On the touch screen, just left of the spacebar is a little globe symbol that lets the user access keyman on android. If there is only one keyman keyboard installed, is the globe key still needed? What would the reasons be not to delete it from the keybaord if in a pinch for space?
If you are at all distributing your keyboard for others to use then you have lost control of whether the user will have more than one keyboard installed. They could get another keyboard and then there would be two.
If the keyboard is just for yourself, I would say you could remove the Globe key. But, I don’t believe you should remove the Globe key because people must be able to switch keyboards or they will get very confused.
FYI: If you were to submit the keyboard to the github Keyman project we wouldn’t be able to accept it without the Globe key.
After having tested the touch keyboard with a small group of users, it sometimes happens that people type the globe key, the screen that pops up has in english “close keyman” (not adapting to the language of the telephone, sadly) which is a problem. I would really like to remove the globe key, at least from the first layer. What if the the globe key would be just be located in the symbol layer? Would that be acceptable for github Keyman project submission?
So, here’s the thing. I don’t like the globe key: I think it’s an awkward interface (the missing translation is a separate issue which is being resolved). But on iOS at least, a keyboard without a globe key violates App Store guidelines, so we default to requiring it.
I would like to resolve this in a more consistent manner, long term. On Android, we have more possibilities for keyboard switching. And on newer iPhones, the globe control is available as a separate interface element. On these devices, we could remove the globe key (programatically, in the app) and lengthen the space bar. But it is important to design enough space for the globe key to remain for older devices.
For now, the globe key needs to remain accessible on all layers. Does that provide enough of a way forward for you?
The IOS argument is compelling. But our keyboard will only be available for android. So, does it hurt to not have it on the first layer ? (Knowing it is present on the shift and symbol layer ?)
I found out that the keyboard will not compile without the globe key being somewhere in the layer. I solved the problem temporarily by moving it to a long-press key of a key that is not much used.
Okay, but with that solution we won’t be able to be accept your keyboard into the keyboards repository.
To clarify this, we are unlikely to accept a keyboard that does not put the globe key in the ‘traditional’ location to the left of the spacebar.