Hi aconley,
I would like to answer your questions in a convenient way:
1. You can set the column properties like in the following code snippet so that when Tab key is pressed the editing of the cell is initialized and when typing a value it will open the dropdown list.

	columns: GridColumn[] =
	  { label: 'Beverage Type', dataField: 'type', width: 250,
        editor: {
            template: 'autoComplete',
            dropDownButtonPosition: 'right',
            autoOpen: true
	  { label: 'Calories', dataField: 'calories', width: 180 },
	  { label: 'Total Fat', dataField: 'totalfat', width: 'auto', allowResize: false},
	  { label: 'Protein', dataField: 'protein' }

2. For this scenario I have added a work item for it, because this is not expected behavior.
For your last inquiry regarding the typing I wasn’t able to reproduce it and I was able to set the ‘dblClick’ value like so:

	editAction:GridEditingAction = "dblClick";
	sorting = {
		enabled: true,
        action: this.editAction

Please, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions.
Best regards,
Yavor Dashev
Smart UI Team