keyboard

Windows Phone 8.1 is shaping up to be a major OS update. Though there are a few big ticket new items, there are also a lot of under the hood fixes too. One of those in-between additions will be a new swipe-based keyboard. We mentioned this addition in our 8.1 features list and other articles not as a third-party replacement, or Swype from Android, but rather Microsoft’s own addition to the stock keyboard.

This morning, Unleash The Phones have posted a video purporting to be that very keyboard. Indeed, we can confirm its authenticity at this time.

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The keyboard on Windows Phone works really well. We can type really fast on it, but maybe it’s because we’ve been using Windows Phone devices for a while now. Whether you’re already a pro at typing away several emails or just getting familiar with a new Windows Phone device, there are definitely some tips and tricks that will make you type faster. We’ve gathered 7 keyboard tips that will help new users or those who may have not had the time to experiment.

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Last month we reviewed Lenovo’s Miix 10 and I found the overpriced Atom powered Windows 8 tablet to be less than impressive. One of the possible saving points for the unit might be its optional detachable keyboard; today, we are taking a look at that keyboard and deciding if it lives up to the typical Lenovo keyboard (aka: superb) or falls flat on its face.

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Grantophone is one of those Windows Phone apps that may not appeal to everyone but could prove interesting for those who are musically inclined. It is a feature rich musical instrument that is full of expression and creative potential.

Grantophone has been updated several times since we last looked at the music app and after receiving several tips to revisit the app, we are shining the spotlight on it once again.

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Earlier this week, Microsoft introduced the next generation of their Surface tablet hybrid. The Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 were announced alongside, the Surface Music Cover, a new “blade” which allows users to easily remix music on a special touch sensitive cover. The venture has shown us that Surface has many capabilities beyond a typical keyboard and the Surface team headed to the Art Center College of Design to find out exactly how far Surface can go.

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Image courtesy of The Verge

Today Dell announced its latest carbon fiber and aluminum creation, the XPS 11. The manufacturer’s latest machine features a beautiful design and 2560 x 1440 resolution. In addition, Dell takes a cue from Lenovo’s IdeaPad YOGA and introduces a hinge that allows the screen to flip back 360-degrees behind the keyboard.

Did we mention that Dell flattened the keyboard so much that you might confuse it with a Microsoft Touch Cover? We don't know about you, but to us, one of the main factors laptop machines still have going for themselves, over their tablet counterparts, are the keyboards. Why Dell, why?

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In addition to the developer programme announced today, Microsoft has also revealed secrets behind the keyboard in Windows Phone 8. The keyboard in Windows Phone has been praised by consumers and critics alike since the platform launched back in 2010, and it has gone through heavy usage and development to further improve the user experience.

So what's the secret to Microsoft's success?

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We've heard rumblings about the Microsoft Surface RT Touch Cover coming un-raveled along the connector. The plastic shell on the keyboard separates and exposes the connecting wires. Not a really good situation.

The separation looks as if it is caused when you fold the keyboard over behind the Surface and the plastic shell is stretched too far and comes loose. If you're having problems with the Surface Touch Cover, while a roll of duct tape could fix the problem, there's a better solutions.  Here's what you need to do.

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A number of Windows Phone Central readers, who happen to be incredibly observant, have noticed a small change in Windows Phone 8. As one can see in the image above, the Windows Phone keyboard now shows the selected letters in the accent colours, as opposed to black or white.

Readers noticed a fresh look for the keyboard in a HTC 8X video tour, which shows off some features in Windows Phone 8 - something that was disallowed by Microsoft and OEMs in the past. 

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How would you like one of these running Apollo?

My Nokia Blog have received a photo collection of an N9 successor, codenamed 'Lauta'. If it were released, it's reported to have been the immediate successor to the N9 and would have been launched soon after, but was subsequently scrapped due to Nokia's decision to support Windows Phone and drop MeeGo.

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Yet another day, yet another roundup of somewhat exciting news involving Microsoft.  We’ll summarize the stories for you to keep you abreast of what’s going on in the world of Redmond. Today’s stories we found interesting:

  • Intel CEO remarks that 20 Windows 8 Tablets are coming this fall
  • Microsoft is back with a new keyboard dubbed ‘the Wedge’ (and mouse)
  • Windows Phone will grab 4% market share in the US in 2012?

Head on past the break to get all the info…

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I must say I am not overly keen on the above. It just looks weird to me but that maybe just because it is a new concept. WMPoweruser has managed to get hold of the image of the Arc keyboard and it is suggested that this may well be something that Microsoft are looking to introduce to Windows Phone in the future.

Apparantly this picture has come from a leaked Microsoft Research presentation. Will we see this in the future? Who knows, but what we can be certain of is that all operating system providers will experiment with altenative keyboards from time to time.

In my opinion I am not sure this one is needed and if it will even be a selling point for Windows Phone. If we are given a choice of which keyboard we use on a device could work. That wouldnt do any harm for sure.

What do you think? Please let us have your opinions in the comments.

Source: WMPoweruser; Thanks, Gordon, for the tip!

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We broke the news the other night that Verizon Wireless was set to roll out the latest (or nearly the latest) Windows Phone OS update, version 8107, to HTC Trophy users on its network. That update not only fixes security issues but addresses the disappearing keyboard bug that has driven many mad for the last few months.

We've now received a flood of tips that the update is currently live and if you plug in your Trophy to Zune Desktop you'll be greeted with an update notification. Actually, you'll eventually have three updates to install as it's cumulative:

  • OS 7740
  • OS 8107
  • HTC Firmware

So sit tight as the backup process will vary from device device and will depend on how much "stuff" you have on your phone. Let us know in comments if all has gone well.

Thanks to all who tipped us! Thanks, Vance, for the image.

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There is a discussion going on in the WPCentral.com's forums on an oddity with the Samsung Focus S's keyboard. Apparently if you get to typing really fast a lag time is created between the tapping of the key and hearing the "tap" sound.

I don't doubt that such a lag time is happening but my typing skills aren't fast enough to notice any lag time at all. The keystrokes register as you type so I'm left to ask, does such a lag time matter?

Most will be concentrating on what is being typed instead of whether or not the "tapping" sound is in sync with the keyboard strokes.  I can't say that this is a major issue or even a bug because not everyone will type fast enough to notice.  So... is this a bug the will slow down your typing or just an oddity with the Samsung Focus S?

If you've experienced this lag time or simply want to chime in on the discussion, head on over to this Forums discussion and let us know what you think?

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We recently covered a growing thread over at the XDA Developers forum with Windows Phone owners reporting an issue with the on-screen keyboard disappearing from view without accidentally pressing the "back" capacitive button. We were told that Microsoft is currently looking into the problem.

Greg Fonta, a French Windows Phone developer, has investigated the root of the problem. It appears to be related to a Mango feature (as seen in the above video), Background Agents. These agents allow apps to run tasks when currently inactive and not running in the foreground. 

According to the report at WMPU, disabling Background Agents appears to rectify the issue. This can be accomplished by navigating to Settings > applications > background tasks and disabling Background Agents on a per application basis.

Does this workaround work for you? If not, which handset do you own that experiences the problem?

Source: WMPU

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A number of Windows Phone users running Mango have complained about their keyboards performing a disappearing act and I can confirm that mine too vanishes on the rare occasion. An active thread is accumulating posts over at the XDA Developer forum with experiences and complaints. Microsoft has since confirmed that they are looking into the reports with a reply to a Twitter user who tweeted about the issue. Mary Jo Foley, of ZDNet, received a statement from the software giant:

Customer support is working with the individuals reporting changes to their experience. We are investigating these reports to determine the root cause of any issues users are having.

Have you come across this problem?

Source: Twitter, ZDNetXDA Developer forum, via: WinRumors

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I'm not really sure what to make of this, it's as though Microsoft plans to not only provide you with a powerful, simplistic handset, but to throw in some Nintendo Wii Remote-type accessories as well if this patent is anything to go by. Should this indeed turn out to be the case, that all future Windows Phone handsets will have a slide-out accessory expansion slot, then it could open up a whole new realm of opportunity.

From the trusty external keyboard that aids typing to a battery extension to a game pad that gives the user an edge in gaming, I'm sure Microsoft has bags of imagination (as anyone would) surrounding this idea. As for me I'm not one to fuss about moving/interchangeable parts as I'm fully aware that hardware wears out. It's one of the reasons why I adore my Samsung Omnia7 - it's just a block with no moving parts (sliding keyboard etc.).

"A mobile communication device comprises a first device with a first display and multiple second devices. The second devices are releasably attachable to the first device and are interchangeable with each other. The mobile device can operate as a mobile cell phone with one or more second devices operable as a mobile phone hand set. The second devices can comprise one or more game controllers, batteries, physical keyboards and/or mobile phone handsets with a display. In a detached configuration, the first device is separated from the second devices and can wirelessly communicate with one or more of the detached second devices. In a three device configuration, the first device can send commands, control signals or content to one or more external devices in addition to the second devices."

It's interesting to note that the secondary devices (accessories for the smartphones) will be able to work wirelessly without being connected to a handset. Still, I remain skeptical. Let us not forget the integration with Kinect we could be experiencing in the future.

Source: Patent, via: BGR, Unwired

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