Monday, December 16, 2013

OnSong Bluetooth Pedal Onscreen iPad Keyboard Display Trick

OnSong / Bluetooth Pedal / OnScreen iPad Keyboard Display Trick


Okay gang, here’s a couple tricks for those of you using Bluetooth Pedals who also want to be able to access the iPad onscreen keyboard during your sets without having to bend over to push a tiny button on your pedal down on the floor (certainly not the most elegant looking thing to do in the middle of your show!).


(NOTE: I no longer have an Airturn so can not guarantee this will work with that unit, tho can’t really see why it wouldn’t. It works perfectly with the Pageflip Cicada pedal however.)


1. iPad (NOT Jailbroken) - This keyboard display "trick" will cost you $10 :

Pick up a little $10 Mini Bluetooth Keyboard from amazon or ebay (similar to this one:, and keep it somewhere handy beside you while onstage (on the edge of your piano, or velcro'd to your guitar strap, or in your pocket even! . . . it's a bit smaller than an iphone in size).


To start, turn on your bluetooth pedal and turn on your mini bluetooth keyboard whenever you run OnSong. (of course you've already earlier paired both with your iPad!)


Now, whenever you need to enter text into Onsong during a performance to search for a song or edit a song or whatever, just use the mini keyboard (if you're good with using those little keys), or if you prefer using the larger iPad onscreen keyboard like me, then just use the Mini Bluetooth Keyboard to “enable” the iPad onscreen keyboard ("Fn" + the number "3" key on my mini keyboard will bring up the iPad onscreen keyboard) then type onscreen as usual, bluetooth pedals still enabled and all!


No bending over middle of your set fiddling with tiny buttons on your pedal. All of this works with your Bluetooth Pedal still enabled and connected to OnSong.


(**By the way, you only need to enable the Onscreen keyboard this way once per session. After that, the onscreen keyboard will continue to pop up when ever you need it, UNLESS you "eject" it from the screen, if so, then you'll have to enable it again as above. 


You can even turn the bluetooth keyboard off once you've used it to enable the iPad onscreen keyboard and the onscreen keyboard will still pop up, unless you have ejected it of course.)


2. iPad (Jailbroken) - This keyboard display trick will cost you $0 - (Free!) :

If you are using a Jailbroken iPad, simply go to Cydia and search for and install a sweet little tweak (it’s free!) called “KeysPlease” by Erica Sadun. Once it’s installed put its App Icon right next to OnSong's or into your dock for easy access.


Before you open OnSong: 

First turn on your Bluetooth Pedal (which you of course have already paired with your iPad), then run the Keysplease app (it will just cycle on/off and instantly return to your iPad home screen), then open Onsong as usual.


Done in this order, everything will be functioning perfectly every time. (If you want to quick test it, as soon as OnSong opens, tap to open a Sticky Note and your onscreen keyboard will pop right up, bluetooth pedal enabled and all!)


Now, whenever you need to type anything in OnSong during your session the onscreen keyboard will magically appear, just like normal, even though your Bluetooth Cicada Pedal is still active!


Do your typing, and as soon as you return to your song performance page your pedal will still be functioning as normal (as a matter of fact it will even still be functional while you enter text in the song search box or song edit page and any pedal pushes will move the onscreen cursor).


Need to access the onscreen keyboard later in the show? No problem, thanks to Keysplease there’s your onscreen keyboard again, normal as ever, Bluetooth Pedal still active and all.  You only need to run KeysPlease once at the beginning before you start OnSong, and you're good to go for the duration.  Sweet!


No bending over. No fiddling with buttons on pedals down on the floor, or even other mini keyboards for this one.


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Both #1 and #2 routines shown above work perfectly for enabling your iPad onscreen keyboard while using the Pageflip Cicada bluetooth pedal.


With KeysPlease in routine #2, you can use all three at the same time if you wish, your bluetooth pedal, the mini bluetooth keyboard, AND the iPad onscreen keyboard all at once.


Ta Dah!


(Have only tested all of the above on iPad 1 / iOS 5.1 . . . . .   cause that's all I got!)


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