your fingers are on the keyboard so you can type in a few characters of the app you want to run. I am going to try getting used to that to see if it’s worthwhile.

I assume you are still just referring to the iPad rather than the iPhone since I’ve never gotten any app screen to come up. May have missed something though since I don’t normally use the iphone with the TB and when I do, it has just been to type.

Only issue with that is that then you don’t have the chord to tell the computer when you have reached the app you want. In the alt-tab example, I can continue cycling through apps until I get to the one I want and then release alt to select it. If you just have a “next app” button, then it would only be able to swap to the previously active app.

I just tried it, putting Next App on the home key - this is with my Mac so I don’t know if the others would be different.

When I tap that key, the list of apps comes up with the next one selected. Every time I tap it, it moves over one more. To select the app I want, I just hit Enter - actually, I think I can hit almost any key (but not Caps).

So I only hit one key to move and one other to select. Compared to using the app layer (holding the chord as I hit the Next App key) and releasing when set. Or instead of holding the Command chord down and hitting Tab.

Over all, assuming one doesn’t need the key for something else, it seems easier to just have the one key.

However, people should keep in mind one issue with customization - what effect will it have if you hit the key accidentally! In this case, what if I wanted an “A” and hit a little too far left and suddenly was selecting a different app! After all, with fast typing, I’m likely to select the next app and still be moving my fingers when I’ve switched - could that cause me, for example, to be typing over top of some data in a spreadsheet?

So care must be taken and may depend on how consistently you type. Some things wouldn’t matter much. Suppose you put a normal character there so instead of getting an “A”, you get some symbol you put on the Home key. Well, that would be no different than any other mistyping and a quick Delete takes care of it.

It’s why, while I tell people it is usually best to not change boundaries right away (wait until you’ve had a lot of practice adjusting), there may be some exceptions. This usually involves Backspace and Enter because they, to me, can cause more disruption than some other errors. Especially Enter if you are typing an a website that take that key to mean to post! So my boundaries are set to minimize those two.

The Open App command (equiv to double tap) works for me on both iPhone and iPad. But the list of running icons only works on the iPad (using the chord, or command-tab).

The app search mode works on both, which is awesome. You chord into search mode, type 2-3 characters to find the right app, then hit enter. Your fingers never leave the keyboard.


Just tried this out. This is awesome! Now I don’t get upset when using multiple apps on iPhone. I would never have imagined that a customizable keyboard could do this for me.


Is that middle monitor really square? I never saw that before…

Here is an emacs keyboard setup from someone who really needs a TextBlade with Macros!!!



When I search Google for “Dell Square Monitor”, I get pictures of things that look square but are actually 1280x1024. They probably just look square compared with what we’re used to now.

Nah, you don’t need that many macros with emacs. Just modifier keys!

Not square, but close. @awh_tokyo has it right though. The trusty old fluorescent Dell 1708. After many years of faithful service, I am ready to see it go. It was a massive pain to get all three of the screens color matched (to prevent eyestrain and headaches), i’ve been considering paying for my own monitor for some time now and I’m sure I will soon, you know, when money starts to fall from the sky. :joy::yum:

Here are some other ways that I run my TextBlade.

This is my “Heavy” mobile load out for bigger meetings and at elbow support scenarios. I found that resting the the Space Blade on the edge of the touchpad, and straddling three rows of keys gives The TextBlade adequate “buoyancy” to work quite well in this configuration. I usually have my Lenovo convertible mouse in my pocket here as well as a pad of paper and a pen .

And of course, this is the super light load out for just about any other walking away from my desk scenario. Far and away this is my favorite set up because the magnets in the case hold the TextBlade in place, and when I am ready to go I just slide the TextBlade off the case lid, close the case and stick the TextBlade right on the front of the case without having to collapse it. It is super quick and super convenient. Whenever my organization upgrades to office 365, I’ll be able to run about 90% from my iPad and that might just call for an upgrade. :wink:

I apologize for the delay on this post, go figure, work has been a little crazy. I’m sure you guys can relate.


Here is another one that I just came up with. I am sure that some of you work near a piano from time to time. More comfortable than anticipated and certainly more comfortable than balancing this thing on my lap!



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Has anyone found or fashioned a rigid keyboard cover to place on their laptop keyboard? I can see myself wanting to keep my laptop keyboard covered and place the TB directly on top of it.

I run an application called Karabiner-Elements that detects the TB and disables the internal keyboard. I then put directly on top of the keys. My preference would be to turn off the keys under the TB and leave the modifier and arrows keys hot. The old Karabiner full app could do this, but it is not compatible with Sierra on the Mac.


very cool! Thanks for the tip!