Android terminal-ide and Bluetooth Keyboard

Terminal-ide is a full Terminal emulator + custom ANSI keyboard. It provides good bash, vim and busybox emulation, and comes with a complete Java / Android development kit.

I have a Bluetooth Logitech tablet keyboard - for iPad (keyboard image) that works well with Android tablet (Sony S).

The problem with this keyboard is it lacks the Esc key which is located on the top-left on most keyboards. In my Logitech keyboard, the top-left key is a special key (square symbol). If you press the key, the Android device will show the home screen. In order to work with vim, we definitely need the Esc key. Luckily, Terminal-ide allows the option to change external keyboard mappings.

In Terminal-ide main screen, click on Options button, then click on "External Keyboard Mappings", then click on "Escape Key". Terminal-ide will show a dialog where one can enter a keycode value of a key that when press will be mapped to the Escape key instead. I choose to map the Search key to the Escape key and enter the value of 84.

Chris Boyle has released a useful Android app keytest which allows one to check the keycode of a pressed key. Or, you can follow what he does at his blog Android keymaps.

Ok, we can vim now, except that the Terminal-ide vim is not compiled with python support.


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