Shortcuts to include in custom keyboard for Android tablet/phone?

edited August 2017 in Everything Else

I was wanting to try to make a "custom remote" for an Android app called "Unified Remote" which would basically make my phone and/or tablet a sort of cheap version of the Optimus Maximus keyboard (with little AMOLED screens in each key). There is a very high moderate (adjusted after gaining more insight) likelihood that I will be overwhelmed by the difficulty and give up but I was wondering what shortcuts would be useful to have. I guess for most people here who are already so well acquainted with the controls that they don't have to think about it before reaching for the right key, the Android keyboard I'm trying to make would not be an advantage but I still haven't yet memorised them all.

I think a shortcut for the following:

Select tool - V

Hand tool - H

Slice tool - C

Snap toggle - S

Text tool - T

Move playhead to previous keyframe of selected property - Alt+,

Move playhead to next keyframe of selected property - Alt+.

Make into Composite Shot - Ctrl+M

Slice selected layers - Ctrl+Shift+D

I think it would also be nice to have buttons to switch between the Media, Control, Effects etc tabs but there's no keyboard shortcuts for those yet so no way to do that.


Edit: I've made icons for the shortcuts in bold since they've got icons in the actual interface to simulate but I'm not sure what to make the other two look like. 

Here are the icons I've put together so far. They may need adjustment look right when scaled down to fit on a phone screen along with multiple others..

When I'm done, anyone wanting to use the custom remote can do so but the app that makes it possible isn't free. Right now it's £3.89 and the cheapest it's been during a sale is £2.59 which is probably a lot if it's just for this one purpose. I already have it for controlling my PC volume and shutting it down from bed :P They have a free version but it doesn't allow custom remotes.


  • I'm not really finished determining the layout and the icons but this is what I have so far:

    I had to make up some icons for:

    Move playhead to previous keyframe of selected property - Alt+,

    Move playhead to next keyframe of selected property - Alt+.

    Scroll timeline to playhead - Ctrl+Home

    Cut selected layer at playhead - Ctrl+Shift+D

    I hope you can tell which is which. I made two icons for the "scroll timeline to playhead" and they're in a slightly different shade of grey. I think the one in the right position is probably better but I don't know.

    Does anyone think I've missed out a useful shortcut?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    J, K and L (J is pause, K and L cycle 1/4, 1/2, 1 and 2x speeds playback, forward and backwards.)

    You also should add the frame forward/backwards keys ("." and ",") 

    Drop the "Add Text Layer" shortcut to make room for the JKL. If you're making a text object, you're about to take your hand off the tablet and type, so do just use the keyboard to create text layer, anyway. 

    Of your myriad ideas and suggestions, this might be your best. I'll be interested in how it turns out. If it works, you need to put together a video on this. 

    I've used MMO mice and Shuttle/Jog controllers before (and love them), but a phone/tablet as a secondary input would be useful to many users. A few pounds for an app is cheaper than an MMO mouse or Shuttle/Jog. 

    I tag the legendary @SimonKJones who, after his Steam Controller experiment might find this interesting, and @JoshDaviesCEO himself, as I know he has active interest in alternative controls. In fact, Josh, I see a potential mobile app here in all the copious free time the dev team has *ahem.";-)

  • edited August 2017

    @Triem23 There's plenty of room for more shortcuts (I mean, I can put 200 buttons on there, they just wouldn't be very usable!), at least on a tablet so I won't need to remove anything to make room for more (the way I see it, I would normally need to use the mouse to create a new text layer and move my hands to type anyway). A phone screen would probably need a more restricted, alternative set of shortcuts though or just more dexterity.

    Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible to have a cool bar that you can swipe to scrub the timeline though it would be nice if it was. I asked on the Unified Remote forum but I think the answer will be negative.

    Have you got any idea what the shuttle forwards and backwards icons would look like? It's possible to just have text in the button but all the buttons so far have icons. I've put some tongue-in-cheek placeholders in the meantime. I'm still not sure about the best arrangements.

  • I still haven't made the remote yet but I've prepared these mock-ups of what it could look like. I just don't want to go through the effort only to decide it needs re-arrangement because it could be non-trivial to alter (I'm not used to coding although this isn't really complicated), depending on the rearrangement necessary.

  • @Triem23 Regarding the shuttle back/forward. When I try it I get 1x, 2x and I guess 4x and 8x playback speed? Or is it 3 and 6? I'm struggling to tell. I guess you misremembered when you said 1/4 and 1/2 speed or are those also possible?

  • edited August 2017

    The first version of the remote can be downloaded and installed from here:

    It still has some flaws to be addressed in the future but support on their forum is glacial so it's not going to be any time soon.

    The Media etc tab buttons don't work but they're placeholders incase FX Home gives them keyboard shortcuts.

    The app's built-in scroll wheel function suggests that some kind of scrubbing function might be supported but I'm dependent on getting responses from people on their forum in order to find out how that works (it's not documented anywhere on their website, forum or Github).


  • This is a cool looking app although as someone points out, the lack of tactile feedback prevents use with eyes on the monitor instead of the controls. I thought that maybe a removable screen protector with dimples pressed into it could work for that but it's just a half-baked idea.

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