Apparently Some People Still Want A Hardware Keyboard On Their iPhone 5

Remember when people used to say that the iPhone was useless for e-mail as it doesn't have a hardware keyboard? Think back: it was a while ago, around the same time that the iPhone was doomed for not supporting Flash.

Got it? Well, apparently some people somewhere still think that way, and this post is for them (if you know one of them, perhaps you could print out this article and fax it to them or something). Yes, you can now turn your state-of-the-art iPhone 5 into an also-ran BlackBerry.

The Keyboard Buddy clings to the back of the iPhone 5 like Yoda to Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, only instead of badgering you about trying and trying not, a keyboard out of it slides.

And if you're prepared to thicken up the thinnest iPhone yet, you'll be presently surprised. The keyboard sports five rows, all of them backlit. What's more, it'll last two weeks per charge, and you can keep using all of the iPhone's hardware features (camera, buttons… screen) without removing it.

I tend to think that a tiny hardware keyboard is no better than a tiny on-screen keyboard, which is why I am writing this on an iPad paired with a full-size Apple Bluetooth number. But that's just me. For your luddite friends, this might be just the thing, and it's only $99.

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  • skfalco

    I like it! but yeah kinda useless better use a full sized keyboard…

  • David Nielsen

    I love it. I gave my wife my old N900 and on my current smartphone (a shitty Samsung Galaxy S) I really miss the hardware keyboard. I think this is a wonderful little bit of hardware and I would certainly buy it.

  • iSteve

    Totally disagree with the need of Hardware keyboard for iPhone. If so, go for Nokia or Sony.

  • Jdsonice

    And they say dinosaurs are extinct!!!!

  • ErinsDad

    Why not just interface your iPhone to a surplus WW II Enigma machine, so you’ll have encryption, too?

  • ScotHibb

    Wow…I faxed this article to a friend at work with the cover page saying “Sean, BlackBerry called, they want you back”.

    I agree with Charlie, when I need to do some long typing/editing I use my half-size wireless MAC keyboard and prop the Gen-3 up with the fold-to-triangle front cover.

    For fast typing the iPad Gen-3 onscreen keypad is great, but I wouldn’t develop a long presentation with my iPhone…I would develop it on my MAC or iPad and iCloud it to my iPhone 5 for presentation purposes (though I need to wait for the HDMI dongle to come out for the new port as the 30-pin adapter doesn’t support video out, unless of course I’m lucky and the plasma/Projector has wireless).

    Why would someone want to screw up the sexy-thin iPhone 5??? I have never purchased a case for any of my iOS devices over the years as they should stay small and sleek and feel like air in the hand. I do, of course, purchase AppleCare Plus, but have never needed to use it (except the time I wanted a new phone so I threw my iPhone into oncoming traffic that is).

  • nthnm

    Not really sure why someone would want this, but it doesn’t look too horrible.

  • Morten_Andersen

    This would be very good news for soon to be iPhone 5 users like me who also really would like to have the optional accessory of having a hardware keyboard that not only can have a sliding functionality but also a TILTING possibility, so that the angle between the screen (the really thin iPhone 5) and the hardware keyboard can be natural and good, like a tiny computer, and that the combined unit for instance can be placed just in front of you on a table, used for writing now with a 4 inches screen that with such an accessory now in fact can USE THE WHOLE SCREEN’S REAL ESTATE for seeing the text. No on-screen keyboard will occupy an essential part of the screen!

    With the 4 inches screen and the new footprint, there is now even more to gain from such a solution, for now both the screen and the keyboard will be larger (even still thin), which will make the iPhone with such an attached accessory a really handy working tool also for writing longer texts with the device placed on the lap or on a table. I also hope that such an accessory will be made in such a way that for instance also the Scandinavian special letters or characters can be written.

  • RaptorOO7

    I have tried to use physical keyboard Android phones in the past and always go back to the virtual keyboards, and my iPhone(s). Its not to say it isn’t useful at times but I just don’t see me adding it due to the limited options for cases.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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