Hardware keyboards are not dead yet


One of the casualties of the mobile space’s march toward thinner phones and bigger screens has been the physical keyboard. It’s a rare thing. After all, if you want that keyboard, the phone is going to have to be thicker, or the screen is going to have to be smaller. It is something of an odd choice that manufacturers have decided to ignore the userbase that is interested in the physical keyboard. There is enough of an audience still around to support a keyboard accessory market.

One of the latest is from Typo, which is notable for two main reasons. First, it is funded in part by Ryan Seacrest. And most recently, because they are being sued by Blackberry for copying the Blackberry keyboard. You can hit the links for more on that. I’m more curious about the decision to go with the portrait style keyboard. It does avoid the problem of making the screen smaller, but the iPhone is a pretty long and skinny device to start with, and this makes it oddly longer. More perplexing though, is holding it in use. That’s just not a natural thing with so much phone above the keys. I like the idea of the physical keyboard, but I would lean more to the classic slide-out landscape form factor, like you see on the BoxWave Keyboard Buddy.


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