Help! My Keyboard Doesn't Work!

Posted by Graham Wheeler on Saturday, January 12, 2008

We get a lot of people reporting problems with their hardware keyboards on phones like the VX6800. When they press the letter keys instead of letters they get numbers and symbols.

Unfortunately this is a problem with the IME (input method editor) in the phone. IMEs are often customized by the phone OEM or the mobile operator to add functionality like predictive text input. For a number of phones, an IME was added that breaks text input from the keyboard with all .Net Compact Framework apps. In many cases we’re the only such app on the phone, so users understandably think its a bug in our program. We wish it was - in that case we could fix it - but there really isn’t anything we can do other than complain.

AFAIK the full set of phones affected is:

  • HTC S630
  • HTC Titan/Sprint Mogul/PPC-6800.
  • HTC S720
  • HTC 5800
  • Verizon XV6700
  • Verizon XV6800

If you have a Titan/Mogul/6800, Sprint does have a firmware update for the phone which has a fix. The fix requires reflashing your phone, which means losing all your apps and settings and carries some risk, so be aware of that.

For the Verizon XV6800, you can get a fix by visiting UTStar; select Verizon Wireless as your carrier then click on Downloads, and select the QWERTY Keyboard fix. You could try this as a direct link.

If you have one of the other phones I suggest you complain to your operator; if enough people complain then they might do something. If you know of fixes for any of these please let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post.