Microsoft’s Analog Keyboard for Moto 360 and Other Smartwatches

Microsoft has released a keyboard app for Motorola Moto 360 and other square screens smartwatches with 320 x 320 screen resolution. Called Analog Keyboard, it lets users enter text by just drawing handwritten letters on the watch face. Analog Keyboard can be handy at times. It will help you quickly reply to messages on your Android Wear watch.

Moto-360

Analog Keyboard (beta) is a new project by Microsoft for Android Wear smartwatches. It is a good move from Microsoft, because a full-sized keyboard is not practical on smartwatches for inputting text, but the question here is, whether it is necessary to have a keyboard on Android Wear smartwatches. However, if you are interested you can install the keyboard on your watch.

Installing Analog Keyboard is not straightforward. It requires to setup Android SDK on your PC and a working adb (Android debug bridge) connection to your watch. Also, as the Moto 360 doesn’t have a USB connector, you need to setup Bluetooth debugging for installing the app.

Installing Analog Keyboard on Android Wear

Analog Keyboard can be downloaded from Microsoft Research website [Here]. Once downloaded, extract the zip file. It contains the APK of the keyboard app and installation document.

1. Inside the Platform-tools directory, right click while holding the ‘Shift’ key and select ‘open command line window here’, then issue below commands.

adb install com.microsoft.research.analogkeyboard-Signed.apk

(don’t forget to specify “-s localhost:4444” if you’re connected via Bluetooth)

This will install the keyboard service, as well as a test app that shows up as “Analog Keyboard” in your watch’s “Start” menu. The test app is simply a dummy edit control that you can tap to bring up the keyboard.

2. Now, issue below commands:

adb shell ime enable com.microsoft.research.analogkeyboard/.KeyboardService
adb shell ime set com.microsoft.research.analogkeyboard/.KeyboardService

This command starts up the service which can make the current foreground app unresponsive for a few (5-10) seconds (this happens only once, though). You can call up the keyboard by tapping on any text edit control. That’s it (source)

Kannan is a computer and Android enthusiast, a blogger by passion and a tech freak. His always ready-to-help attitude, knowledge and hard work is what drives him.

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