Keypad for iPhone

Geek notes

»Despite the popularity of touch-screen smartphones, some BlackBerry users have clung to their phones equipped with tactile keyboards.

For those reluctant to let go of their BlackBerry, Typo Keyboard is here to help with the transition to a touch screen.

Typo is actually a cellphone case, currently available for the iPhone 5 and 5s, with a wireless keyboard on the bottom. The entrepreneurs behind the concept are hoping to make life easier for those who desire the functions and apps on the iPhone but also like hammering out an email on a keyboard.

The case, which can be ordered from the company’s website for $99 (Rs 6,165), is surprisingly slim yet sturdy, adding little bulk to the iPhone. Inside is a tiny lithium-ion battery, only 1 millimeter thick. The keyboard covers the bottom of the phone, but the ports are still accessible. And setup, via Bluetooth, was easy.

The keys are laid out in typical QWERTY fashion, with alternate keys for capitalisation, numbers and symbols. The iPhone’s home button is covered, but Typo includes a button that returns your phone to its home screen, as well as one that lights up the keyboard.

The buttons are relatively easy to push, especially for people who are familiar with BlackBerry devices. I gave up my BlackBerry for an iPhone years ago, so going back to a physical keyboard presented a bit of a challenge. After a few texts, though, my thumbs became more agile.

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