Choices for keyboard entry

WebOS Remote Desktop Client supports two different on-screen keyboards, and physical bluetooth keyboards. The windows on-screen accessibility keyboard may also be used. The two on-screen keyboards may be switched between at will.

By default the standard WebOS keyboard is used. This keyboard provides large contact areas for easy typing, and supports most alpha, numeric and special characters. It can also be scaled to compromise between large keys and usable screen real-estate. When this keyboard is active the screen may be vertically panned to view areas being obscured by the keyboard. The primary problem with the webos keyboard is that it cannot send common key combinations used in windows. For example ctrl-c, alt-tab, and alt-f4 are unavailable.

Since many key combinations cannot be generated with the WebOs keyboard, a 104 key keyboard is provided. It maps 1:1 with a standard US English keyboard. All normal combinations of keys may be entered on this keyboard as it is chorded and functions like a keyboard windows expects is connected. To send a key combination like ctrl-alt-delete, a finger is pressed to the ctrl, another finger is simultaneously pressed to the alt, and a third finger is used to tap the delete key. Screen panning is also supported with this keyboard. This isn't always as necessary though, as the keyboard is partially transparent. The problem with the 104, is that the keys are fairly small and typing can be somewhat more difficult than the webos keyboard.

Physical bluetooth keyboards may also be used. Any keyboard which pairs with the device will provide some level of functionality. For the most part, the best option is the HP TouchPad keyboard, although it replaces the function keys found on most keyboards with webos specific keys. These keys are trapped by the OS and are not available for applications to remap. This means that similar to the WebOS on-screen keyboard the HP bluetooth keyboard cannot send many key combinations, F1-F12, left windows, etc. Using 3rd party bluetooth keyboards are only partially supported, as WebOs will trap and convert keys such as F1 to keys that exist on the HP TouchPad keyboard. This means that even if the keyboard has a F1 key, it probably isn't going to work. Because of this, the best plan is to switch to the on-screen 104 key keyboard, and leave it hidden except to send keys unavailable on the physical keyboard. The biggest problem is that the stock, HP keyboard has a show on-screen keyboard button required to get the initial webos keyboard to display. If that function cannot be emulated on a 3rd party keyboard it cannot be used to switch to the 104 key keyboard to work around the problems with webos's key mapping.

Lastly, the windows on-screen keyboard for accessibility may be used. It can generate all common key combinations as well, but is not directly chorded, instead relying on the user to click it to press a key, and then click it again to unpress that key. It does have the advantage that it can be moved around on the screen with a fair amount of ease.

Using the WebOs keyboard

First, if the keyboard is not displayed, it must be enabled by pressing three fingers simultaneously to the screen, and then releasing them. See the section on gestures for more information.

To pop up the windows start menu, or send the left windows key, use the multiplication sign on the symbols portion of the keyboard.

webos keyboard image

To pop up the windows security menu, or send ctrl-alt-delete, use the division sign on the symbols portion of the keyboard.

webos keyboard image

To switch to the 104 key keyboard, press the degree sign on the symbols portion of the keyboard.

webos keyboard image

To hide the keyboard press the hide button. To change the size of the keyboard, press and hold the size button until presented with options for keyboard size.

webos keyboard image

Using the 104 key keyboard

First, if the keyboard is not displayed, it must be enabled by pressing three fingers simultaneously to the screen, and then releasing them. See the section on gestures for more information. Keys may be simultaneously pressed, and will behave similarly to a physical keyboard in that regard. Press and leave a finger on a key to keep it pressed.

To switch to the WebOs keyboard, press the switch key.

104 keyboard image

To hide the keyboard, press the hide key.

104 keyboard image

Using a bluetooth keyboard

Using the physical keyboard should be as simple as enabling it in the webos bluetooth settings manager. Pressing the left shift key, when the RDP client is active will assure that the client is aware a keyboard is attached (because shift cannot be generated with the WebOS on-screen keyboard). From there everything should work as expected, but quite a number of windows keystrokes cannot be generated. For that there is the on-screen keyboard. Using the onscreen keyboard with a physical keyboard can be a little tricky at first. To show the on-screen keyboard both the gesture to show the keyboard, and the show keyboard button on the HP keyboard must be pressed. It should be done in that order. Once the on-screen keyboard has been displayed, it may be shown/hidden with the keyboard button on the HP keyboard. Switching to the 104 key, moves the control of the display completely to the gesture system, and the show/hide button on the keyboard will not work. It is this latter mode, which is probably the easiest way to run the application. Use the BT keyboard for most typing and pop up the 104 key via a gesture, only when a key cannot be generated from the BT keyboard.