New slide-on case gives your iPhone a BlackBerry-style keyboard

By , Dec 9, 2013

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Apple gave physical keyboards the finger (literally) when it introduced the all-touchscreen iPhone back in 2007. Skeptics were quick to dismiss the device, saying a touchscreen could never replace a physical keyboard, but it has since become the norm.

But for the folks who still long for a physical keyboard, there are several options to choose from that allow you to keep your iPhone. And today we’re adding a new one to the stack for all of you BlackBerry fans: the Typo Keyboard case for the iPhone 5/5s…

The Typo Keyboard is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Laurence Hallier and popular radio/TV personality Ryan Seacrest (because he doesn’t have enough things to do already), who have been carrying both an iPhone and BlackBerry device for years.

From the press release (via Mashable):

“The Typo Keyboard™ was born out of a desire for efficiency. For several years, many of our friends and colleagues carried two phones: one for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for virtually everything else. One night, we were out to dinner and both had our phones on the table.

Two people, four phones! We looked at each other and thought there was an easy solution to the problem, a keyboard for the iPhone. After ordering every iPhone keyboard available, we realized that there was no solution that worked well.”

The device measures in at 6.2mm (W) x 14.1mm (T) x 1mm (D) and weighs 1.4 ounces, and the built-in rechargeable battery is of the 180 mAH variety. The keyboard is backlit with white LEDs and connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth 3.0 (why not low energy?).

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The Typo isn’t available yet, but it looks like Seacrest and his buddies have handed prototypes out to some of their country club friends who say it has improved their typing speed by 50%. One guy calls it a ‘game-changer,’ saying the keyboard has saved his life.

It’s tough for me to believe the hype on products like these, as I see them come and go in this business all the time. But at the very least, I’m intrigued, and look forward to taking a more in-depth look. The Typo Keyboard will cost $99 and goes on sale in January.

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  • Chandra Y

    Ugly AF!!

    • Σαλαη αββας

      Also not functional , it hides the touch-ID/home botton

      • Jason Forker Ruoff

        noticed that…. why would they think that was a good idea

      • fl0manel

        I agree, in fact making the home button as a key on the bottom right of the keyboard is even worse, easier to accidentally press.

  • lemonhead

    It’s that awsome, that you can’t even press the home button, when using this case… But I guess I’m just holding or using it wrong am I right ? haha

    • Stefano

      Hahahaha yup

    • Melvco

      In the video it shows that they’ve mapped a keyboard key to the Home button, so you don’t lose that functionality.

      • lemonhead

        hmm I’m blind I don’t see it & I really tried !
        watched the video 3 times, but I believe you, it would be stupid from them to not make a button for that…

      • Alexander Tranceswift Sundiev

        i didn’t have to watch a video to find the key, it’s on the right hand side

      • Pranavan Maru

        well what happens to the fingerprint lock? the small right hand side button takes care of it?

      • Tanner Wilhelm

        Its on the bottom right hand side at 00:50

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I suppose they’ve included a touch ID sensor too then?

      • Σαλαη αββας

        What about touch ID ? See !?

      • Matthew

        What about touch ID?

      • Maxim∑

        so the keyboard can scan your finger?

  • Matthew Cooper

    This is a no brainer. If u want a physical keyboard then buy a phone that has one. Why buy a phone with a virtual keyboard if its not for u?

  • http://2nihon.com 2nihon

    ‘Saved his life’? Sheesh. It looks interesting, but of course it covers up the fingerprint recognition button and makes your sleek-looking iPhone ugly…

  • Jonathan

  • Stefano

    The whole time whilst reading I’m saying in my head, wait for it wait for it, AGHHHH 99 dollars. Boooooo!

  • Melvco

    I feel like the keyboard itself sits too low on the case, making it odd to hold as the whole thing would be top-heavy.

  • al7oot

    Oh Hell NO

  • Dan

    99$… seriously?

  • Nate McKelvie

    I think this is just plain ridiculous! I sell slide out keyboard cases at my work, but they slide out the side, so at least the keyboard is the full length of the phone, and even so I find them ridiculous. But so many of my customers come in and just think it’s the greatest case ever, and if they want it, I’ll sell it, but I find it to be such a bulky useless device. The ONLY benefit that I see is that it does allow the full screen to show instead of half being taken by a keyboard. But this design seems even dumber to me than the ones that come out the side because the keyboard is super small and seems to cover the the home button! And on top of it, it’s $99? Crazy!

  • bn326160

    Great accessory, but not for me. And I don’t think there’s still a market for it. People are used to the on-screen keyboard or don’t have an iPhone.

  • Chuck Finley

    There are much better sliding Bluetooth keyboards on eBay in my opinion.

    Just look for “sliding Bluetooth keyboard”, they’re absolutely awesome, I’ve got one for my 5S. They make your phone a little thicker, but it’s the price you have to pay for a really damn good keyboard.

    I personally hate typing on a touch screen, I’ve never been able to get used to it.

    • Chuck Finley

      Also? Those sliding keyboards I mentioned are hella cheap in comparison.

  • Derek

    How is the home button covered? & To be honest, if you feel like using an iPhone’s touchscreen keyboard is too much for you, then you don’t need an iPhone.

  • TinTonB

    Sooo, one of the main features, Touch ID, of the 5s is unusable with this? OK…

    But i suppose if you want the keyboard that bad and are willing to sacrifice features…

  • Xee

    I think this also shows the need for a bigger screen in the next iPhone!

  • Albert

    how are you going to balance this? Typing would be like flipping omelette

  • benny001

    Ur all idiots do u not see the effin square button on bottom right for home button. Open ur eyes

    • Pranavan Maru

      i opened it wide and couldn’t find the fingerprint scanner

  • bigzjoseph

    beautiful.But touch ID is futuristic!

  • on3simpleclick

    “Sometimes we have to go backwards, to go forwards”..
    No, no you don’t. The iPhone’s keyboard is just fine.
    I hate companies that try to fix stuff that ain’t broke.

  • appl3h4ck3r

    Remember…..it’s a pro-to-type. They could change it. But I don’t mind the back button as “replacement” for the hole button I guess

  • batongxue

    No!

  • Nico Jan

    I find that with the longer screen for the iPhone 5/5C/5s, my hand already has to go too low to hold the phone and type. For the longest time, I’ve thought about the concept of having the keyboard on the top of the screen so I can hold it and type comfortably because the thumb can reach the top of the screen more easily. With this keyboard, it’d be even harder for me to hold the phone.

  • Ishaan Malhotra

    I’d definitely buy it for 20

  • momerathe

    $99!!

    anyway, I bought a clip-on keyboard case for my iphone last year, but ended up throwing it away as it actually slowed my typing down.

  • JimGramze

    Landscape. Discuss.