- Thread starter
Yes, to the suggestion above for USB host mode plus the previous USB debugging mode suggestion. Are you sure you have Android 4.0.3? Have you checked in settings? With a no-name tablet maybe it is not as advertised or maybe not really 4.0.3. Older versions of Android require HID adapter software such as BlueKeyboard JP (usually with bluetooth but possibly usb). Sometimes a null keyboard app is required as well so the onscreen keyboard doesn't show up.
In addition to trying the USB host mode and debugging modes, you may want to go into keyboard settings and make sure any appropriate options are checked. With the keyboard connected, open something with a text input field such as email and long press the text input area. This might bring up a menu where you need to select the input method. Select the appropriate option.
Great -- this is the single most informative post for me so far. Here are my comments to your suggestions:
1) "...Are you sure you have Android 4.0.3? Have you checked in settings? With a no-name tablet maybe it is not as advertised or maybe not really 4.0.3."
Well, I did go to "Settings > About tablet" on the day of purchase and found the following:
Model number: Q7A-2
Android version: 4.0.3
Kernel version: 3.0.8 ubuntu@ubuntu-Aspire-5750G #2
Build number: crane_zu5370-eng 4.0.3 IML74K 20120510 test-key
In relation to the above: (a) Does this unequivocally show that the android version is 4.0.3? (b) What about the kernel version 3.0.8 -- is it up-to-date or does it need to be v4 or above? (c) Finally what about the build number and that string -- could I find the build files off the internet and perhaps add any missing functionality?
2) "...Older versions of Android require HID adapter software"
Interesting -- perhaps if I try some of the applications intended originally to provide HID support for older versions of Android it could have some debugging capability and help me trace the root of the problems? Just as a thought: perhaps it could clearly display the status of the two USB ports, detect any devices attached to them as well as identify any drivers and routines scanning the ports, etc. Can you recommend any at all? (I will scan Android Play/Market, but there is so much stuff on it and not all is relevant).
3) "...Sometimes a null keyboard app is required as well so the onscreen keyboard doesn't show up"
OK, I'll look it up on Android Play/Market. I presume this is a simple app which inhibits the display of the on-screen keyboard and thus it might facilitate the use or the detection of the external USB keyboard. This is a long shot, but I am desperate.
4) "...In addition to trying the USB host mode and debugging modes, you may want to go into keyboard settings and make sure any appropriate options are checked. With the keyboard connected, open something with a text input field such as email and long press the text input area. This might bring up a menu where you need to select the input method. Select the appropriate option."
Well, I have tried finding all related settings, including but not limited to, "Settings > Language & Input" and when the on-screen keyboard is displayed "Settings > Android Keyboard Settings" but so far no luck with finding the silver bullet -- a setting that would remotely resemble anything that could select the input source (external USB keyboard as opposed to on-screen one). I tried also your idea with holding down the finger to envoke any context-sensitive menues, but again with no luck -- any and all menues that I can envoke do not have a sought option. In this respect: I can see that currently the tablets have two active input drivers -- one is the standard Android keyboard input driver and the other is some Chinese driver, which has all its settings in Chinese and the "active" checkbox is greyed-out and <TRUE> -- the user cannot deselect it. Is this if any importance?
It is frustrating for me that in this age of "plug-n-play" I cannot make a simple USB keyboard work with a simple terminal. I am new to Android, Linux and Ubuntu, but I an not that new to computing and peripherals and I have even written a few device drivers in assembly language for various systems in the past. If you could recommend some testing or other applications and developers' tools I might be able to look at a greater depth into the problem...
Thanks again for your help and time and do please keep suggestions coming -- I have now these three tablets with three cases with keyboards (intended as presents for three of my nieces) but they do not work when connected and I wanted so much to make the keyboards work to help them with typing and learning touchtyping, etc. For now it's been a series of disappointments (not least with the support from the seller on the eBay, but that's a different story).