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Old 11-09-2013, 10:18 AM   #1
mxadler
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Bluetooth remote control

Thank you for a great reader. I especially appreciate margin control with far more words on an iPhone page than iBooks.

Will Marvin respond to bluetooth remote control page advance commands (e.g. Airturn Digit II)? If I'm reading their minimal documentation right, that remote has a mode in which it emulates a keyboard and can send arrow keys. There seem to be some remotes that require a hack of switching to accessibility mode. Having to go through Siri and reconfiguring each time is too many steps.

Remote page turning seems to be popular among music software. I imagine supporting it in Marvin would be simple.

Last edited by mxadler; 11-09-2013 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Note on accessibility mode
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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I agree, this would be a nice feature addition!

G

Last edited by GRiker; 11-10-2013 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:37 AM   #3
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This is something I'm actively working on. These controllers generally work by sending volume up and down (generally media controls) to apps who intercept them. It is my understanding that Apple reject apps that make use of this functionality where not intended (intended generally means a media player app). In the past Apple have rejected camera apps that use volume up to take pictures. Now it seems to be more lenient.

Since Apple won't answer my enquiries about whether they'd reject Marvin if I do this, I'm planning a "try my luck" update some time soon.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:47 AM   #4
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The remote to which I linked in the initial message has many modes in addition to the standard +/- for which no hack is required. It can be configured to send left/right arrow keyboard events. I can't imagine Apple could object to your responding to arrow events to turn pages.

Note that left arrow should go back even when the left side of the screen is configured to advance forward.

See Digit II modes of operation about half way down the page. The pages also list multiple compatible iOS apps (that don't resort to the accessibility mode method), so approval doesn't appear to be a problem.

Last edited by mxadler; 11-11-2013 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:59 AM   #5
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I have actually written to AirTurn support about how the whole thing works and I'm still waiting for an answer. iOS apps cannot (officially) capture keyboard events unless there's a text box. Since there's no text box when reading a book this is a hard and requires some weird hacks to make everything work. Still trying.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
mxadler
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Any news?

I've now tried an AirTurn. In voice over mode it controls iBooks and turns the page when accessibility mode is enabled on an iPhone. This does not work in Marvin. In the same mode, the left/right arrow keys do select regions of text -- exactly like iBooks. Those keys are bound to up/down on the remote. However, the page turn buttons (Alt-left/right arrow) do nothing.

Accessibility mode is a hack. Especially annoying is that voice over is turned on at first and has to be disabled. It is would be better than nothing, but hopefully AirTurn has a better answer.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:41 AM   #7
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Nothing yet. I want to dedicate a specific update to this but right now I'm working on some other features. I'm hoping to focus on this soon.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:39 PM   #8
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I became aware of the Digit II thanks to this thread and just bought one. From my limited experience, it works even better if you put the Digit II into one of the Presentation modes (rather than voiceover mode). The iOS device still needs to be in voiceover mode, but there's no audio to be muted or whatever. I mainly wanted it for iBooks, but noticed it also works for the Kindle app (when the Digit is in Presentation mode). In this mode, you use the left/right buttons (rather than up/down) to send the left/right arrow events.
-Bill
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