Play along - create a PinePhone keyboard
#11
(07-29-2020, 07:56 AM)Lister Wrote: I only have two thoughts about the keyboard:

I read a few complaints about fxtec pro 1 and one of those Chinese gaming pocket pcs (gpd win 2?) that people couldn't reach keys in the middle of the keyboard with their thumbs. So maybe a split keyboard would be in order? So that thumbs need not reach towards the middle?

And one from the days when I had a HTC phone with flip out keyboard. Index fingers rest on the other side of the keyboard and do nothing productive. What if we got them to be productive members of society and placed something like a trackpad on the other side of the keyboard? So you can type and use a mouse making the phone closer to an actual computer? Some shoulder buttons should take care of clicking?

Smile
The Psion 5 keyboard is a few mm wider than a landscape pinephone, and reaching the middle of the keyboard with thumbs isn't a problem with my moderate size hands when holding it for thumb-typing. I comfortably reach the G key with my right thumb, stretch slightly for F and reposition my right hand for anything further. Note that this is only necessary when holding Ctrl or Fn with the left thumb. I suppose for very small hands there might be an issue, but if you split the keyboard everyone else suffers from the reduced key size and spacing, so there's a balance to be made.

With the psion I find I don't have much scope for moving my index fingers without changing grip so I'm sceptical about the utility of a touchpad, but it might work for shift keys or similar. I don't know whether people's grip is consistent enough for this though.
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#12
(07-29-2020, 09:54 AM)wibble Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 07:56 AM)Lister Wrote: I only have two thoughts about the keyboard:

I read a few complaints about fxtec pro 1 and one of those Chinese gaming pocket pcs (gpd win 2?) that people couldn't reach keys in the middle of the keyboard with their thumbs. So maybe a split keyboard would be in order? So that thumbs need not reach towards the middle?

And one from the days when I had a HTC phone with flip out keyboard. Index fingers rest on the other side of the keyboard and do nothing productive. What if we got them to be productive members of society and placed something like a trackpad on the other side of the keyboard? So you can type and use a mouse making the phone closer to an actual computer? Some shoulder buttons should take care of clicking?

Smile
The Psion 5 keyboard is a few mm wider than a landscape pinephone, and reaching the middle of the keyboard with thumbs isn't a problem with my moderate size hands when holding it for thumb-typing. I comfortably reach the G key with my right thumb, stretch slightly for F and reposition my right hand for anything further. Note that this is only necessary when holding Ctrl or Fn with the left thumb. I suppose for very small hands there might be an issue, but if you split the keyboard everyone else suffers from the reduced key size and spacing, so there's a balance to be made.

With the psion I find I don't have much scope for moving my index fingers without changing grip so I'm sceptical about the utility of a touchpad, but it might work for shift keys or similar. I don't know whether people's grip is consistent enough for this though.

I am not saying that they are necessarily good ideas. Big Grin

But I am almost certain I could use my index finger for the purpose.
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#13
(07-29-2020, 08:08 AM)bkos Wrote: There was some discussion before [...]

Here!

https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=8537

PinePeeps, Please have a look, they've had some fantastic opinions come through. All the excitement was here when Pine64 first announced a possible keyboard case/mod.

(07-29-2020, 08:09 AM)DrYak Wrote: Razer Kishi (basically "Switch Joycon" clones for either USB-C android or Lightning port iOS) is definitely a good inspiration.

(I was thinking about buying one second hand eventually, but if Pine produce official ones...)

If you want something cheap and cheerful, look up 'X6 Telescopic' on AliExpress - using that until I can do the same. It's pretty decent, for the price.

I'm personally excited after a Psion-like keyboard was announced. I would like a phone to use a PDA and/or a light terminal for simple usage. However, Nokia-style keyboard would also inspire me to use it more like a phone than a modern PDA. Interested to see how this develops!
[ PHP Developer | Pinebook 1G | About me ]
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#14
(07-29-2020, 07:56 AM)Lister Wrote: I read a few complaints about fxtec pro 1 and one of those Chinese gaming pocket pcs (gpd win 2?) that people couldn't reach keys in the middle of the keyboard with their thumbs. So maybe a split keyboard would be in order? So that thumbs need not reach towards the middle?
A split keyboard is an extremely good idea. It would also be nice if the keyboard were programmable, maybe with QMK firmware. I just know I'll hate the layout, so it'd be nice if it could be changed easily. An ortholinear layout for the most space efficiency would be good too.
I love free software!

Have
- PinePhone UBPorts Community Edition (mainboard upgraded)
- Pinecil
- PinePower
- Pinebook Pro (ordered)
- PineTime (ordered)

Use
- Guix System (ThinkPad T440p, ThinkPad X220T)
- Sway
- Pinky4 keyboard
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#15
(07-29-2020, 07:56 AM)Lister Wrote: I read a few complaints {...} that people couldn't reach keys in the middle of the keyboard with their thumbs.

Though it would be good to also have an option for those of us born with giant over-sized hands... :-P
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#16
I always thought that these were cool, although I have heard that they aren't incredibly accurate:
https://www.amazon.com/AGS-Advanced-Proj...07QVNT7QF/
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#17
I've been dabbling in this design challenge as well. Currently my plan is to modify the backframe to accommodate a screwed in keyboard. 
My plan is to use transparent keys on top of either an e-ink screen or a LCD, this would allow for customization of layouts and other cool things like kb adapting to applications. Switch mechanism is a bit difficult to figure out since my FDM 3D printer isn't exactly great when it comes to very small and tight clearances, though I have a rough idea how the key mechanism will work. 
From my current design it seems possible to also fit a gamepad for emulators and such, which luckily can be used for mouse emulation and scrolling.
I will likely have to tap into the USB bus on the phone, but I hope to avoid it if possible since that would require reverse engineering the USB-C board.

Some difficulties arise since there is reverse engineering needed before the actual project can move forward. It would help me and others greatly if a 3D model of the backcover, backframe and screen+pcb assembly was available. I get that you're afraid of copies made by competitors, but they have equipment and expertise to reverse engineer the Pinephone anyways. On the other side these 3D files would help hackers and others develop cool addons and cool mods for the phone.
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#18
I hope this will be compatible with the larger battery, that was planned. Or perhaps a second battery could be fit under the keyboard to make it heavier.
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#19
It would be very cool if touch typing was possible on the keyboard. But that would mean :
-A large enough large enough keyboard (full size of the phone should be enough)
-Large enough keys 
-Keys with a sufficient travel.

An example modern device that runs Debian and uses a keyboard on which you can touch type is the gemini pda. That keyboard style would be very cool to have if it's possible (and ressembles a lot the Psion Series 5
A keyboard style such as the Nokia 9210 would be very hard to touch type on for instance.
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#20
(07-29-2020, 11:02 AM)bard Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 07:56 AM)Lister Wrote: I read a few complaints about fxtec pro 1 and one of those Chinese gaming pocket pcs (gpd win 2?) that people couldn't reach keys in the middle of the keyboard with their thumbs. So maybe a split keyboard would be in order? So that thumbs need not reach towards the middle?
A split keyboard is an extremely good idea. It would also be nice if the keyboard were programmable, maybe with QMK firmware. 

Not at all. A vast majority of people do not want, use, or like split keyboards. Any split keyboard would be appreciated by 15-20 people and hated by 100s to thousands.
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