Ctrl bug on android mobile when using physical keyboard



Steps to reproduce

Starting from scratch, what are the steps to make the bug happen? The fewer the steps, the better.

Plug a physical keyboard into an android phone (e.g. a Bluetooth keyboard), and use ctrl functions (e.g ctrl+a (select all), ctrl+c (copy) etc.) in the official dynalist app or on mobile web.

Expected result

What do you expect to see after carrying out the steps above?

Afterwards, app should continue to operate as normal.

Actual result

Instead of the expected result, what happened?

App enters a weird ‘select mode’ where when you try to tap on an item to edit it it selects it instead (it basically appears like ctrl becomes ‘locked’), see below:


Which operating system are you using? Which browser are you using? If you’re using a desktop or mobile app, what’s the version number of Dynalist?

I have only replicated this on android but it happens both in the app and on the Web (on mobile) - have replicated issue across three android phones.

Additional information

Anything else you think would help our investigation, like a screenshot or a log file? You can drag and drop screenshots to this box. For large amount of text, try putting them into something like Pastebin.

It certainly seems ctrl is becoming locked on somehow as this is of course the function of control, but pressing ctrl again doesn’t stop the behaviour - I haven’t found any way to get rid of it and usually have to restart the app, which suffice to say, is frustrating.

Additional comments

Thank you for your time :slight_smile:


I’ve seen this behavior with soft keyboards too, such as Hacker’s Keyboard. In that case though, tapping the Ctrl key a few times usually fixes the problem.


Thanks for the validation Craig! Yes ive seen it with hacker’s keyboard too (which has a soft ctrl key for the record, and I should have mentioned above). In my experience I would say mashing ctrl again ‘sometimes’ fixes it, rather than ‘usually’ though :slight_smile:


Thanks for reporting this, @Stephen_Dewitt!

First of all, I wasn’t able to reproduce the issue with a bluetooth keyboard. After using Ctrl+C/V/A, it seems to work fine.

@Stephen_Dewitt do you encounter this after using Ctrl every time or just sometimes?

Although I couldn’t reproduce the issue, it’s most likely from the “select non-adjacent items” feature on desktop. While holding Ctrl, you can click items to select them.

Now I’m not sure if the Ctrl getting stuck is a hardware problem, or a driver problem (hardware releases Ctrl but somehow this is not sent to the client.


Hi Erica, that’s odd - were you on android? This has been consistent for me over several phones and platforms (chrome and the app itself) with both soft (as Craig above confirmed) and physical keyboards - could you try with hacker soft keyboard and see if you can reproduce it that way? I encounter this about 90 % of the time when using a ctrl function across all these devices / platforms / keyboards


I was able to reproduce the issue with Hacker’s keyboard.

Looking into it, but it could be very hard debug, without knowing how Hacker’s Keyboard implemented their Ctrl key. We’ll try though, thanks for the report!


I’ve got an idea on this when looking at our todo list.

We want to build a dedicated UI for bulk selecting on mobile, so the Ctrl+tap mechanism can probably be disabled altogether on mobile, which should solve your issue.


This sounds good Erica, although I sometimes intentionally Trigger this bug on mobile to multi-select, it is 10 times more annoying than useful so turning it off is ok with me!


Hi @Erica, any update on getting this switched off on mobile? Its Driving me a little nutty!! Thanks :slight_smile:


Bumped priority, sorry for the long wait! That reason was that you seem to be the only one affected by this (there are lots of Dynalist users who use external keyboards, judged by the number of users who complained that Tab/Shift+Tab doesn’t work with external keyboard).

Sorry and I hope that’s understandable!


Thanks erica!


Hi @Erica, I saw with great excitement and appreciation the mention of fixing this bug on the last update

“[UX/minor] Disabled Ctrl+click to multi-select on mobile since Ctrl key sometimes get stuck when using external keyboard with the mobile app.”

I really am grateful you guys got to this … unfortunately, nothing seems to have changed. I’ve checked across two phones, both the dynalist android app (updated to latest version) and the mobile web version, and the same ‘sticky ctrl and click’ bug is still there … sigh - I’m not sure if there was a mistake fixing this at Dynalist HQ, or perhaps this bug really doesn’t have anything to do with ‘ctrl and click’ (although that seems unlikely to me).

Are you guys not now experiencing this issue in house on e.g. an android phone with ctrl function (e.g. using Hacker keyboard)?




We haven’t released a new version yet.

The top of each weekly update reads “The features and fixes might arrive at the desktop and mobile app a few days later than the web version.” It’s because deploying a new web version is much easier, so we want to make sure it’s stable before deploying to other platforms. Otherwise if we need to fix something small, we’ll need to release a mobile app version with release notes “fix derp”…

Next time you see Dynalist app is updated, it should be fixed. If not, you can post in this thread.

I hope that helps!


Ah phew, ok I’m excited again! :slight_smile:


Hi Erica, I don’t mean to be a pest, and I’m really grateful this has come to the dynalist mobile app - I just wanted to check if this will roll out to mobile web at some point as the big is still occurring there with no change?

Thank you very much,



Hi Stephen,

Are you using Dynalist on both platforms?

The check we added was for mobile app environment specifically, and we don’t want to disable Ctrl based on guessing it’s a mobile browser (it might not be accurate) or based on screen size. That was our reasoning.


Hi Erica,

Yes 90% of the time I use it in a ‘always on’ pop up browser as I use dynalist so much to capture everything in my life even fairly short load times aren’t workable - this is a real shame for me but I do see the issue - However, the mobile version of the dynalist website is so completely different to the desktop Web version (e.g. it has a slider bar, etc etc) that I thought there must be some indicator of whether the user is accessing the mobile Web or desktop Web version? Couldn’t this be checked for in the same way? I can’t see how this could lead to false positives


They do look different, but if you resize the desktop version to be really narrow, it looks the same. You could try that out.

Yeah, the concern is false positives. We don’t want to disable Ctrl for someone who’s using Dynalist at 1/4 of their screen width to better take notes, if that makes sense. There are ways to try to tell if it’s a mobile browser, of course, but that practice is called user agent sniffing which we try to avoid doing if possible.

I guess we can do that for now, since I think you’re the only person bothered by this issue, the current fix is pointless if it doesn’t actually fix it for you.


Woop, thank you! :slight_smile:


Hi @Erica, this is actually only currently fixed on the dynalist app, but it still exists on mobile web (that we discussed just above) unfortunately.