I have a bluetooth keyboard connected and working with my Android phone, but with one annoyance: the escape key does not appear to do anything. This is particularly problematic for a vi user like me.

Is there a way to fix it so the escape key works, at least in the terminal application? Is /system/usr/keylayout/qwerty.kl a potential approach or is this something harder?

Hardware specifics:

  • SMK-LINK Bluetooth compact keyboard, Model VP6630
  • Android Dev Phone 1 with Cyanogenmod 6.1

4 Answers 4


The solution that has worked for me is:

Upgrade to a Nexus S running Cyanogenmod 10.

  • :D that's not a solution..
    – iOS
    Apr 6, 2013 at 20:30
  • @Sachin: Yeah, no argument there. And yet, I can now use vi. ;)
    – retracile
    Apr 6, 2013 at 20:32

Try this, it worked for me: Ctrl + [

  • With that, I get a [ character. With Ctrl+C, I get a c character. So Ctrl may not be working either.
    – retracile
    Apr 6, 2013 at 20:30

I use a zagg BT kbd. I have used others, but not with this app.

I use the External Keyboard Pro app from the Play Store to reassign keys. My one kvetch, and it is a serious one, is that I cannot reassign the 'Home' key that takes me back to the 'home screen' with it. And I hate that. I don't want any sort of magical keys on my kbd. That's why I'm using a kbd. And I don't think there are that many people using an external kbd with an android device who are not professional typists to some degree. Users who hunt & peck are going to be fine with the OSK. And the rest of us are going to hate life everytime we hit the 'Home' key and exit our apps. That being said, I have the 'Return' key and the F2/Mic-ON key mapped to ESC on my ASUS 10.1 tab.

It's sufficient to keep me from plucking out my eyes and warning kings of dire times ahead, or wandering around in the day time shining a lantern in poeple's faces. This is a good thing, but there must be a way to make things 'better'. The app isn't awesome, but it works and it'll get you close to what you want. I am 85% happy. I found it via: http://www.howtogeek.com/175267/the-htg-guide-to-using-a-bluetooth-keyboard-with-your-android-device/

  • 1
    What has this to do with the question?
    – Dan Hulme
    Mar 30, 2014 at 12:37

Switch on keybaord and before typing press Fn + Q at same time to set keyboard in iOS mode. ( Fn + E = Windows mode ) ( Fn + W = Android mode ) ( Above works on my Arteck HB030B keyboard )

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