Mechanical keyboard with Android
September 10, 2020 11:45 PM   Subscribe

In a pique of orneriness I've decided to try to use an e-ink tablet with Android (Onyx boox Nova 2) for as much reading and work-related stuff as possible.

Basically anything involving writing or data-entry that's not graphics dependant. To improve the typing experience I picked up a bluetooth mechanical keyboard yesterday, the Keychron K6, which was available locally, and has settings for Windows/Android or MacOS. The keyboard came with a Nordic layout (I'm in Sweden), but the all-important altgr key is missing, meaning I can't type vital symbols such as @, €, or $. I have cheap-o keyboards meant for Android tablets that work just fine, so what I'm asking of the keyboard isn't impossible. And the keyboard is meant to work with Android, and I've got the tablet recognizing its Nordic layout. I realize this is a rather geographically- and use-case- specific problem, but can anyone help out?
posted by St. Oops to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Looks like on page 7 of the user's manual there's a way to change the 'windows control' key to work as 'right alt'.

I have a similar sized keyboard of another brand and on it it's the right alt key that is used for alt-gr.
posted by bertran at 12:32 AM on September 11

Nicely spotted, bertran! Sadly, that doesn't work. Or rather it may well change the key to "alt" but it doesn't have the function of "altgr".
posted by St. Oops at 1:17 AM on September 11

Does Ctrl+Alt not work? That's what I used to do on a keyboard that lacked AltGr.
posted by knapah at 2:00 AM on September 11

Apps like this one might help (but caveat: I haven't used it personally)
posted by trig at 2:16 AM on September 11

Hm, that didn't help me get a @, instead it removed the formatting on the line I was editing.
posted by St. Oops at 2:17 AM on September 11

Trig: thanks for reminding me of that app. I actually had paid for the pro version and had it an an earlier device, so could download it again. There was even a function for alt -> altgr. But it didn't work either. I think I'm going to have to return this keyboard, as nice as it is, and revert to cheaper keyboards designed specifically for Android and my region.
posted by St. Oops at 2:40 AM on September 11

Would be a pity! Mechanical keyboards are so pleasing to use. You could directly write their support team an email asking about this issue first; maybe they could resolve.

I just can't imagine a keyboard in 2020 that doesn't have the alt-gr functionality somehow; especially when's made for a European market.
posted by bertran at 3:08 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]

Thanks, yeah. Have popped off an email. It does seem ridiculous that this shouldn't work. At wits end with technology this week (admittedly at least partly self-inflicted, due to previously mentioned orneriness).
posted by St. Oops at 5:33 AM on September 11

Yes, it's definitely strange. As a datapoint, out of curiosity I just tried plugging a random American USB computer (not Android) keyboard into an Android tablet. After I set Android's physical keyboard language setting to Swedish, I was able to use the right Alt key to type all the symbols you mentioned with no problem.
posted by trig at 5:34 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]

Yeah, trying out yet another keyboard right now and it works fine to get @, € and $, even if this one has keys mislabeled, muscle memory does the trick. And the fancy keyboard worked fine with my stationary PC. Whatever. But thanks all for your assistance!
posted by St. Oops at 11:09 AM on September 11

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