Part of the iPhone experience desired by Apple is that of a totally contained phone, with as few buttons as possible, making the majority of interaction done on the screen. Not everyone, however, loves the iPhone’s virtual keyboard. In fact, the lack of a physical keyboard tends to be among the reasons that Blackberry users refuse to switch to the successful Apple phone.
Enter the Typo Keyboard case. Typo is actually a cellphone case, currently available for the iPhone 5 and 5s, with a wireless keyboard on the bottom. The Typo’s keys are laid out in typical Qwerty fashion, with alternate keys for capitalization, numbers and symbols. re-creates the Blackberry experience for use on the iPhone; it is so close to replicating it that Blackberry has filed a lawsuit against the fledgling company.
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. Lastly, setup via Bluetooth is simple to do.
Unlike bulky Bluetooth keyboards, the 1.4-ounce Typo fits snugly around the iPhone 5 or 5S like a regular slip-on case, adding about a half an inch to the phone’s overall length, and it has shown to increase typing speed for users. However, the Typo covers up the iPhone’s home button and remaps it to a button on the bottom right of the keyboard. It takes some getting used to and if you have a 5S, you lose the convenience of the fingerprint scanner, distinctly altering the iPhone’s intended functionality. Furthermore, The Bluetooth connection disables the iPhone’s auto-correct feature, making the user have to manually correct any typos.
The Typo retails at $99; preorders have sold out and new orders will ship in February.