Make us your home page

Bridging the gap between BlackBerry and iPhone

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, the Typo Keyboard is here to help with the transition to a touch screen.

Typo is actually a cellphone case, 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 for $99 from the company's website for shipping in February, is surprisingly slim yet sturdy, adding little bulk to the iPhone. Inside is a tiny lithium-ion battery, only 1 millimeter thick (that's 0.04 inch). The keyboard covers the bottom of the phone, but the ports are still accessible. And setup, via Bluetooth, was easy.

The buttons are relatively easy to push, especially for people who are familiar with BlackBerry devices. But Typo has no trackpad, so I still had to use the touch screen. And there is no autocorrect, or even a send button, which didn't make texting any faster for me.

Typo Keyboard has garnered a lot of interest since its inception, mostly because it is backed by TV personality Ryan Seacrest and the company is facing a lawsuit from BlackBerry. But it needs some refinement before it deserves the attention it's drawing.

Bridging the gap between BlackBerry and iPhone 01/24/14 [Last modified: Sunday, January 26, 2014 7:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours