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Support Bluetooth Keyboard Woes

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by plasmadis, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. plasmadis

    plasmadis Newbie
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    san jose, cali
    Oh, how I would love to use a Bluetooth keyboard with this phone. I absolutely love the phone and service. However I was also hoping to use the phone and my Bluetooth keyboard as a laptop replacement, as an Android phone does 90% of what I do with a laptop, browse the web, chat, send emails, write documents, etc.

    I was in the market for an inexpensive Android phone toward the end of January, didn't want a contract, and found what I thought was a killer deal with the T-Mobile Comet at $149. Then I got a $40/mo prepaid plan, which included decent minutes and txts, but no data. Oh well I thought, I'll just use Wifi.

    Getting a Bluetooth keyboard working was one of the first things I set about doing, following the instructions here, which involve having the phone rooted, installing some Linux stuff, and running Linux commands. It worked beautifully and I was going in minutes. I was so happy I made this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urMAkKtYrBc

    Then a week later, on February 1st, I heard about the Optimus V on Virgin Mobile. Same price I paid, $149, but with upgraded screen size, resolution, CPU, and only $25/mo with unlimited data. Man, I couldn't box the Comet back up fast enough to return to T-Mobile. Now I've got a bill from them for $59 just for the privilege of using them for 1 week, but that's another story.

    So I try getting my Bluetooth keyboard working again with my new phone. I rooted it using these instructions, went without a hitch, then I used the same instructions mentioned above to get the keyboard working. No dice. I have the same results as the people here when running the hcitool and hidd commands, "no such device", and nothing at all when running hciconfig, when it should be giving me the phone's Bluetooth device info.

    So I Google around and around and find this where someone's got it working on an Optimus P500 using the hciattach command. Ok, this gets me a little farther, I'm now able to run hciconfig, but I just get 00:00:00:00:00:00 instead of what should be the phone's Bluetooth device address. It's like it's not even there.

    Unfortunately I think we might be in the same boat as people with HTC phones, apparently HTC did something to their build of Android which severely crippled the way Bluetooth operates, which you can read about here.

    Ugh, to get a taste of a working Bluetooth keyboard on T-Mobile's crappy phone, and then to lose it on Virgin's bad ass phone a week later. I've spent the past month further Googling for any other info and nothing's come up.

    Anyone with any knowledge of these matters willing to add anything? Thanks in advance.
     

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  2. plasmadis

    plasmadis Newbie
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    Well, for anyone beside me hoping to use a Bluetooth keyboard with their Optimus V, I have good news. The solution was simply upgrading to 2.3 with the AOSPCMod ROM. For those who haven't yet done so, I highly recommend it. I just followed the instructions here.

    Aside from the many other benefits the AOSPCMod ROM gives you, the one I was most happy with was native support for Bluetooth keyboards. No more trying to install drivers or pay for crappy apps that don't even work. Turn the keyboard on, go to the Bluetooth menu, pair it, and it's instantly recognized as an HID device, something 2.2 couldn't do because of its jacked up Bluetooth support.

    Man, I was dying to use this keyboard. I can now write papers, email, chat at length without pecking away at the screen, and have decent controls to play my emulators.

    Here is my keyboard, the Think Outside Stowaway. They stopped making them about 5 years ago, so they are rather sought after on the used market, going for $50-$170. But if you go to your local flea market like I did, and find someone who thinks it's just another Palm Pilot keyboard, you could get it for a song. :)

    Only issues I've come across: 1) The Bluetooth stops liking the keyboard when the phone's battery drops below around 35%. 2) In order to type many symbols, such as colons, apostrophes, quotes, etc., you need to use Alt+letter commands. I made up a list if anyone's interested. 3) With the phone oriented horizontally, the arrow keys don't change, so you gotta imagine them "turned".
     
    tcklord likes this.
  3. MacFett

    MacFett Android Expert
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    I've been thinking about getting a bluetooth keyboard, not sure if I want to flash my rom or not though. Glad to hear it works.
     
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