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Bluetooth Keyboard w/ iPhone 4

Posted by E'l Roy Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 10:34 PM

P400

So I went to Fry's today. As usual, I ended up leaving there with more than I expected. Not much more, though. I picked up a couple USB thumb drives (I always find myself wishing I had one one me, so one for myself, and one for my son, who will need one once school resumes in September); a pair of "Blue Blocker" style sunglasses (I kinda like their cheesiness, and I like how they make everything look. Plus, I needed a new pair of shades); and a bluetooth keyboard to use with my iPhone.

So far, this is the longest document I've typed with the RockSoul BK-101, and considering how it feels to type long missives on the iPhone's virtual keyboard, I like this a lot better. At the moment, it's not exactly ideal, as i have the keyboard on my lap and my iPhone on my knee. I can imagine, though, that I would be quite comfortable sitting at a table, with the iPhone on a stand, centered above the keyboard.

For long messages, emails and documents, this will work pretty well. Most of the standard keyboard shortcuts work. And while I'm not normally a Mac user (down, Fanboy), the seemingly Mac-specific shortcuts are easy to figure out. There are media keys (F7-F10) for controlling iPod music (and probably whatever music app is in the background, though I haven't tested that out yet); a search key (F3), which takes you straight to the Spotlight screen; and the ESC key acts as the HOME button.

The drawbacks, unfortunately, keep this from being a perfect solution to working remotely sans Mac/netbook or laptop. Where the keyboard falls short is within text boxes in apps like Facebook. With the keyboard active, the virtual keypad is absent, and while you would think simply hitting the Enter/Return key (or in combination with the Command, Option or Control keys) would act as a Post or Send button, it doesn't. Also, when making selections from a scrolling menu, you would think the arrow keys would allow you to navigate your options, but that doesn't work either. You end up having to reach over to tap the screen, which I realize is definitely one of those "first-world problems", but it does kind of go against the idea of using a wireless keyboard to get the device out of your hand.

That doesn't make it a deal-breaker for me, though. I mean, while I have cramped my hands posting lengthy Facebook and Flickr posts on my iPhone, that wasn't my intended purpose for purchasing the keyboard. And when I DO find myself crafting extensive Facebook replies and Flickr group posts, it won't bother me to reach over and tap Send.

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