External iPhone Keyboard Hack Now 100% Jailbreak Free

Turns out all you need is an old PDA keyboard, the iPhone 2.0 SDK, and a dream. Okay, that, plus tons of smarts and hackery. Hey, at least this one isn't as hard as the previous workaround we saw. Says Ars Technica:

The work is built on a 1200 baud modem that connects to the iPhone via the headphone port. This allows two-way transmission of data using frequency shift keying, the same method used in early modems. This modem was modified to accept input from infrared and USB connected devices, allowing the use of a keyboard. Further, a 2.0 SDK-compliant terminal app enables text input.

Will Apple ever open up the iPhone to real Bluetooth keyboard support? They did just announce A2DP Stereo, P2P, and SDK access for peripherals at the iPhone 3.0 Sneak Peek event, but not keyboards... Are we waiting on a special Apple designed iPhone keyboard to make an appearance at WWDC perhaps? Or will hacking continue to be the only game in town?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

External iPhone Keyboard Hack Now 100% Jailbreak Free

12 Comments

Not even a little bit interested in an external keyboard. But the implications of this workaround are intriqueing. 

And for those who prefer even MORE of a mess and inconvenience, you could use a potato instead of a battery.

It could actually look quite smart... a nice apple-made external keyboard. "All nice and smooth-liiiike..."
That said... iPhones are everything IN ONE. They offer convergence across all media - So, I don't want my pockets full of add-ons. "Solving lifes little problems one ADD-ON at a time" doesn't quite have the same ring as "APP".
I agree with Al... thats what Macs are for (though the feedback form the keyboard is sorely missing on the iPhone).

So all we need is an audio-bluetooth-dongle and apps can use real bluetooth with any iphone/ipodtouch? Why has nobody thought of that before? ;-)

i don´t see why a bt keyboard can´t work with 3.0 sdk...problem is, it will only work with custom made apps...well, imagine it working with Docs to go...should be enough

I just saw a new iphone AP , "Lightning Remarks", it speeds up keyboard use by 5-10X. Its cool, it has 1000's of pre stored remarks that , when replying to emails/texts (or creating new ones) you select categories and sub categories and you have available list of neat replies or messages. In 2-3 keystrokes you get 2-3 sentences remarks.Beauty is, it paste right back in emails. This is a cool idea for iphone users who want to speed up the keyboard use.
You can also add your own categories and remarks, this is limitless!

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