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Annoying "soft keyboard" pop-ups on your Mobile Device

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  • Annoying "soft keyboard" pop-ups on your Mobile Device

    For a change, I'm not writing to ask for help!

    This post is for others who dislike the mobile "soft keyboards" that pop-up whenever there's a textbox field. In my case, I was creating an Android Application (published with Phone Gap). I hated how touching the field popped up a keyboard that frequently covered the part of the screen I was using... or moved the screen to make room for the keyboard... or didn't have numerals without clicking the keyboard's "123" button. It added to the difficulty of my design and made the user's data entry very clumsy (because it was a barcode/inventory system, I wanted the user to be able to do everything with one hand on a mobile phone).

    Anyway, I came up with a system where I used Alpha "buttons" to create on-screen keyboards that simplify entry of letters and numbers into "label" fields, rather than relying on android's pop-up keyboards and "text boxes." My customer loved it, so I thought I'd share what I did with other Alpha users.

    I made a short video to show what I did and how it works. You can view it here:

    FYI, by using "percentages" for the button sizes, the layout works in either portrait of landscape modes.

    I hope someone will find this helpful.


  • #2
    Re: Annoying "soft keyboard" pop-ups on your Mobile Device

    Thanks, I like this concept for my current project. I have a phone number entry field and the keyboard switches to a letters layout and away from numbers with each digit entered. I may try to make the keyboard a controlbar disclosure. How did you prevent the android popup keyboard?


    • #3
      Re: Annoying "soft keyboard" pop-ups on your Mobile Device

      Hi Mark. That was tricky! I used "Label" field(s) where the numbers/letters were to appear (and formatted them to look like regular Text Boxes. That way, even if the user tapped one of those fields, it wouldn't pop-up the soft keyboard (after all, it's just a "label"). Then, I had the buttons that I programmed simply update the "label" as appropriate. I'm sure that makes sense if you watched the short video I included with my post. Hope that helps. Phil


      • #4
        Re: Annoying "soft keyboard" pop-ups on your Mobile Device

        Nice job Phil. Thanks for sharing your video. I really like that technique. I've gone back and have added a few buttons to help increment and decrement dates and times. My users love it!


        • #5
          Re: Annoying "soft keyboard" pop-ups on your Mobile Device

          You know Phil what you are doing should not be necessary today - but the fact that.. 1. you thought of a way to do what you want, and 2. the fact you have a tool that allows you to do it. is just as impressive.. keep up the good work. Well done and you have found you never need give up.. - good on you.
          Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
          Albert Einstein, (attributed)
          US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)


          • #6
            Re: Annoying "soft keyboard" pop-ups on your Mobile Device

            Great idea and use of a label and a button to get it done, thanks for sharing your ideas and success!
            NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at what was I saying?"


            • #7
              Re: Annoying "soft keyboard" pop-ups on your Mobile Device

              You could also set the read only client-side expression to 1=2 and then you cannot type into it and the keyboard does not come up however you can use javascript to set values and lookups still work.
              Phil, would you be willing to share the JS code on the letter button and delete key clicks?
              NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at what was I saying?"


              • #8
                Re: Annoying "soft keyboard" pop-ups on your Mobile Device

                I've been exploring using the new editor sets with the custom keyboards and keypads.