For the first part, the latest versions of FileMaker allow you to use the inspector to specify which keyboard opens when you edit a given field in FileMaker GO. The number pad is probably the default option for fields of type number. But you can specify a different keyboard for that field that includes the find operator symbols.
In the second issue, did you enclose your search criteria in quotes as shown in your post? I would not use quotes for that type of search and see if that makes a difference in the results found.
First part - thanks Phil didn't know that!
Second part - yes I tried searching every way...
I can't reproduce the problem--at least not when searching a text field.
I can enter find mode, type in a 5
and find multiple records where there is a word starting with 5. I can include "8a" in one field and a find specifying 8 will find it.
Yup, full touch keyboard option in the inspector window fixed my first problem.
As for problem 2 (find not seeming to work in a certain text field), I changed the problematic text field from default keyboard to the full keyboard (which may just be the default anyway), then re-loaded the database onto the ipad, restarted FM Go, and now the search works perfectly. Whether the re-load, re-start and/or changing the field's touch keyboard is what made it work, i don't know... tho re-starting certainly fixed my other FM Go problem...
Anyway, thanks Phil you are the man!