Do I need to install an application to use a Bluetooth keyboard with an Android 4.1.2 phone?

I am using a Droid Bionic and with an Anker K1280C keyboard ( an Apple keyboard clone). I can pair the phone with the keyboard, but the Bluetooth keyboard does not show up in the input method selection list.

I have tried a few applications which do expose a keyboard in the input methods list and connect to the Bluetooth keyboard (BlueKeyboard JP and Blue Input). They allow most of the keys to work, but the key map is not completely correct.

I am under the impression that Android 4.0 should not need an special applications to use a keyboard. Is this correct?

2 Answers 2


Normally, Android shouldn't need a separate app for that, you're quite correct with that. And normally, it doesn't. But sometimes a little trouble may arise with specific combinations, like e.g. keyboards having a weird layout.

As you write you've got the keyboard basically working, just the layout is screwed: I recommend you taking a look at External Keyboard Helper, which lets you adjust a lot of things to your needs, amongst others the keyboard layout. Though I never used it myself, I already recommended it with a similar question -- and no, I'm in no way affiliated with this app :)

  • Thanks Izzy. I tried External Keyboard Helper, but it only works if the keyboard is already working, so it is not quite what I need. However you have confirmed that it should work, which answers my question. Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 2:03
  • Too me that looks like it's a fault on the keyboard's side (incorrect handling of Bluetooth commands or the like). I'd contact the vendor/manufacturer, maybe they can provide a kind of "firmware upgrade" or replace the keyboard with a different model.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 16:22
  • Good point. I will give that try. Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 18:05

Found a possible solution from Android Central questions give it a shot.

Specifically, this post says to do the following:

When pairing the keyboard with your device, it will prompt you to enter a pin and say "try 0000 or 1234." You need to:

Step 1) enter "0000" on your android device (tablet or phone keyboard)
Step 2) hit "okay"
Step 3) type "0000" and hit enter on your BLUETOOTH keyboard

  • Josh wrote he can pair the device, and even use it somehow (except for the keyboard layout being a little screwed), so pairing shouldn't be the issue IMHO (that question on Android Central is I can't pair a Bluetooth Keyboard...).
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 13, 2013 at 9:30
  • Thanks Tirath, Izzy is correct though. I can pair the keyboard, I just cannot select it as an input method, so I cannot use it. Commented Jul 13, 2013 at 10:50

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