Not signed in (Sign In)
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2010
    With the imminent release of iphone os4, which includes the long-overdue support for external keyboards, I was wondering if anyone had tried one yet, either via a jailbreak solution or a beta release?

    The old Targus keyboard/PDA solution that Warren championed was an excellent writing tool, which hasn't really been supported by various ongoing operating systems and bits of kit, sadly, but I'm hoping that the full pocket laptop replacement that this offered will make a comeback now.

    So, has anyone used a keyboard with an iphone yet? Any particular models recommended?

    I've got an eye on the iPad keyboard dock, as I'd prefer a slot-in solution rather than bluetooth and arsing around with batteries, but this isn't foldable.

    I'd love a simple update of the Targus folding keyboard, which worked with an iphone, or even better, a rollup version, but a cursory look at what's out there suggests there isn't anything comparable yet. Am I missing anything?

    Also - is there a word processing software solution that'll work well with this? Would google docs work?

    Of all the tech news that's been announced in the past year or so, external keyboard support for the iphone has got me most excited. I can't be arsed with an iPad, but really, really, really want the full portable writing and computing solution that an iphone and keyboard in my pocket would provide.
  1.  (8361.2)
    Will the keyboards work with the iphone and ipod touch? I'd only heard that they would work with the iPad...
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2010
    I just picked up a Droid, and my only real complaint is that the keyboard is too damn small. I'm writing on it now and my sausage fingers hate me for it. Any news on exten al keyboards for these?
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2010
    Yeah. They currently only work with the ipad, but support has already been promised for iPhones and touches in the next update.
  2.  (8361.5)
    The old Targus keyboard/PDA solution that Warren championed was an excellent writing tool, which hasn't really been supported by various ongoing operating systems and bits of kit, sadly, but I'm hoping that the full pocket laptop replacement that this offered will make a comeback now.

    Wouldn't that be nice? I really feel like I've gone back in time, having to lug a netbook (and a broadband dongle) to the pub. An external foldaway keyboard and a half-decent notepad app would make my iPhone the superpowered version of my old mobile kit.

    If this is true about external keyboard support for iPhone OS 4, then I'm assuming a wait of two months or so will bring a host of options -- one of which, I hope and pray, will be a proper foldaway with a hard-dock for the phone.
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2010 edited
    Also - is there a word processing software solution that'll work well with this? Would google docs work

    Not sure if you are asking what apps work good for editing docs.

    I add a couple thousand words per week to my fiction in progress in the Docs to Go app, requires being on the same WiFi as my puter to sync changes back (makes sense, why would I need my computer to have the updates if I was not at my computer) but that works really, really well. These files are twenty to thirty thousand words a piece and the app does not have any trouble managing them. I found that if the files pass through Google Docs and then are synced back to app the spacing is bonked. But tossing a file back and forth between the app and a folder on puter has served me flawlessly for months, creating a new doc (or excel file!) within app and emailing it as attachment is trouble-free too. I think direct to Google Docs might be a feature now but I forget. [edit yes it is but paragraph spacing has same issue for me. The latest update also let's you open attachments out of Mail app in DocstoGo but only on iPad. You can also use Docs to Go as a gmail client, probably iPhone can open attachments that way]

    [edit other pp removed, I see nowyou already state OS 4 will support external keyboards, cool beans]
  3.  (8361.7)
    The wordprocessing app I use is Quickoffice. It's not super fancy, but it has the basics for formatting, and it's not too bad. I've written some short-format stuff and inane ramblings on it before, and it can sync with google docs and create word files.
    • CommentAuthoroga
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2010
    I would be all over this like flies on shit if a solution for the iPhone ever came out. This, a camera on the front, and the ability to share documents across applications are the only things that I need that are missing from the phone because SJ said they weren't important. Fucknuckle. How the hell am I gonna open up a document out of my email in QuickOffice and edit it then email it back? It just seems SO moronic that this isn't available (though I do understand why applications aren't allowed to share data, e.g., viruses, hacks, etc) by default on the iPhone. For example, I have Screenplay, the iPhone version of Final Draft, but I can't get the files off email and the only option seems to be to download off your account on a website.
    • CommentAuthorjonah
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2010
    I'm excited about using the wireless bluetooth functionality to type without being able to look at or immediately edit what I write. I only write as a means of taking personal notes, journaling and just getting thoughts out. I don’t use writing in a professional capacity so my needs are probably different than most. I like the idea of a computer sitting in my pocket or bag and just banging out thoughts without worrying so much or being tempted by any of the formalities of writing in a modern word processor.
  4.  (8361.10)
    Oga- in quickoffice you have to validate your email, then fwd the file to their email so it will show up, after that its edit as usual, i think. To email stuff to yourself select the envelope icon, and click on the file. Theres also direct wifi file transfering; though i havent tried it out- if its like goodreader it should be pretty simple.
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2010 edited
    Keep an eye on the Redfly:

    They currently support Windows Mobile, Blackberry and soon Android, depending on model. I used one heavily for over a year, and by combining it with LogMeIn and Remote Desktop, effectively had up to an 800x600 mobile terminal with full mouse and keyboard.
  5.  (8361.12)
    That Redfly looks very interesting! Thankyou for sharing with us; I hadn't heard of it before.
  6.  (8361.13)
    Redflys are still around?
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2010 edited
    Adding BB support kept them relevant. The Android support has been coming for a year, but if they pull it off it should be worthwhile.

    I still use mine regularly.

    The big issue is motion video support - still wasn't really there, sadly. You could enable seperate video playback with a special cable if you had a video-out device.
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2010
    It'd be awesome if that crazy laser bluetooth keyboard would work with the new phone.

    I wish google docs would accept input in iphone's safari. Some of the iphone 4 preview screenshots show a "import into Keynote" button. iWork is probably going to be in iOS4 or available soon. Seeing how iMovie is going to be $5 I would guess they'll charge for iWork. Apple has since removed the image though.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2010
    The laser bluetooth keyboard thing is shite, to be honest. It looks cool, but really doesn't work well if you've actually got any kind of decent typing speed and you're constantly having to correct errors on it. It's about as good as speech recognition software.

    I was doing PR for a company that sold them a while back, and was going to send one over to Warren, as I thought he'd be all over it, but then I actually tried one and was too embarrassed to do so. It was pretty turgid and I don't think there's actually been any development in the past few years, as it's an expensive, battery hungry solution which is soundly beaten my a mechanical keyboard on pretty much all levels, except 'looking cool'.
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2010
    Menotek Flexible Bluetooth Waterproof Mini Keyboard For Apple iPad 3G and Wifi models 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and iPhone 4/4G?

    Want to try one before I buy it though ...
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2010
    So, the software upgrade is due out today. Anyone already got a bluetooth keyboard and ready to report back?
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2010
    Or an ipad one, for that matter.
  7.  (8361.20)
    @Alan Tyson: I recently got a Droid Eris, and while it can be a bit of a nightmare (typingwise), you can always get ShapeWriter keyboard, which is the finger-drag application. It works relatively well, even if you have thick fingers.