One of the best parts of the BlackBerry KEYone and KEY2 is the iconic physical keyboard. There is one major downside, though: By default, the virtual keyboard appears on these devices even when typing on the physical keyboard. Luckily, there's a way to change that.
By removing the on-screen keyboard, you gain another advantage of a using a physical keyboard: more screen real estate. No longer does the virtual keyboard have to occupy half of the display whenever you are typing. Instead, you can enjoy the full screen, seeing more information when you type.
Step 1: Disable the On-Screen Keyboard
Head over to your phone's main Settings menu and select "System." Choose "Languages & input," then select "Current Keyboard." A popup will emerge with two options. Disable "Show virtual keyboard" by tapping the toggle switch.
Step 2: Bring Back the Virtual Keyboard When You Need It
Once disabled, the virtual keyboard will no longer appear when you select a text box. Instead, there will be a black bar containing several tools to assist you during typing with the physical keyboard.
As you may have noticed, there is no way to type many symbols that are frequently used in texting. For this reason and others, there may be a time where you want to bring back the on-screen keyboard. In those cases, you can simply select the "Sym" key on your physical keyboard, which will bring back the virtual keyboard displaying various additional symbols.
To bring back the alphabet keyboard, select the "ABC" key in the bottom-left corner of your virtual keyboard. Once you are finished using the on-screen keyboard, press the "Sym" key (on the physical keyboard) twice to remove the keyboard.
With only a 4.5" display, KEYone and KEY2 owners need to prioritize screen real estate. By disabling the virtual keyboard, you can preserve more of the screen when typing — particularly when using split-screen mode. What do you think about BlackBerry's physical keyboard now that their phones are running Android? Let us know in the comment below.
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Nice tip. I wish I had a Key2 myself.
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