ArcGIS Collector (Android) automatically opens the keyboard for coded domain fields

01-26-2016 09:48 AM
Status: Implemented
New Contributor III

Prior to Collector for ArcGIS Version 10.3.6 build 1017 on Android the keyboard would not open when editing a coded-domain field.  Since this latest update, the keyboard now appears each time a coded-domain field is edited.  I don't understand the logic behind this change.  My idea is to revert back to not having the keyboard appear or have an option to disable the automatic keyboard.  The keyboard unessessarily takes up half the screen and needs to be closed each time.  This is extremly problematic from a usability standpoint.

I've just been out in the field using Collector and I had the same problem. The whole idea of setting field Domains is to remove the need for users to erroneously enter data and ensure data quality. Having the menu appear and take up most of the screen is very unhelpful when the field has a Domain. This needs to be fixed.
A customer of mine recently reported that the keyboard was initiating when prompting for a domain value of an attribute within the android app.  After some discussion with my local ESRI office, it was found that this was intentially added as a feature.  I believe removal of this feature makes more sense, as the purpose of having a domain value is to select from a given list of values, not to have both the domain picker & keyboard pop up.  Perhaps the better method would be to have the keyboard pop up ONLY when a free-form text field is selected, and only have the domain values pop up when it has a domain.
While I understand your frustration, in cases where you have large domains (100's or 1000's of values), the ability to type to search from within the list is very helpful.  Perhaps the ability to configure behavior of each field would allow the admin to choose whether or not to display the keyboard would help here.

Hello All,

Thank you for submitting and discussing this idea. As Tyson stated, the behavior of the keyboard is to give the ability to search through large sets of domains.

Edward, Duncan, and Jeff, how many domains on average do you have in your feature layers? Do you find that even with large domain choices you are not using the search? Could you see the search benefiting some of your projects, or does the design of your data avoid large domain choices?




I have not been in the situation of using a field with 100's of domain values, so never used the search facility. Personally I think if one is trying to capture a value from a domain with 100's of values, then something has gone wrong and they need to think about redesigning their data structure or even using some sort of custom tool. 


HornbyddSPrindle-esristaff‌  Why do we have such large domains?  Poor data structure?  No, we are collecting scientific data.  A user chooses a point, line or polygon to collect.  There are five or six subtypes for each of those feature classe, including plant, vertebrate animal, lepidoptera, natural community etc.  Each subtype changes the domain used on the element name field (scientific name).  If we didn't use a domain for this field, we would have no way of standardizing the input for this field and would end up with all kinds of misspellings, abbreviations, etc. of the scientific name.  We can't easily further subdivide the categories into more subtypes and thus more, but smaller domains because, for one, symbology would be an issue and it would certainly not be user friendly.  Having the search via keyboard was an enhancement we strongly advocated for and received and has greatly benefited our work.  Perhaps a compromise could be a user level setting in the Collector App to "show/hide keyboard when using pick list"?


It is also worth noting that the appearance of the keyboard does not allow a user to enter any value - it is not a free-form field.  The keyboard only allows the user to search for entries within the domain associated with that particular field.


Duncan, you have obviously never done street sign inventory.


No! I guess I am showing my ignorance when I say "surely it's just a bus stop?" 


SPrindle-esristaff‌, is anything being looked at for these options? Just curious because being able to disable the keyboard for the domain fields would be helpful to me since it seems to really clog up the screens on our tablets.

For example we basically have three options for our inspected hydrants: Awaiting, Needs Repairs, or Passed. Each of these denotes colors so we can know which hydrants have been done. For my crew it kind of just adds a layer of complexity/irritation since most don't have much experience using tablets or apps. I have even had issues when I tap into the edit field to bring up the pop up for the domain field and the keyboard overtakes it and I can't even retouch the field to bring back up the pop up menu because the keyboard is over it. (I have to back out of the keyboard, back out of the edit and go back in again). The tablets seem to only allow landscape mode in collector and they have a lower resolution, making the keyboard bigger and taking up more room in the screen. My phone, has higher resolution even at a smaller size but uses portrait mode and it doesn't seem to be nearly as bad.

Thanks for any insight.