Pixel C Keyboard Works Now.

When I first received my Google Pixel C tablet, with its assigned custom Bluetooth Keyboard, my first priority was to make sure the tablet worked, not the keyboard. After that, I found that the keyboard did not seem to want to pair.

I have learned a lesson from this incident, which I feel I should share with the community. By now, the keyboard is also working fine. It is easy to jump to false conclusions, about why something is not working.

The keyboard comes with the type of instruction card, which I just love to hate, with no technical accuracy, and very loose language. The instruction card states, that in order to charge the keyboard, we should have it facing up in front of us normally, that we should flip the tablet over vertically, and that we should then align the light-bar, that is normally at the top of the back of the tablet, with the space-bar, while putting the tablet face-down on the keyboard and allowing it to charge. “Cool.”

What a person like me will do, is literally align the light-bar – now at the bottom of the back of the tablet – with the space-bar on the Keyboard, which left a part of the keyboard protruding. That part of the KB which was protruding, actually contains the coils that the keyboard needs, to receive a charge.

The fact that this was an error did not become obvious immediately, because the magnets in the KB nevertheless allow it to snap into place, out of position in this way.

But my failure to pair this KB with the tablet then stemmed from the fact that it had never received a drop of charge. And the fact that the keyboard itself has no charge-indicator, again did not alert me to the error. I suppose that anybody who is used to this device, would know better. I am a first-time customer.

What the instruction-card should say, is that we should flip the tablet over, with the light-bar on its back facing towards us, but on the side of the keyboard that has the space-bar. And yet, we should align the tablet with the keyboard exactly, flush. It can then receive its charge.

I left it charging for about 4 hours while connected to the A/C, before trying it, and it worked just fine. Yet, the keyboard also has the ability to charge – presumably with reduced current – when the tablet is not connected from to the A/C. When it is doing that, the light-bar on the tablet briefly pulsates in green, instead of pulsating in the 4 colors it pulsates in, when the A/C is connected.

Cool.

pixel_c_kb_1

And, it was the fact that part of the keyboard was protruding, which also prevented me from just carrying the two components under my arm, while they were magnetically attached. When they are completely flush, they are also fully ready to be carried in this way. And this way, the keyboard fulfills three functions perfectly:

  1. It protects the tablet sufficiently – better than a leather case would.
  2. It provides a keyboard when the user is on-the-go, which the user can therefore take with him with no encumbrance.
  3. It props up the tablet.

But there is a way in which the pairing procedure itself could get confusing:

I just wanted to add that this keyboard, although it is Bluetooth, uses a specialized pairing procedure, which may also be a reason why the reader has found his way to my blog. It cannot be paired from within the Bluetooth settings panel, the way generic BT devices can – at least not, according to the latest that I heard.

The intention is for this keyboard to be the first Bluetooth Device which the tablet discovers. And in case it is not, there does exist a procedure which will correct the issue:

  1. Go into the Bluetooth Settings panel on the tablet, and tell it to forget every paired device.
  2. Turn Bluetooth off on the tablet, from within its settings panel.
  3. Exit the tablet to the Home Screen.
  4. Connect the tablet to the charged keyboard, by allowing the magnets to grip firmly.
  5. The tablet should now display a message, asking the user to turn on Bluetooth, as if for the first time, which the user should do from within the same message-box. This message simply displays because of magnetic sensors in the tablet, and does not suggest that any communication has taken place with the keyboard.
  6. After that, if the tablet can communicate with the keyboard, it will interactively present to the user a 6-digit PIN, which he needs to type into the keyboard, followed by the Enter key on the keyboard.

And that should do it.

If the message does not follow from step (5) above, presenting the user with a PIN, it is because the keyboard was not detected.

Dirk

 

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2 thoughts on “Pixel C Keyboard Works Now.”

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