• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

Make the Most of Keyguard

The debate continues to rage on about the benefits of flip phones versus nonflip phones, which leave the keys exposed. Flip phones have the enormous benefit of protecting keys from accidental key presses. Of course, the drawback is that you have to flip open the phone every time you want to use it. The problem is that often you'd like to quickly look at the screen without having to flip open the phone. I won't claim to have an answer to the flip versus nonflip debate, but Palm clearly took a side when it designed the Treo family of devices as nonflip devices.

Because Treo devices are nonflip, you have to consider protecting the keys from accidental key presses. Fortunately, the Treo includes a standard feature for solving this problem. I'm referring to Keyguard, which is a feature that locks out the keyboard whenever you turn off your device. Keyguard locks out not only the keys, but also the touchscreen. When Keyguard is turned on, only a certain key sequence unlocks the keyboard and touchscreen. More specifically, you have to press the Power/End button followed by the Center button to power on the device and unlock the keyboard and touchscreen.


To lock the keyboard and touchscreen without turning off your Treo, press the Option key followed by the Power/End button.

Most Treo devices are configured at the factory to automatically turn on Keyguard when you power off your device or when it powers itself off after a period of sitting idle. This Auto-Keyguard feature is worth checking in case it isn't turned on for your device or you want to alter the way it works. To fine-tune the Auto-Keyguard feature, follow these steps:

Press the Application button to open the main application screen.


Speaking of locking the Treo keyboard, a few devices have been reported with keyboards that barely work. The culprit turned out to be a faulty P key that sticks and locks up the entire keyboard. If your keyboard ever stops working or works only intermittently, contact your wireless service provider and find out if you can get a replacement. In the meantime, try fiddling with the P key to see whether that solves the problem.

Press the P key to jump near the Prefs application, and then navigate with the five-way navigator to select the Prefs application.

Press the Center button to launch the Prefs application. The Preferences screen appears and displays several options for tweaking device settings.

Navigate to Keyguard on the Preferences screen under the General heading, and press the Center button to open the Keyguard Preferences screen, shown in Figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1. The Keyguard Preferences screen includes an option for setting the Auto-Keyguard feature.

To activate the Auto-Keyguard feature, set the Auto-Keyguard option to something other than Disabled. The remaining options allow you to fine-tune locking the keyboard when you power off the device. If you want to avoid an automatic key lock when your device sits idle for a few seconds and automatically powers off, select 5 Seconds After Power Off or 30 Seconds After Power Off. Otherwise, set the option to When Power Is Turned Off.

You might have noticed a related setting in the Keyguard Preferences screen for controlling how and when the touchscreen is disabled. For example, you can set the touchscreen so that it's automatically disabled when a phone call comes in or when you're on a call. The idea behind these settings is to prevent you from accidentally answering a call by touching the screen and to prevent your face from accidentally being interpreted as a stylus tap if it brushes against the touchscreen during a call. Both settings can be useful if you find yourself accidentally hitting the touchscreen when managing phone calls. On the other hand, disabling the touchscreen while on a call prevents you from accessing onscreen buttons via the stylus, which can be a bit limiting if you like using the stylus.


If you find yourself constantly having to unlock the keyboard because your device is turning off during brief periods of idle time, try setting the Auto-Keyguard option to turn on after a 5- or 30-second delay, instead of turning on immediately upon powering off.

If you enable Keyguard and you elect to lock the touchscreen when an incoming call arrives, the Phone/Send and Power/End buttons are still activated on an incoming call. In other words, Keyguard doesn't lock out the two phone buttons, which makes sense, given that you wouldn't want to have to unlock the keyboard to answer or ignore an incoming call.


Some people find that the backlight on the keyboard gets annoying and is an unnecessary drain on the battery. A handy little third-party application called KB LightsOff allows you to turn off the keyboard independently of the screen. To find out more about KB LightsOff, visit its website at http://www.lilapps.com/.

If you'd like even more control over disabling keys on your Treo, you might consider using the third-party application TreoGuard, by geakware software. This application enables you to customize key locking, including the volume keys, which you might find handy. TreoGuard has other useful features, such as allowing you to automatically turn the wireless radio on and off at certain times of the day to conserve battery power. To learn more about TreoGuard, visit the geakware website at http://www.geakware.com/treoguard/.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint