A Keyboard for Your iPhone 5

Chuck Zimmerman

Chuck's Typo KeyboardIf you wanted one I hope you ordered it in time.

After several weeks of using my iPhone 5S with a Typo Keyboard I’m ready to let you know what I think. But first you need to know that sales of the device are on hold right now. I guess this is due to a lawsuit filed by Blackberry. Hope that gets worked out soon. Right now you can sign up to their mailing list which I assume means you’ll be notified if/when it goes on sale again.

I got a lot of response when I first did a post about the new keyboard case. Many people, like me, loved the keyboard on our old Blackberrys. This looked like it might be a great accessory for our iPhones. It is. But maybe it’s too much like the old Blackberry keyboard although it is not exactly the same.

So, let’s get started. A very important feature of the Typo is that it’s powered by its own battery. It doesn’t use the phone battery. The Typo battery lasts a long time before needing charging. I was able to go almost a week before needing to recharge the Typo.

With a little use I became comfortable holding the phone vertically and resting the little ledge on the back of the Typo on two fingers while I typed with my thumbs. The keys have curved ridges so that your thumb fits onto the key you want to press easily. They curve for each thumb with the change right down the middle of the keyboard. You also get a click sound that let’s you know you pressed the key cleanly. An unusual multiple click lets you know you pushed more than one key. Those sounds are very helpful.

The keyboard can be backlit by clicking on a little light bulb image/button. This works great and is extremely handy.

Since the Typo covers the iPhone home button it has a key dedicated to that purpose on the bottom right corner of the keyboard. Here’s where we run into a problem. When I place the phone/keyboard into my pocket I often bump that button. This turns the keyboard on immediately to the iPhone home screen without having to do a swipe. That’s not good and it is annoying. However, by creating a password for the iPhone the Typo doesn’t take you directly to the iPhone home screen accidentally. This is the main negative I have found.

Something else that I found out on my first flight though is that when you place the phone in airplane mode you’ve just turned off Bluetooth and the keyboard is no longer functional. So if you still want to use the iPhone in airplane mode you have to take the Typo off to do so. This is simple and easy but it is still something I ran into that confused me at first.

When you use the Typo with apps like Messages you get a lot more screen real estate to see since the virtual keyboard is not being used. But if you still want to use the virtual keyboard with the Typo attached you can.

The Typo allows you full access to the iPhone controls and jacks and feels very sturdy. It does add to the length of the phone but that did not bother me at all. It affords as much protection as the case I was using before getting the Typo.

That’s about it. I like it. I use it a lot and can even still one hand type on it if I need to.

Pros: Physical keyboard that I can type on faster with less mistakes. Battery lasts forever.
Cons: Keyboard home key too easy to press when not being used and in your pocket. Pricey. Not available for sale at the moment!