I use Dvorak as my main typing layout. I own a Motorola Xoom tablet, for which I bought an external bluetooth keyboard. I couldn't find how to use Dvorak on the physical keyboard though; I tried some of the Dvorak-capable keyboard apps in the App Store (Hacker's Keyboard, Honso Multiling, XenionSH Dvorak Keyboard), but none of these seemed to help (ASK has an open issue for this: http://code.google.com/p/softkeyboard/issues/detail?id=181)

Has anyone managed to do something similar (using either an external BT keyboard or a phone with an inbuilt physical keyboard.)

3 Answers 3


If your phone is rooted I think that you can write your own keyboard layout. I'm using my own layout (on SGS I9000) for some Chinese blouetooth keyboard that I bougth recently.

Layout files are in /system/usr/keylayout/ directory. Layout file that is used by my keyboard is Broadcom_Bluetooth_HID.kl. I think that layout used by built-in keyboard will be qwerty.kl - you could modify it and check if it's working.

Remember to make backups of original files before changing it...


I've made an app that supports a lot (over 30) different layouts and for the latest version (version 2.7) I've added the Dvorak layout. It does not require root.

You can read more about the app here: http://www.apedroid.com/android-applications/external-keyboard-helper

  • Maybe you should mention that your program is not free. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 7:46

I tried a couple options and ended up using an app from RaidSix (com.tiagofalcao.raidsixinputdevices)*, which added new layouts for physical keyboards.

I was then able to add multiple layouts to both a Bluetooth and a Logitech Unifying Receiver (via a USB On-The-Go cable) wireless keyboard, under:

  • Settings/Personal/Keyboard and Language ->
  • Physical Keyboard/the-physical-keyboard-in-question/Set Up Keyboard Layouts

It may not be as convenient as the External-Keyboard-Helper app, though.

Amazon Fire, Fire OS 5.1.1, Google Play Store enabled

* I don't know what the policy is for linking to specific apps, but here's the full Google Play Store link.

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