Blank keyboards in iOS

I’m having a general issue on iOS 13.3 using the Keyman app build 12.0.62–when I open or switch to an app with the Keyman system keyboard active, the Keyman keyboard is blank (just a grey rectangle) the first time I try to enter text. It doesn’t appear to be related to a particular language—it happens with English (US) as well as other keyboards. I can rectify this by hiding the keyboard by touching the screen somewhere other than a text entry field, then getting the keyboard to pop up again by touching a text entry field. This happens on both my iPad and iPhone.

If I have another keyboard active (e.g. one built into iOS) when I open an app, and then switch to the Keyman keyboard in the app, there is no problem.

I’ve searched for a solution/workaround for this but haven’t found anything on help.keyman.com, so thought it best to raise it here.

This is a known issue here: https://github.com/keymanapp/keyman/issues/2259

It hasn’t usually been a consistent thing like you indicate - “the first time I try to enter text” - but it’s something we see sporadically from time to time.

Just in case this gives us a lead, what model of iPad and what model of iPhone are you experiencing the issue with? Does this always happen when you first open the keyboard, or only sometimes?

It’s not 100% consistent. The problem mostly arises where the Keyman keyboard is active, and I switch apps. The keyboard is then often blank in the newly opened (or switched to) app. As I said, getting the keyboard to minimise and then bringing it back up again always fixes the problem.

If I have an iOS system keyboard active when I open an app, and then change to the Keyman in that app, the blank keyboard issue doesn’t arise.

I’m using an iPhone 6s and an iPad Pro (2nd generation).

Update: I’ve noticed that on my iPhone 11 that when I switch keyboard to Keyman for the first time in an app, the keyboard sometimes appears for a split second before going blank.

We believe this is fixed in latest beta 13.0.65: you can try it at https://keyman.com/beta.

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The IOS disappearing keyboard problem has arisen again and the previous workaround of hiding and reopening the keyboard no longer works. I’m using v. 14.0.76 on iOS 13.5.1 on an iPhone 11. It was happening in later iterations of v. 13 so I moved over to v. 14 in hopes of fixing it, but no luck. I can’t see any pattern to when or why the keyboard disappears, or when it comes back.

UPDATE: Turning on “allow full access” in the iOS keyboard settings, then turning it off seems to work at least temporarily to fix the problem. I’ll let you know if it happens again.

Interesting that “allow full access” resolves the issue for you. We’ll keep an eye on this.

@joshua_horton can you reproduce this at all? Second question: do we need a way to cache Sentry error reports from the system keyboard (either JS or Swift) and transfer them when “allow full access” is on?

Eh, as mentioned above:

I can’t see any pattern to when or why the keyboard disappears, or when it comes back.

My experience is the same; I cannot intentionally reproduce this at this time.

Re: Sentry… that’ll require investigation further than I’ve done so far. Sentry’s libraries are supposed to cache errors for resend, but the retry count is pretty limited. If we’re able to rely on Sentry’s defaults, you’d probably have to enable “Allow Full Access” pretty quickly after seeing the issue occur, but I don’t know how long you’d need it to be active before it would actually try sending the error reports again.