MBraille as third-party keyboard with 10.3.1

iOS & iPadOS

Have purchased the MBraille third-party keyboard in-app upgrade for $9.99, have added the keyboard in Settings > General > Keyboards, and have allowed full access to the keyboard. In any app I try to use the new keyboard, I hear VoiceOver announce MBraille, but then the QWERTY keyboard pops up in the lower third.

What am I doing wrong? Are there any known issues with MBraille as a third-party keyboard in the latest build of iOS?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!



Submitted by DrummerGuy on Monday, April 24, 2017

Hello, my friend.
When you are typing a message and you click on the edit line or box, if you trail you were with the screen with your finger from the space bar and keep going left until you reach a button that will say more words or numbers there's also one button that Will say keyboard. You double tap on that and it will take you to the different keyboards you might have allowed. In my case, I have English keyboard, Spanish keyboard, emoji's and I mbraille.
Normally come out when you reach the keyboard button, it will say something like next keyboard mbraille.
You can also double tap and hold that button and then push your finger upward and VoiceOver will read the different keyboards you have allowed. When you hear the keyboard you want just lift your finger and it will switch to that keyboard.
I hope this helps.

Thanks so much for the response! Sadly, I'm able to select the MBraille keyboard -- my iPhone just won't display it correctly. When the MBraille keyboard is selected, a QWERTY keyboard is visible and there appears to be no way to input braille gestures. This happens across any app, but does not happen when launching Messages or Mail from the MBraille app itself.

Any other thoughts? Thanks for your reply!

I have to confess that I have not used this application even though I purchased it along time ago.
Today I have tried to use it and I just don't seem to be able to make it work inside of an application such as iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook or any other service. I must be doing something wrong, but what?
I hope someone is able to help us with this.

Submitted by Paul Martin on Monday, April 24, 2017

I made a note of this in the release blog post, but was told I was the only one having this issue since I'm on a 7 plus. This one's been happening since the 3rd or 4th beta of iOS 10.3.1, and I got a rather short response from mPaja as noted in that post. I can confirm the issue still happens in the latest iOS betas as well.

Submitted by Justin Romack on Tuesday, April 25, 2017

In reply to by Paul Martin

Paul: Do you keep your phone locked in the portrait orientation?

I did some testing yesterday, and it appears that the keyboard in Away mode will appear if I force landscape orientation (which is something I very, very, very rarely do.) It seems the developer was curious of the same thing, because he asked specifically about this today.

Submitted by DrummerGuy on Thursday, April 27, 2017

I have set up M braille to be used on landscape mode and have chosen the piano this play or layout but I keep having problems when I try to use the keyboard on the iMessage, email at Cetera, it will not work.
Quite frankly, I am getting tired of playing around with this app.
I purchased the application a long time ago and I never really tried to use it until now. I have been updating to the newest version every time I have found out that there is a new version in the App Store. What am I doing wrong? What do I need to do in order to use this app correctly? I am starting to think about deleting it. Please help!

Submitted by hllf on Thursday, April 27, 2017

I have been reading this thread and wanted to comment. Let me first say that I'm one of the app beta testers, and I have been using the app pretty much since the day it was launched. I currently use the app on an iPhone 7 running iOS 10.3.1. I use the app on average probably anywhere from 20-50 times a day. I have used the app on every iPhone including and since the iPhone 4S. 95% of my interaction with the app is via the third party keyboard feature, and about 5% within the actual app itself.

I can first say that there are no problems I have experienced running the app on iOS 10.3.1, so I don't believe the problems the posters here are experiencing is due to the operating system. I do want to comment, however, on some relevant app settings.

First, the latest update to the app introduced UEB support. I noticed that this option is turned on by default, and it did interfere with some things I was used to typing. This is not a bug but just how UEB handles things. So unless you are familiar with UEB and actively want to use it, I recommend turning this off in app settings.

Second, you should always keep your phone locked in portrait mode. Do not change the orientation settings of the phone because of MBraille; it is not necessary.

Third, piano mode does not work in anything other than portrait mode. This is a limitation of iOS. The intent of piano mode is that there is an area left above the keyboard where the app is visible. However, iOS does not allow a third party keyboard to do this split keyboard display in landscape mode. Therefore if you use piano mode, the phone has to remain in portrait mode, and all the keys will be scrunched together at the bottom. Piano mode is intended for use only on an iPad where the screen is wide enough even in portrait mode to make this a viable and feasible option. I will caveat this by saying everything I just said was valid when piano mode was first introduced. I have not tested it recently, so if something in the OS changed, it is possible my comments are out of date; however, I do not believe this to be the case.

Fourth, if you are not experienced with MBraille, you should set the keyboard orientation to away mode and nothing else. The other modes do have their uses, but for an inexperienced user, you should use away mode and nothing else. Even I still prefer away mode over anything else.

I hope the above helps; I am happy to comment and answer any questions folks have and provide whatever additional help/advice I can.

Submitted by Paul Martin on Friday, May 5, 2017

After toying with that whole mBraille thing a bit more, I found I can use the keyboard with a few oddities. First, I can use piano and table layouts only in portrait, and flipping over to landscape will make funny things happen including clipping most of the keyboard off the screen. As for away mode, it only works for me in landscape, and flipping over to portrait while the keyboard is shown will make querty present itself in a rather dumb version meaning that no predictions or anything will work until using the globe icon to switch to English Us.
Oh yeah, this is all on an iPhone 7 plus. I've an iPad pro, and that doesn't like the piano layout at all. No 3rd-party keyboard on that device for the time being.

Submitted by hllf on Friday, May 5, 2017

I am rather confused by your comment. MBraille is not meant to be flipped between portrait/landscape. The intended use is that the user has his or her phone set to orientation lock. Whenever MBraille is is activated, either via launching the app or via bringing up the third party keyboard, the phone remains in portrait mode; however, the keys are presented on the screen such that you need to turn your phone 90 degrees to be able to use it. MBraille is not intended to be used in landscape mode, ever. It is always to be used in portrait mode.

Please note the difference between portrait/landscape mode, versus how you hold the phone. MBraille always works in portrait orientation, but you need to hold your phone in landscape orientation to type with it correctly. However, as far as iOS is concerned, it never enters landscape mode.

Submitted by Paul Martin on Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I'd be most curious to see where this is stated, as I've not been able to find it in even the help file in-app. In fact, the 3rd-party keyboard section goes into some detail about how mBraille will function in landscape on iPhones. For those wondering why Messages would be cool in landscape on a plus model iPhone, try it if you can and kiss the back buttons goodbye. Also, I see a post above somewhere mentioning a smaller/normal size 7 was having no issue. We should keep that in mind; hardware specific problems do crop up from time to time.
Beyond that, the iPad will make the keyboard disappear for a few seconds soon as I touch it in something such as messages, and yes it doesn't matter how I hold the device.

Submitted by Harri on Thursday, May 11, 2017


Harri here, MBraille author that is.

Portrait and Landscape modes are both supported, but portrait lock is recommended. At some point Apple introduced the handwriting mode popping up when the phone is rotated to landscape and that messes up the input.

I haven't been able to reproduce the keyboard crashing issue myself, that's why it remains unfixed. I've tried with iPhone 6S plus and iPhone 6S, and it works for me with those, using iOS 10.3.1.

Some things to check though: What is the VoiceOver Typing Style setting you are using? Some of those cause issues, Standard Typing works best.

Also, if you can try with self voicing in MBraille keyboard (just turn VoiceOver off), that would narrow it down to a problem with Voiceover.

Hope this helps,

Submitted by Greg Wocher on Thursday, May 11, 2017

I am using an iPhone 7 plus running the latest version of iOS. I will preface this with the fact I have not purchased the app. However when I go to try and test out MBraille as a third party keyboard it will not work in any edit field I try to use it on. When I select it as the keyboard to use my iPhone will say MBraille like its going to work but it does not. The normal keyboard is still on the screen. This happens in any edit field that I have tried.

Greg WOcher

Submitted by Paul Martin on Friday, May 12, 2017

Thank you MR Wocher for helping to round the issue down. I too am on a 7 plus, and am having the troubles mentioned above with or without Voiceover. This would lead me to believe it's a hardware specific thing, as I was able to run the keyboard fine any way I wish on a 6Plus. I do have a crash log or 6 showing up in settings where thread 0 the keyboard extension crashed, but I can't make heads or tales of why seeing as how I don't know how to work with binary stuff as it seems to be showing.

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