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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Nexus 7: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    One of my nitpicks about my new Nexus 7 that I bought from the U.S. is that the Google Japanese Input method I downloaded from Google Play doesn't let you switch back easily to the English keyboard. While the English keyboard has a dedicated soft button for switching languages to the left of the space bar, surprisingly the Japanese keyboard doesn't. It's a bit more time-consuming to get back. Also on the Japanese keyboard there isn't a voice input button.

    Since the new Nexus 7 went on sale here in Japan a few days ago, I dropped by Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara and looked at the settings they are distributing here. Instead of the Google Japanese Input method they are instead using something called iWnn IME.

    Right there on the spot I did a Google Play search for it and found it: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ronsoft.wnnlab

    It's free and described this way:

    "Wnn Keyboard Lab is pre-release free version of iWnn IME (Japanese keyboard) which is standard installed a lot of Android devices in Japan. Wnn Keyoboard Lab will provide stable basic IME functions and plug-in modules for customization."

    It works great, and you can even toggle an Emoji keyboard (which I turned off) and has a voice input button also.

    I don't see any advantage to the Google Japanese Input method. This is much better. And it's the way the standard Japanese Nexus 7s are set up.
    GSDer, dimm0k and ragnarokx like this.
  2. #2  

    Default

    Oh, that's what that is. I'm in England, and even mine has an iWnn option in the input settings.
  3. #3  
    dan1431's Avatar

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    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Speaking of Japan, having my Nexus 7 in Japan rocked as I could use Google Translate when my very basic Japanese failed me and the person I was attempting to communicate with was not able to speak English.

    Though I admit switching keyboards (so the Japanese person could type in Japanese) was somewhat cumbersome, it was doable and that was without the keyboard mentioned by the original poster, which looks to make that much easier.

    Dan
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Google translate is your friend. But be careful!
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    An extra note on this.

    The way I have it set up (using the standard Google English keyboard because I like the Swype feature, and using iWNN IME for the Japanese) when you switch to the Japanese keyboard you are, by default, in English input mode. The character key on the bottom left shows 「あA1」. So you have to press that button twice to get into あ (hiragana) mode.

    The solution to that problem is to just turn off the Half Alphabet keyboard in the iWnn IME settings. Then it's perfect. The "globe" mark switches you between the Japanese and Google English keyboards.

    doug
  6. #6  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Hi douglerner

    How did you disable the half-alphabet keyboard exactly? I had a look around in the iWnn IME settings but couldn't seem to find an option to do so
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Quote Originally Posted by glasspanic View Post
    Hi douglerner

    How did you disable the half-alphabet keyboard exactly? I had a look around in the iWnn IME settings but couldn't seem to find an option to do so
    Hi. It's in:

    Settings > Language and Input > Click the settings mark next to iWnn IME (Japanese) > Uncheck the "Half alphabet keyboard" box.

    doug
  8. #8  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Hmmm I don't seem to have that option - I'm on a Nexus 4 with iWnn IME Ver.2.2.6.jp-T-02

    The closest option for selecting keyboards is to choose whether it uses QWERTY or 10 key for different options, but I can't find anything to disable keyboards ie half alphabet.
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Quote Originally Posted by glasspanic View Post
    Hmmm I don't seem to have that option - I'm on a Nexus 4 with iWnn IME Ver.2.2.6.jp-T-02

    The closest option for selecting keyboards is to choose whether it uses QWERTY or 10 key for different options, but I can't find anything to disable keyboards ie half alphabet.
    The one I downloaded is called Wnn Keyboard Lab version 2.3.3-Lab-6 by Omron. Maybe only certain ones are available to certain devices in Google Play?
  10. #10  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    The one I mentioned came preinstalled (for emoji input), I installed Wnn Keyboard lab (Ver.2.3.3-Lab-6) but can't see the option you mentioned. When I click on the settings tab next to the keyboard, the options are: input languages, display, prediction/conversion, key operation, external application, dictionary, and others.

    I had a look through them but can't find anything to allow me to disable half alphabet. Guess I'm just stuck with having to change from English each time?
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Quote Originally Posted by glasspanic View Post
    The one I mentioned came preinstalled (for emoji input), I installed Wnn Keyboard lab (Ver.2.3.3-Lab-6) but can't see the option you mentioned. When I click on the settings tab next to the keyboard, the options are: input languages, display, prediction/conversion, key operation, external application, dictionary, and others.

    I had a look through them but can't find anything to allow me to disable half alphabet. Guess I'm just stuck with having to change from English each time?
    I think you are looking at the wrong settings. You need to uncheck the Wnn Keyboard Lab box and instead choose the one above it, iWnn IME.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using AC Forums mobile app
  12. #12  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    I guess it might be a difference between tablets and smart phones, I can't see any option like that in iWnn IME or Wnn Keyboard Lab
  13. Thread Author  Thread Author    #13  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Quote Originally Posted by glasspanic View Post
    I guess it might be a difference between tablets and smart phones, I can't see any option like that in iWnn IME or Wnn Keyboard Lab
    It does sound like a difference. Unfortunately I can't install it and check on my old Android smartphone because it is running 2.3 .3 and doesn't support that software.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using AC Forums mobile app
  14. #14  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    douglerner, I've created an account just to thank you for the information you provided and the research you've done in this. Although not as quick-and-simple as switching keyboards in iOS, this is leaps better than the default Google solution. I've been having the same issue as glasspanic (haha) with not being able to see the same menus as yourself (I'm on a Nexus 5 KitKat), but what I've got now, through your info, is so much better than before.

    Thanks again! I'm sure your postings have helped many other gaijin!!
  15. Thread Author  Thread Author    #15  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Quote Originally Posted by curryUdon View Post
    douglerner, I've created an account just to thank you for the information you provided and the research you've done in this. Although not as quick-and-simple as switching keyboards in iOS, this is leaps better than the default Google solution. I've been having the same issue as glasspanic (haha) with not being able to see the same menus as yourself (I'm on a Nexus 5 KitKat), but what I've got now, through your info, is so much better than before.

    Thanks again! I'm sure your postings have helped many other gaijin!!
    Well thank you. I'm glad if it was some help!

    Just testing now on my Nexus 7, since the "globe" mark appears on both the English gesture keyboard and the Japanese keyboard, switching for me is the same as with iOS - just press the globe mark.

    doug
  16. #16  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Hi All,

    I just registered to reply to this thread too! I think I just solved the problem. I'm also using Wnn Keyboard Lab. My phone was purchased here in Japan but didn't come with iWnn IME installed so I downloaded Wnn Keyboard Lab instead as there seems to be no way to get hold of iWnn IME. I was having the same problem as everyone else with no means to disable the QWERTY (half alphabet) keyboard showing up first whenever you switched to the Japanese keyboard.

    Then suddenly just now I got it to work. If I change from US English to Japanese using the globe button I go directly into the hiragana (10 key) keyboard each time. I realized I had changed the language settings for the phone from English to Japanese! That seems to cause Wnn Keyboard Lab to display the ten key keyboard in Japanese by default rather than the QWERTY keyboard.

    Its working perfectly for me now. Try it. Also if you type omron キーボード into the Play Store you will get all the skins for it.

    Just in case its helpful I found two other keyboard's that switch directly between 10 key hiragana and QWERTY: Simeji and ATOK. I'd give both of them 5 stars out of 5, for me in the end it was just a matter of style and I'm very picky. ATOK is expensive but has a 15 day trial which is plenty of time to test it. Simeji is free. Both of them have an extensive amount of settings so you can configure them in some detail. To me Simeji feels more fun, ATOK feels more serious.

    I hope that helps and thanks Doug for posting in the first place.

    N.B. After using ATOK a little more I realized the input system is actually quite unique so I recommend people give it a go for a few days to see if they like it.
  17. Thread Author  Thread Author    #17  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    My solution was working fine for me.

    I've been able to switch between Japanese and English keyboards with a single click of the globe mark since making the changes I described above.

    One note after update to KitKat - Android 4.4 though. The settings turn off Japanese and turn on the new Emoji keyboard instead. But it's a simple matter of going into the input methods and turning the Japanese on again.

    doug
  18. #18  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    So I also registered to join this conversation! I work in Japan but want to buy the Nexus 7 in USA during the holidays. When I go back to Japan I want it to be completely in Japanese, as if I bought it in Japan (but for less ). I've never owned an android device and I know an iPhone can be set up in 日本語 from set up... are the Nexus devices the same? Thanks, everyone!
  19. Thread Author  Thread Author    #19  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMoogly View Post
    So I also registered to join this conversation! I work in Japan but want to buy the Nexus 7 in USA during the holidays. When I go back to Japan I want it to be completely in Japanese, as if I bought it in Japan (but for less ). I've never owned an android device and I know an iPhone can be set up in 日本語 from set up... are the Nexus devices the same? Thanks, everyone!
    Whether it will be exactly as though you have bought it in Japan, with all the Japanese apps installed or not I don't know. I think they will be differences like that. However, you can select the UI language for the Nexus, just like you can with an iPad. And one of the language choices is Japanese. So you can certainly run with the Japanese UI if you like.

    Posted via Android Central App
  20. #20  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Thanks for starting this thread douglerner. This info has been very helpful in getting my Nexus 5 running Kitkat set up the way I need.
    I tried various configurations with the Google Japanese Keyboard and Wnn Keyboard Lab app. But I like to keep things light and simple so I uninstalled those extras. As you pointed out, the Google Japanese Keyboard doesn't have the globe icon to allow for a 1 tap switch back to English. And the Wnn Keyboard Lab app just seems unnecessary. Configuring iWnn IME as you outlined, I can easily jump between the English swipe keyboard and Japanese hiragana input with a single tap of the globe button which appears on both English and Japanese keyboards. This works the same whether I have the system language set to English or Japanese. I frequently switch the system setting back and forth between English and Japanese. So it's great to have the keyboard operation be the same regardless of the system language setting.
    The only minor problem I encounter is that iWnn IME will occasionally crash. It hasn't happened enough that I've been able to isolate a specific reason. I can't reproduce the crash at will. It happens when I'm using iWnn IME in the WWJDIC for Android app. But I can't say for certain if that's the only app it crashes in. I'll have to see how it goes now that I've uninstalled the other Japanese keyboards.
    Finally, I have a question to complete the Japanese input experience. I want to be able to easily enter kanji with hand writing. Often I want to input a kanji character but don't know the reading. So hiragana input doesn't help and I need to hand write it. Here's what I do now: open the WWJDIC for Android app, select handwriting (the pencil icon), write the kanji, click to get the possible matches, select the kanji I'm looking for, select copy, and then return to the app and paste. This seems a few steps too many. I'm looking for a more direct approach to entering kanji. Thanks for any suggestions anyone has for this.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Quote Originally Posted by Teradomari View Post
    Finally, I have a question to complete the Japanese input experience. I want to be able to easily enter kanji with hand writing. Often I want to input a kanji character but don't know the reading. So hiragana input doesn't help and I need to hand write it. Here's what I do now: open the WWJDIC for Android app, select handwriting (the pencil icon), write the kanji, click to get the possible matches, select the kanji I'm looking for, select copy, and then return to the app and paste. This seems a few steps too many. I'm looking for a more direct approach to entering kanji. Thanks for any suggestions anyone has for this.
    What I do is swap between the google english, google japanese, and google chinese for handwriting. All it takes is holding down the space to change the input method. Select "Chinese Zhuyin" and one of those keyboards has a handwriting section where you can draw the kanji. Then just click the globe within that keyboard and change your input back to japanese. You don't have to copy or paste the kanji it stays within the typebox when you change inputs. It's called "google zhuyin" and it's in the playstore.
    GSDer likes this.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Hi douglerner,

    I'm able to switch from the iWNN IME Japanese keyboard to the Google English keyboard using the globe button but I'm not able to go from English to Japanese without going into settings because there is no globe button on the Google keyboard. How do you switch from English to Japanese?
  23. #23  

    Default Re: Nexus 7: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    You have to enable the Language switch key for both languages. It's easy to find the setting in the iWinn IME settings because it's right at the top of the settings list. But for the default English keyboard it's hidden in the "Advanced settings - Options for experts". You have to be an expert to get your phone working the way you want. (笑)
    Settings --> Language & input --> Google Keyboard settings --> scroll all the way to bottom to find Advanced settings --> enable Language switch key and Switch to other input methods
    After enabling those you should be able to tap once on the globe icon on any keyboard to cycle through to other enabled input methods.
  24. #24  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Quote Originally Posted by Teradomari View Post
    The only minor problem I encounter is that iWnn IME will occasionally crash. It hasn't happened enough that I've been able to isolate a specific reason. I can't reproduce the crash at will. It happens when I'm using iWnn IME in the WWJDIC for Android app. But I can't say for certain if that's the only app it crashes in. I'll have to see how it goes now that I've uninstalled the other Japanese keyboards.
    It appears that this problem was a bug that has been fixed. Whether it was a bug in WWWJDIC or iWinn IME I don't know. But now when I use WWWJDIC the keyboard gets switched to English even if I previously had the keyboard set to Japanese. Then I just tap the globe icon and I'm back in Japanese. This is far better than having the keyboard crash.
  25. #25  

    Default Re: How the new Japanese model switches between English and Japanese keyboards

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtjoyc3 View Post
    What I do is swap between the google english, google japanese, and google chinese for handwriting. All it takes is holding down the space to change the input method. Select "Chinese Zhuyin" and one of those keyboards has a handwriting section where you can draw the kanji. Then just click the globe within that keyboard and change your input back to japanese. You don't have to copy or paste the kanji it stays within the typebox when you change inputs. It's called "google zhuyin" and it's in the playstore.
    Thanks for the suggestion. That works to a point. I immediately found that I can only enter Chinese characters. In many cases the Japanese character has been simplified.
    氣=気 The latter, Japanese character is not in the list of proposed characters. I've only just installed the Google Zhuyin app so perhaps it's user error and I just haven't figured out how to use the software correctly yet. I suppose I'll find out as I use it more.
    Using a Chinese keyboard to input Japanese is not ideal. I'm looking at some other apps that might provide the functionality I'm looking for and will report back. But I hope this functionality is included in future releases of the default Japanese apps from Google and the makers of iWinn.
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