Not to be cruel, but it’s pretty clear where the market lies in smartphones, and it isn’t with physical keyboards. True, phones with physical keyboards can be surprisingly popular, but most of us have joined the touchscreen mafia, however begrudgingly. But with the Typo case, you don’t have to choose between iOS and feeling the keys press down!
Tappity Tappity Tap
The Typo case, despite the puckish name, is exactly what it sounds like; a case that adds a physical keyboard overlay to your iPhone screen, communicating with it through Bluetooth. And, yes, that looks suspiciously similar to another technology named after a fruit; so similar, in fact, that Typo has gotten a visit from BlackBerry’s lawyers.
Still, it does exactly what it says; you can now press physical buttons to text. In fact, Typo’s head mentions he can do 70 words per minute on a Typo case.
A Step Back
There are, however, a few drawbacks to the case. The design covers the Home button on your iDevice, so you’ll have to use the special button to actually navigate your phone. We guess some people really missed the clunky interface from old BlackBerry phones, as well. Secondly, have fun using it in landscape mode. Finally, you’ll need to charge the case, and your iPhone, separately, which might be a dealbreaker for some people, although the charge can last up to 10 days.
That said, however, it seems to be the best option for those of us who miss having an actual keyboard at their fingertips, and it beats lazier solutions that essentially just poked the keys for you. If you miss the click of actual buttons, or just can’t get the hang of touchscreens no matter what you do, a Typo case will probably make you quite happy. It’ll run you $100.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.