Friday, April 29, 2011

HOW TO: Add a German Keyboard layout to your Samsung Galaxy Tab (and the Apple Wireless Keyboard)

Yeah,  I am aware of the fact that writing an instruction in English for a German Keyboard layout is a little... stupid.  But... I will still do it. For the sake of humanity and all that shit. I know it is quite a half-assed article.. but maybe it can help someone...

First of all... What will you need?

  • an unlocked, rooted Galaxy Tab, preferably the Euro-Tab Version
  • an Apple Wireless Keyboard (yeah, I know.)

Step 1:
Open rootexplorer on your Tab (or any other filemanager) and navigate to /system/usr/keychars

Check if your Bluetooth HID file is named like that. If it is the correct name, go straight to Step 2b, otherwise follow the instructions at Step 2a.

Step 2:
Download the zipped kcm.bin file here and extract it somewhere on your sd card.

Step 2a
If your file is called differently, then rename the kcm.bin accordingly.
Step 2b
Copy the file and navigate to the /system/usr/keychars folder

IMPORTANT: You should backup the original file! After mounting the filesystem R/W, rename Broadcom_Bluetooth_HID.kcm.bin to Broadcom_Bluetooth_HID.kcm.bin.bak before hitting paste!

Step 3:
Reboot the system / switch off and on again, when you're done and then, if you didn't screw up everything, you should be able to use all the beauty of the German language!

All the credit for modifying the original keymaps go to xcreatir on XDA developers
There are some threads covering this topic:

Bluetooth keyboard and mouse...
Norwegian Apple Wireless Keyboard settings and how to make your own
There you can (probably) find even more keychar thingies (at least I saw norwegian)

If you want to do your own keymaps, you can follow these instructions:
I used a hex editor called UltraEdit on pc to change some symbols in the .kcm.bin-file, and I used the "KeyTest.apk" from github to make out all the scancodes and used them when editing the .kl-layout file in Notepad on the phone.

NB! If you use the hex editor, make sure you always change one symbol at a time and always do backups for each little change. Whenever I did some change that the system didn't like, it would turn to using the "qwerty.kcm.bin" as default, then I could use the backup to make it work again.

This is my first attempt of a sort of contribution to this great forum after
using it for years. Hope that others can use what I have learn't to make
their own settings. I have attached my original and edited settings files,
and a picture of the keyboard with scancodes.
credits for these instructions can be found at:
Thanks qsarklam for that!

I recommend HxD (great hex editor) and if you are looking for KeyTest.apk, it can be found here on github.


daniellaprice30 said...

This is a very detailed on adding keyboard layout to tablets. Thank you for sharing.


memoryhero said...

Any chance you can do the same thing on an Ice Cream Sandwich device? The same files are there (minus the .bin endings) but changing them like in this article does not have the desired effect.

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