Installing a Keyman keyboard in adverse conditions

I am having a problem with the installation of a keyboard I recently built, by a missionary in West Africa. I sent him the keyboard kmp file and he has copied it to his phone. When he selects it, it asks with what app he wants to open the file, but Keyman is not an option.

As I suggested he has tried to update Keyman but with a very poor internet connection, Google Play store is not working well.

He asked if I could send him the Keyman apk file, hoping he may be able to get that, but I don’t know where it is located. I can’t find it on my phone. Is there a way to download that apk to my computer so I can try to send it to him?

He has the keyboard working on his PC so it appears he has a good copy of the kmp file.

Any suggestions?
Lee Partridge

Hi Lee

You can send him an apk to the latest stable release
Keyman for Android 11.0.2107

The default file manager for certain phones (Samsung) has issues associating .kmp files with Keyman. I generally use the Chrome browser “Downloads” page to launch .kmp files.

@darcy you are also no doubt aware of this open feature request: (referencing here in case others want to +1 it)

Thanks, I sent the missionary the link to see if he can download it. I can’t send the file since the e-mail server blocks it.
I read the feature request to install a keyboard from within Keyman and completely agree with that feature request.

Thanks for your quick response.

This is the reply I received from the missionary in West Africa:
I got it downloaded and installed on two phones, but neither recognized the kmp file. Both are Tecno phones, a cheap brand here in Guinea. So I tried it on my wife’s
LG. It works fine there. So apparently it is a glitch with Tecno. I have had 4 Tecno phones, and this is the first time I have encountered such an issue. Do you think if you got it registered with SIL I would be able to download it from within Keyman and it
would work? If we could figure out how to make it work on Tecno phones, that would be good, as it is likely the in the future Landumas with Tecno phones will want to use it.

Have you had anyone with a bad experience with this type phone? If so any suggestions?


Certainly if the keyboard is hosted through the Keyman site then it will be available directly in Keyman. Aside from that, it has become clear to us that Android’s file management functionality leaves a lot to be desired and is decidedly inconsistent across vendors, so I have bumped up the priority of the keyboard search within app feature linked above.

I have not tested Tecno phones myself – they are not available in Australia or South-East Asia AFAIK.

Also, I’m not clear from the response – did they try with the Chrome browser ‘Downloads’ page?

I just received word from the missionary in West Africa and he was able to install a different keyboard from the SIL repository when he could get to good internet. He would rather not have to rely on that since their internet is so deficient.
He is looking forward to a time they can install from a file that they pass around.
I am going to attempt to add his keyboard to the SIL repository and hope it goes smoother than the last time.

Thanks for your help,

Lee Partridge

@leepartridge its a question of finding the right combination of applications. I know Firefox will download a Keyman package and prompt to open it in Keyman. So file association can work in Android. For some reason Chrome is much more limited. I have never been a fan of Chrome. It isn’t an appropriate browser ofr minority languages and scripts for a number of technical reasons that refect teh concerns and interests of the application’s developers.

We have used Firefox as a method of installing kmp files for testing in a number of West African countries.

I am still looking for a file manager that will do the right thing with kmp files. But a load function within keyman would be useful as has been suggested.

I don’t know that they use Firefox or want to install it with their poor internet. I used to use it a lot until they booted one the co-founders because he stood up for his religious beliefs with his own money and time. Since then I avoid supporting
it.I put the keyboard kmp file in a dropbox folder and shared a link with the missionary. He was able to download the file with Google Chrome and install it. It is not the perfect solution since they often don’t have internet. They don’t use Linux so I am
at a loss on how they can set up a local server to serve to everyone. They use MS Windows and I am not familiar with setting up an Apache server with MS windows. I would look into it but I am not sure they would want to set up a server and they don’t have
decent internet to download the install files.
The best option for them is to get it into the SIL repositories or add the install feature to Keyman.

I have requested a pull request to get the keyboard into the repositories.

Thanks for your help,

Lee Partridge