Spike 1 keyboard for Apple Inc. iPhone 4, 4S and 5
$35 at spikeyourphone.com; available in February
Sneer at old-school BlackBerry smartphones if you must, but I still miss their pushbutton keyboards, They let you pound out text message with firm, decisive keystrokes that no touchscreen phone can equal. Too bad you can’t temporarily replace an iPhone’s touchscreen with real pushbuttons when you need to type something.
Oh, wait. You can. SoloMatrix Inc., a company in Washington state, has come up with a remarkable solution--a fold-away keyboard that fits over the virtual keyboard on an iPhone screen. The Spike 1 fits around the phone like an external case. Its keyboard is mounted on a hinge that lets the user fold it around onto the back of the phone when it isn’t needed. Now you can use the touchscreen as Apple intended. But when it’s time to type, you just flip the keyboard onto the front of the iPhone and start pecking away. The Spike 1 doesn’t require batteries, and it doesn’t tap the iPhone’s own power supply. It simply uses physical buttons to press the virtual keyboard buttons on the phone’s touchscreen.
Believe it or not, there’s still a little BlackBerry envy among iPhone users. But SoloMatrix’ slick, smart little keyboard might be the ideal remedy.
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