How the new Nexus 7 in Japan does Japanese input – and you can do it too

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, near the space bar, surprisingly the Japanese keyboard doesn’t. So 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:

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.


How the new Nexus 7 in Japan does Japanese input – and you can do it too — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Doug, I was very interested to find out from your writings, I needed to long-push the space bar to toggle the Japanese input. Now I have a question. When in Japanese input, I have the keyboard layout set up for 12 kana keys, and there are various other keys which I am still trying. But I have not been able to find, on the 12 kana keyboard layout, a space bar. Maybe you can help me. How, in Japanese input, do you make a space? Thanks, Peter

  2. Hi Peter. On my Nexus 7 I don’t need to long push the space bar to toggle the Japanese input. I have the “globe” appear on both my English input keyboard and Japanese input keyboard for instant toggling between input.

    Also, I am not using the 12 kana keyboard layout, so I don’t really know the answer to your specific question. Instead I use the QWERTY layout for both (in Japanese this would be romaji to hiragana and then convert, like I do on my Mac and on my iPhone and iPad).

    In settings under Language and Input I have the following items selected in the Keyboard & Input Methods section:

    Google Voice Typing
    iWnn IME <- this is the one I installed with the Wnn Keyboard Lab I believe. Doing this lets me switch easy between input methods. And frankly having the full keyboard to use for both languages is easier for me than the 12-key option where you have to hold down one key and select the character you want. In other words, it's easier for me to just type G O to get ご then it is to hold the か key, then select こ and then the ten-ten. doug

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