Re: Build 132 - Half-screen test

Chanelle Allen

Hi Kosta,
I think that I could get to like a half-screen option for the FlickType keyboard. I am not sure if I could use FlickType effectively if the keyboard is the size of the iOS keyboard, but it would be worth a try. Also, my iPhone is always set to portrait mode, and I prefer to use FlickType that way as well. So, I would prefer a full-screen portrait FlickType keyboard if the half-screen doesn't work out for me, or better yet, giving people a choice would be excellent. I have had the most trouble testing the half-screen keyboard in Mail. Because FlickType occupies 60% of the screen, it is not possible to flick to all text fields or to locate them via touch and explore.
After updating to the latest build and then restarting my phone, I tested FlickType in the Drafts writing app and then decided to write myself an email. I wanted to find out how well I could move to different text fields without dismissing the keyboard. First, I used FlickType to type a few letters into the To: field. My text was not entered, and autocomplete suggestions did not appear even though I retyped the same letters with FlickType followed by a space and then again followed by a new line. Eventually, I dismissed the keyboard, and found the autocomplete suggestions. When I say that I “dismissed" the keyboard, I actually mean that I pressed the Next Keyboard button or performed the gesture. After typing in the Subject field, I tried locating the Message Body area without dismissing FlickType. I was finding the From: and CC: fields, but I could not move any further. FlickType was in the Subject field, but I could not locate the Subject label. The standard VoiceOver three finger gestures for scrolling did not work to show the other fields on screen. When I have trouble accessing controls or information in any app, I find the last item that can be located via explore by touch, place my finger an inch or two from the right hand side of the screen and then I perform a double tap and hold gesture, which I think is the VoiceOver pass through gesture. Still holding my finger down, I move it an inch or two to the edge of the screen and then release. After typing a few sentences into the message area, I did not dismiss FlickType but placed my finger above the keyboard to look for the Send button. When I found Send, the button was dimmed, so I used the method I described to locate the Subject field, which was blank. When I typed in a subject and used the every method to bring up the message body, my text had gone. This occurred at about 1:40 p.m. I will send you crash logs if I can find them. As I have been writing this email and inserting or changing text as I go along, certain sections have disappeared.
The half-screen FlickType keyboard will be useful once some of the kinks have been worked out. When I write, I will just dismiss FlickType to prevent text loss.
Thank you.

On Jul 5, 2018, at 12:49, FlickType <> wrote:

You will probably need to revert back to build 131 after this, but we really wanted to get a very first round of feedback and ideas on the half-screen mode that has been in the works for some time now. In this highly experimental build, the keyboard will only take up 60% of the screen height in portrait mode, and will always take up the entire screen in landscape mode as before. We are looking for feedback on what the biggest issues may be that prevent you from utilizing the keyboard as you'd expect. Assuming we eventually get this to work properly, we are considering having an option and/or a gesture to toggle between full screen and half screen modes, as well as eliminating the dismiss function altogether.

For those who'd like to know the details, here's what's going on behind the scenes: As before, FlickType does not immediately send keyboard events to the textfield, in order to prevent problematic VoiceOver feedback which includes delay, stutter, and perhaps most importantly a lot of erroneous feedback such as "End of document" which would happen with almost every word typed or changed. Instead, FlickType will hold on to all the new text you have typed, and only commit the changes upon dismissal or switching to the next keyboard. But with the half-screen mode, FlickType will also commit all changes as soon as the VoiceOver cursor moves away from FlickType. This means that as soon as you touch above the keyboard, you will hear the text being entered in the textfield. In principle, most users shouldn't even realize what's going on since the text will appear to be in the field as expected. I should note, however, that I've experienced instances where the cursor will move outside of the keyboard, but iOS will not notify FlickType about it, and the only solution in that case is to make the keyboard active again either by touching it directly or by moving to the next screen element, and then touch above the keyboard once more. I have no sense of how common this may be under normal use.

Eager to hear back any and all feedback you may have.

Thank you for testing,

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