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Support for Windows 10 Devices While In Touch-Input-Only (Tablet) Mode

Discussion in 'Feature Suggestions' started by Lee Rhoads, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Lee Rhoads

    Lee Rhoads New Member

    Dear Across Development Team,

    I just started using Across with my Windows 10 Pro HP 2-in-1 notebook PC and iPhone 8 SE this week. I love it even though I am forced to use v1.30 (due to issues with the Windows 10 1809 update) and am also forced to have the PC's detachable physical keyboard attached.

    I would love this software a lot more if I was able to use it in tablet mode (while the physical keyboard was not attached).

    Please add on-screen keyboard support to the Windows 10 Server Mode features for switching between devices and for typing on client devices.


    Thanks,
    Lee
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019 at 1:00 AM
  2. Seungjin Lee

    Seungjin Lee Member

    Thanks for the nice suggestion. I'll have added the feature today. (to the coming next version) Another good news is we will order a certificate to sign our application binaries for release on the coming Monday. :)
     
  3. Seungjin Lee

    Seungjin Lee Member

    Have added the feature. Unfortunately not sure whether you will be satisfied with the feature. I don't know the exact reason -- not sure whether the Win10 OnScreen keyboard would suck or my laptop (dell xps 13) would suck. Anyway, once you have experienced the next version, you will easily get understood what I mean. :D
     
  4. Seungjin Lee

    Seungjin Lee Member

    Previously I was testing with the legacy onscreen keyboard (WIN + CTRL + O) that does not seem to work beautifully. Now I got to know there is the builtin sophiscated onscreen keyboard and onscreen touchpad in Windows 10. :) I agree to you that the onscreen keyboard and touchpad are quite useful, and the next version of across will support them. I mean, I have already added the feature and am shocked a little bit. We can control all devices with a Windows tablet PC!
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  5. Lee Rhoads

    Lee Rhoads New Member

    Seungjin Lee,

    I experimented with the legacy onscreen keyboard (WIN + CTRL + O). I was unable to type on my phone or switch the input. I tried both with and without a physical keyboard attached. Thank you for adding support for the Windows 10 touch keyboard (the one you describe as "the builtin sophiscated onscreen keyboard"). When are you planning to release the next version? I haven't responded to your posts until now because I was waiting for your next release so I could try your changes first before responding.

    By the way, it would be nice if you would update your download page (https://download.acrosscenter.com/) with the links and information in your community post "Windows 10 1809 Update Issue" (https://community.acrosscenter.com/index.php?threads/windows-10-1809-update-issue.167/).

    Regards,
    Lee
     
  6. Lee Rhoads

    Lee Rhoads New Member

    Seungjin Lee,

    Please note that in this post whenever I refer to the "touch keyboard" I'm talking about the new Windows 10 onscreen touch keyboard only (the one you describe as "the builtin sophiscated onscreen keyboard"), not the legacy Ease of Access onscreen keyboard launched via WIN + CTRL + O.

    Currently my only requirement for Across is the ability to do the following on a Windows 10 Across server PC:
    (1) use the touch keyboard to switch/toggle keyboard input between the PC and an iPhone
    (2) use the touch keyboard to type all standard printable ASCII characters to an iPhone
    (3) use the touch keyboard arrow keys to move the text cursor around on an iPhone
    (4) use only touch input to reconnect to an iPhone


    I tried the new Windows 10 Across server touch keyboard support with the V2.BETA4-RC2 version while no physical keyboard, mouse, or touchpad was attached to the PC. Below are the results of my testing.

    Regarding #1 (use the touch keyboard to switch/toggle keyboard input between the PC and an iPhone): The hotkey feature still doesn't work with the touch keyboard. This can be worked around by performing three-finger-taps on the Windows 10 virtual touchpad, provided that Windows 10 is reconfigured to simulate middle mouse button clicks when the user three-finger-taps the virtual touchpad. Would it be possible to add a new menu option for switching keyboard input to a different device to the shortcut menu that appears when tapping/clicking on the Across system tray icon, even if you get the hotkey feature working with the touch keyboard?

    Regarding #2 (use the touch keyboard to type all standard printable ASCII characters to an iPhone): All the touch keyboard layouts except the "standard" (full Windows PC) layout can be used to type standard printable ASCII characters to my iPhone. The "standard" layout seems to be quite the different animal. Unfortunately this is the layout I use most of the time. When that layout is being used and keyboard input is switched over to the iPhone:
    (a) Across ignores the touch spacebar and it is therefore impossible to type a space character to the iPhone without switching to a different keyboard layout.
    (b) All touch keystrokes are sent both to the active window on the PC and to the iPhone.
    (c) Across ignores the touch keyboard shift state and it is therefore impossible to type the following standard printable ASCII characters to the phone without switching to a different keyboard layout: ~!@#$%^&*()_+:"?<>

    Regarding #3 (use the touch keyboard arrow keys to move the text cursor around on an iPhone): Across ignores the arrow keys for all touch keyboard layouts.

    Regarding #4 (use only touch input to reconnect to an iPhone): The shortcut (right-click) menu for a device within the Across Center dialog Client Devices Layout area cannot be invoked via the touch screen gesture for simulating a mouse click via touch and hold. This can be worked around by launching the Windows 10 virtual touchpad and using it to move the mouse cursor over to the device icon and then touching the virtual touchpad's right button. (The shortcut menu I am speaking of has the "Connect Bluetooth..." menu option I use to reconnect to my iPhone.)


    Regards,
    Lee
     
  7. Seungjin Lee

    Seungjin Lee Member

    Hi, Lee,

    Thanks a lot for the detailed description.
    While mouse click on the "Mouse Hotkey" toolbar item in the Across Center will work to launch the mouse hotkey setting dialog, touch on it will work as a hotkey to switch input focus between devices. When two or more client devices are connected, the switching target will be chosen by tapping its client icon before the hotkey.

    All problems fixed

    Every tapping on a client icon in the Across Center will try to reconnect.

    I think you would be confused with the sequence. You have not done the step (2), since two versions of the VC++ 2017 Redistributable cannot be installed as the error message is saying. The error message is just saying that the old version (14.16.27012) must be removed to install the latest version.

    The fixed version will be available within a couple of days.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  8. Lee Rhoads

    Lee Rhoads New Member

    Seungjin Lee,

    Thank you for all your hard work, including fixing (2) and (3) the changes for (1) and (4).

    Regarding the software installation sequence: On my PC both of the beta Across Windows installers (V2.BETA4-RC and V2.BETA4-RC2) insist on having the old version 14.16.27012 of "Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable (x64)" installed and won't succeed until I first uninstall the newer version 14.16.27027. I need the newer version for other software. I have been putting the newer version back each time after successfully installing Across, including in between trying Across V2.BETA4-RC and Across V2.BETA4-RC2. Hence, always running my step '(2) uninstall "Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable (x64) - 14.16.27027"'. I reported this issue in a post in a different thread, "Test Flight for V2.BETA4-RC". I will add another post with this information to clarify what I meant.

    Regards,
    Lee
     
  9. Seungjin Lee

    Seungjin Lee Member

    Hi, Lee,

    Thanks for the explanation. I will change the installer for users including you who had already VC++ 2017 Redistributable installed as to skip installing it.
     
  10. Lee Rhoads

    Lee Rhoads New Member

    This is working fine for my situation (the only one I have tried - just one client device, an iPhone). I don't want to seem ungrateful but having to use the Across Center window every time I want to switch devices is a bit cumbersome.

    Ideally the Keyboard Hotkey feature would work with the touch keyboard. I have noticed that with the Windows onscreen keyboards both the left and the right ctrl keys simultaneously "light up" when pressing just one of them. The behavior is the same for the left and right alt, shift, and the Windows keys. So I wonder (without writing a test app myself), is there a limitation in Windows that prevents applications from detecting any of the Across-supported hotkey key presses when those presses are performed on the onscreen keyboards (left and right shift, left and right ctrl, etc...)? If so then would it be possible to add additional key press combination options to the Across Keyboard Hotkey feature that can be detected with the onscreen keyboards?

    (I have looked into a different solution where I would simulate middle mouse button clicks via three-finger taps on my touchscreen and therefore just use the existing Across Mouse Hotkey feature to switch devices. However, for some reason Windows 10 is not providing me a way to configure my touchscreen so that middle mouse button clicks are simulated in response to three-finger taps. I've looked through all the new Windows 10 settings UI's and the Control Panel applets. In fact the only thing that happens when I three-finger tap on my touchscreen is that I see visual feedback (faint grey circles appear and then fade away). I would think that Cortana would be launched because that is what happens when I three-finger tap on the touchpad (ELAN Clickpad) that is built into my detachable keyboard. The "Pen and Touch" Control Panel applet lets me turn the feedback on and off. That applet also has options for simulating mouse clicks via touchscreen taps. However, it has no options for the middle mouse button or three-finger taps.)


    Yes, except for the caps lock state. Across is ignoring that state for the "standard" (full) Windows 10 touch keyboard layout. It is working fine for the other layouts where the state is toggled by double-tapping the shift keys.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019 at 4:45 PM
  11. Seungjin Lee

    Seungjin Lee Member

    Thanks for your opinion.

    Agreed. I have been thinking other good method to switch input focus. Finally, this will be the best method:
    1) Switch from Server to Client: just touch screen edge whose direction is where the client device is. (Currently Across works as it is)
    2) Return from Client to Server: just touch the Across Center system tray icon. (It will be implemented.)

    Mouse hotkey toolbar button as hotkey will be removed in favor of the above method.

    Edit: Implementation done. It seems promising.

    The onscreen keyboard doesn't distinguish left and right modifier keys, and therefore we can't use left+right modifier combinations. We have a plan to support user customizable key combination but its priority is very low.

    That may be the way a physical keyboard's caps lock works for ios. Please try to connect your pc to other devices than ios devices to verify that caps lock works well. For my ipad, a caps lock works as input language change (English to Korean).

    Edit: My problem was this:
    https://support.zagg.com/hc/en-us/a...ps-Lock-key-not-function-correctly-in-iOS-10-
    After turning off the setting, caps lock works correctly in my ipad.

    Edit2: What do you mean the "caps lock state"? Have you already tested the state in Windows itself? I see the MSFT intention why the caplock key in full-mode than other layouts is in there.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019 at 9:21 AM

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