How do I switch the keyboard layout for an external USB keyboard on Android 2.1? I've connected a German USB keyboard to my Android Tablet (Easypix 1000). Altough the language is set to German, the external keyboard is wrongly read as an english keyboard. Thanks!

4 Answers 4


There is hope.

I coded a proof-of-concept app that does exactly this (and using it as my everyday keyboard).

Starting from cupcake, the system has a InputMethodService that allows to override keypresses on the fly. This allows applications to change keycodes on the fly without requiring root.

The source-code is available here (for the most curious only)


If you are rooted, you may be able to modify the keyboard layout files defined here: http://source.android.com/porting/keymaps_keyboard_input.html

WARNING: I have not tried this myself, so I don't know if it will work. Modifying system files may brick your Android.

  • 1
    This is a much more useful answer, but as Ryan says modifying system files is risky. If you do give this method a shot please be sure to post your results here as I'd be interested to find out how it went. And make a backup!
    – newuser
    Mar 19, 2011 at 3:44
  • This link no longer works
    – droid
    Feb 22 at 18:39

With desktop OS's keyboard layouts are held in the software of the OS, and I can't imagine Android is much different. Since the only devices that are designed for Android and that have a physical keyboard (that I can think of) are phones I doubt there's even an option in the Android stack to change the keyboard layout since you obviously can't just pull the keyboard off your Droid and swap it with another one.

There might be some way of intercepting the input from the keyboard before it hits your device and remapping the data, but it would require a specialized app (if the option does in fact exist in the Android stack) or for you to plug something in between your keyboard and tablet.


Press Shift + Ctrl + Space


Press Alt + Ctrl + Space

  • Funny, but this isn't even related to the question
    – droid
    Feb 22 at 18:38

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