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OESF Portables Forum _ Gemini PDA - Android _ Hotkeys for App Launching?

Posted by: jakfish Jun 20 2018, 05:54 AM

I've read other similar posts, and they don't look promising, but has anybody come up with a way to launch apps with a custom keystroke on pkb?

I have External Keyboard Helper, which does allow app launching with pkb hotkeys, but so far, it's not playing nice with Gemini Keyboard App.

I'm using Nova Launcher Prime--that doesn't seem to have the needed options.

Jake

Posted by: carepack Jun 20 2018, 06:02 AM

I red somewhere that the blackberry launcher provides that option

Posted by: jakfish Jun 20 2018, 06:12 AM

Funny, I just saw that, too.

I'm actually migrating from a BB Priv, and other than the custom hotkeys, it's a pretty pedestrian launcher compared to Nova Prime. I'll have to ponder the trade-offs.

Jake

Posted by: Eeems Jun 20 2018, 06:48 AM

I've been using http://llamalab.com/automate/.

Posted by: jakfish Jun 20 2018, 07:17 AM

Thanks. Installed it, but couldn't see how to keystroke an application to open. Are you doing that with your apps?

Jake

Posted by: joepirello Jun 20 2018, 01:07 PM

QUOTE(jakfish @ Jun 20 2018, 06:54 AM) *
I've read other similar posts, and they don't look promising, but has anybody come up with a way to launch apps with a custom keystroke on pkb?

I have External Keyboard Helper, which does allow app launching with pkb hotkeys, but so far, it's not playing nice with Gemini Keyboard App.

I'm using Nova Launcher Prime--that doesn't seem to have the needed options.

Jake


Actually, the best option is the app called Button Mapper. Utilize the setting to disable it on every app except for Nova Launcher. That way you can quickly hit Fn+D to go home and then any key to launch an app. Multitasking is incredibly fast this way.

I wish there was an app that allowed key combinations so I could set Ctrl+Hotkey to switch apps anywhere in the OS, but there isn't an app that allows that. Button Mapper is the next best thing.

There is an Xposed Module called Xposed Additions that did allow keyboard combinations, but whatever it used to intercept the keyboard slowed down the registering of keypresses so much that it made typing unusable.

Posted by: gidds Jun 20 2018, 01:20 PM

I don't have an answer to this, but I too am keen to know -- it's a question I've already been asking!

On my Psion, I had a load of system-wide shortcuts set up, mostly using Ctrl+Fn modifiers (as nothing else used those together): Ctrl+Fn+W went to my (very old) snapshot of Wikipedia, Ctrl+Fn+F went to FreeCell, &c &c.

(For a long while I used a program called ExtraBars to do this; later on, I wrote my own Hotkeys program which was more limited but much smaller and faster -- I'd have made it public if anyone else had still been using a Psion by then...)

Of course, key shortcuts are much less discoverable, and harder to set up, than standard Android methods, but they do have two major advantages for power users. First, they're single-step: almost all other methods involve multiple taps/swipes/keypresses, but you can press a combination of keys in one go. And second, they're modeless: all other methods will vary depending whether you're already on the home screen (especially if an app is running whole-screen and needs a special way to go to the home screen), which page is showing, &c &c, while a key shortcut is always the same and can be used without even looking at the screen. As a result, key shortcuts are much faster in use and much more transparent -- you don't even need to interrupt your train of thought, and can easily flip-flop between two apps or zip directly to one.

In fact, I was wondering whether to suggest that to Planet as an enhancement to the AppBar, which is useful and cute but pretty limited. I think it'd be a vastly more powerful tool if supported three extra things:


In lieu of that, Automate is the only app I've heard of which looks like it might do key shortcuts. Its blurb lists keypresses among the vast list of building blocks, but I don't know whether they'd do what we want, nor how efficient or easy to configure it might be.

Posted by: Eeems Jun 20 2018, 02:03 PM

QUOTE(jakfish @ Jun 20 2018, 09:17 AM) *
Thanks. Installed it, but couldn't see how to keystroke an application to open. Are you doing that with your apps?

Jake

You'll have to configure a flow that waits for keypresses and then launches an activity based on the keypresses.
You can import my current flow if you'd like: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fhu0hjq59m6fxgu/Desktop%20Interactions.flo?dl=0

I have it setup to listen for ctrl-alt-t to open termux. ctrl-alt-d to open digical. ctrl-alt-c to open the camera. fn-s to open up the applications menu in ASAP launcher.

Posted by: jakfish Jun 21 2018, 04:30 AM

Eeems, thank you for posting that file. I downloaded it and I'm hoping to figure out Automate. Like Tasker, it might be a bit above my paygrade smile.gif

I figured out what's going on b/w External Keyboard Helper and Gemini Keyboard. EKBH does successfully launch hotkey-ed apps, even using the Gemini Alt key, but for some reason, you have to choose between Gemini or EKBH in "virtual keyboard" and if Gemini keyboard is unticked in virtual but ticked in physical, you lose function button and the keyboard defaults to UK layout.

This happens even when you tick both keyboards (which is possible) in virtual keyboard. I don't know why the programs are even dealing with virtual keyboard, considering it's a pkb issue.

FWIW, EKBH does work to launch apps, and if someone can't get that to work, post here, and I'll help with that. But getting the two programs to work together is still a mystery, though I see from another post( https://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=34927&hl=external ) that jornada720 got ekbh to work with character remapping. But he had to use Android ASOP keyboard...

Perhaps jornada720 will see this post and weigh in w/ his experience.

Jake

Posted by: AENT Jun 21 2018, 09:16 AM

QUOTE(joepirello @ Jun 20 2018, 11:07 PM) *
QUOTE(jakfish @ Jun 20 2018, 06:54 AM) *
I've read other similar posts, and they don't look promising, but has anybody come up with a way to launch apps with a custom keystroke on pkb?

I have External Keyboard Helper, which does allow app launching with pkb hotkeys, but so far, it's not playing nice with Gemini Keyboard App.

I'm using Nova Launcher Prime--that doesn't seem to have the needed options.

Jake


Actually, the best option is the app called Button Mapper. Utilize the setting to disable it on every app except for Nova Launcher. That way you can quickly hit Fn+D to go home and then any key to launch an app. Multitasking is incredibly fast this way.

I wish there was an app that allowed key combinations so I could set Ctrl+Hotkey to switch apps anywhere in the OS, but there isn't an app that allows that. Button Mapper is the next best thing.

There is an Xposed Module called Xposed Additions that did allow keyboard combinations, but whatever it used to intercept the keyboard slowed down the registering of keypresses so much that it made typing unusable.


I have installed Button Mapper. I have set exception for App Bar. Wherever I am, I can press Alt, release it, and then press for example T and Total Commander immediately launches. I do not have to press Fn + D and then press T. For me it is faster.

Posted by: gidds Jun 21 2018, 12:07 PM

Can Button Mapper recognise specific combinations (such as Ctrl+Fn+F, without also recognising Ctrl+F or Fn+F)?  (Its page isn't clear, but none of its examples suggest that.)

And does it slow the keyboard down if it's set to recognise many different combinations?  (I thought I'd seen a report of that, but I can't find it now.)

Posted by: AENT Jun 21 2018, 12:29 PM

QUOTE(gidds @ Jun 21 2018, 10:07 PM) *
Can Button Mapper recognise specific combinations (such as Ctrl+Fn+F, without also recognising Ctrl+F or Fn+F)?  (Its page isn't clear, but none of its examples suggest that.)

And does it slow the keyboard down if it's set to recognise many different combinations?  (I thought I'd seen a report of that, but I can't find it now.)


It seems it supports only one buttton. I can not press two or more buttons simultaneously (at least I have not figured out how to do it). I can set single press or double press or long press. I can even set time of double press and long press to be recognized. On my old HTC TouchPro2 I have an app, that allows to set such behaviour, but not here.

Posted by: vader Jun 21 2018, 02:16 PM

Depending on how many shortcuts you have, just add them to the planet bar. I really am not an android fan, however this makes it almost usable. It works everywhere, and in any app. Just press the planet key, and either tap the icon you want, or if you are keyboard only, press the arrows till you app is highlighted, then press enter. Granted, a few more presses, but it works flawlessly. I put my most used apps in the bar, and it has become my favourite feature.

Posted by: jakfish Jun 21 2018, 03:01 PM

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.irishin.buttonsremapper

I think this is the easy solution, (but hats off to eeems for figuring out Automate).

Buttons Remapper Premium, which is needed for combination keys, is $1.99usd. Install free version, then bump yourself up thru app itself.

So far, I've programmed all my needed apps to launch through a held-down Alt key + whatever-letter-chosen. eg: for my thesaurus (Chambers Premium), an Alt-T brings it up regardless of window. Buttons Remapper autostarts on reboot. A single press of Alt still brings up App Bar.

I use Alt-W to bring up Word Processor (Textmaker HD), but there's an option to bring up a shortcut instead of actual app. I'd like to program Button Remapper to bring up specific doc (thru its shortcut), but I've yet to figure that out.

This is the easiest avenue I've found so far and I'd be interested to hear other users' opinions.

Thanks to all that got me on the proper path,
Jake

Posted by: AENT Jun 22 2018, 10:41 AM

QUOTE(jakfish @ Jun 22 2018, 01:01 AM) *
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.irishin.buttonsremapper

I think this is the easy solution, (but hats off to eeems for figuring out Automate).

Buttons Remapper Premium, which is needed for combination keys, is $1.99usd. Install free version, then bump yourself up thru app itself.

So far, I've programmed all my needed apps to launch through a held-down Alt key + whatever-letter-chosen. eg: for my thesaurus (Chambers Premium), an Alt-T brings it up regardless of window. Buttons Remapper autostarts on reboot. A single press of Alt still brings up App Bar.

I use Alt-W to bring up Word Processor (Textmaker HD), but there's an option to bring up a shortcut instead of actual app. I'd like to program Button Remapper to bring up specific doc (thru its shortcut), but I've yet to figure that out.

This is the easiest avenue I've found so far and I'd be interested to hear other users' opinions.

Thanks to all that got me on the proper path,
Jake


I have tried this app and I consider that better than Button Mapper thanks to combination of keys. Thanks a lot for tip. The investment of 20 CZK (= 1 USD) has been definitely worth it.

Posted by: jakfish Jun 22 2018, 01:55 PM

Good, glad it works for you too. If you can figure out how to launch home-made shortcuts, please let me know smile.gif

Jake

Posted by: AENT Jun 23 2018, 01:40 AM

QUOTE(jakfish @ Jun 22 2018, 11:55 PM) *
Good, glad it works for you too. If you can figure out how to launch home-made shortcuts, please let me know smile.gif

Jake


I am sorry for misunderstanding. Could you be more specific? What do you exactly mean by "home-made" shortcuts?

Posted by: jakfish Jun 23 2018, 02:43 AM

I apologize for not being clearer. In Buttons Remapper, if you choose shortcuts rather than apps in the Other section, you get a choice of ready-made shortcuts.

But, for example, you made your own shortcut to a document and stored it on the desktop, that custom shortcut will not appear as a shortcut choice in Buttons Remapper.

Apologies again for my lack of clarity,

Jake

Posted by: AENT Jun 23 2018, 06:02 AM

QUOTE(jakfish @ Jun 23 2018, 12:43 PM) *
I apologize for not being clearer. In Buttons Remapper, if you choose shortcuts rather than apps in the Other section, you get a choice of ready-made shortcuts.

But, for example, you made your own shortcut to a document and stored it on the desktop, that custom shortcut will not appear as a shortcut choice in Buttons Remapper.

Apologies again for my lack of clarity,

Jake


If I select an option Shortcut, I can choose Total Commander, here I can then select any file (document/media etc. file and after pressing keys it opens in proper app). There is also option to use Tasker, here I can select any task. OK?

Posted by: jakfish Jun 23 2018, 06:22 AM

That did it! Well done, AENT! Went thru TC, then chose specific doc, then chose TextMaker HD to open the doc.

Thank you, thank you,
Jake

Posted by: gidds Jun 23 2018, 09:13 AM

How do you upgrade to the premium version of https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.irishin.buttonsremapper?

I installed it, enabled the accessibility service, and can set up simple shortcuts.  If I tap on the ‘Premium features’ or try to create a Combination shortcut, it shows a ‘Premium upgrade’ dialog — but when I tap on its UPGRADE button, nothing happens!

Do you need to be signed in to Google?

Posted by: jakfish Jun 23 2018, 09:51 AM

Hmm, not sure. When I clicked on the upgrade. it took me right to Play Store and the $1.99 upgrade button. But I am signed into google and Play Store has my credit card on file.

Jake

Posted by: joepirello Jun 26 2018, 09:28 AM

The only thing that would make Buttons remapper perfect would be per-app combinations. I would love to use the same combination but have it do different things depending on the app I'm in, just like a desktop OS.

Posted by: jornada720 May 26 2019, 05:48 AM

Hi there, I just randomly saw this thread a long time after it was fresh.

EKH cannot launch specific files but it is definitely capable of being set up for switching and launching applications.

Not every Android app seems able to completely remember its state when switched back via this method but it works pretty well.

To do more advanced items, you might try Tasker. I don't have any experience with it, however.

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