Hardware Keyboards On Android Have a Long Way To Go


I love my Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, but the keyboard is not perfect.  It works better than the touchscreen on my netbook, but it’s still very unrefined. I did however manage to use it to write this post.

Mostly, the keyboard problems are the fault of Android app developers who did not anticipate a keyboard being a primary interface to their app.  Here are some apps that don’t quite work how they should:

ConnectBot – Key maps for special characters !@#$%^&*() are broken.  These work fine for password inputs, but once I’m logged in, they’re dead.  The #1 SSH client for Android is useless for all but the most basic commands.
Gmail and Google Earth – I love using the keyboard shortcuts for these desktop apps, but they have not been ported over to their Android counterparts yet.

Voice Input – When I dock my transformer to its keyboard, I lose all ability to issue voice commands or speech to text. The virtual keyboard has a nice microphone to invoke the speech capture, but no such hardware button is part of the Asus keyboard.

None of these problems are insurmountable.  Hopefully the experience of having a keyboard on a tablet will improve with some basic software updates.