Ryan Seacrest wants a keyboard on his iPhone, so he's spending $1 million to build one

So, Ryan Seacrest wants a keyboard on his phone, but he also wants to use an iPhone. Ultimate first world problem? Well for most – including our buddies over at CrackBerry – wanting a hardware keyboard means one thing, and one thing only. Get a BlackBerry. Not Seacrest though, no, no, no. Instead, he's stumping up $1 million to build one. Kara Swisher at AllThingsD:

The Typo Keyboard will makes its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the beginning of 2014. While the company declined to discuss funding, sources said that Seacrest and his co-founder have invested over $1 million, and expect to invest more than $5 million, with future keyboard products in development.

What the Typo Keyboard is in effect, is a BlackBerry Q10 attachment for the bottom of your iPhone – Because lets face it, slide out landscape QWERTY's are so 2010. It even looks almost identical to the Q10 keyboard, and will to avoid making your iPhone/case combination extremely long, the keyboard seems to cover up the home button. So you won't be using Touch ID with it, then.

The Typo is set to cost $99 when it launches in January, and of course the iMore and Mobile Nations team will be live from Las Vegas with #CESLIVE, so we'll be getting our hands on it as soon as we possibly can. But what do you think; is there a market for a Keyboard like this for the iPhone? Or should Seacrest just be done with it and go get a BlackBerry for that sort of thing? Sound off in the comments!

Source: AllThingsD via CrackBerry

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Ryan Seacrest wants a keyboard on his iPhone, so he's spending $1 million to build one


That's great. I'm sure there are people that mental still need to feel the keys. Excuse me, I would like to see if you can attach a typewriter to my iPad. I'm sure some out in the world will buy it.

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I think it's interesting. Will have to see how well it works/feels. It looks like it blocks the home button. I'm guessing you have to use gestures when using this. It looks very much like a BB keyboard.

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Bottom right hand corner looks like it could be a replacement home button perhaps? Either way no Touch ID. Not sure I want to pay $99 to hide that...

If you look at the video, at about the 50-second mark, a key in the bottom right-hand corner is touched and the screen switches back to its "Home"

Actually, if I typed a lot, I might be interested in it. I rely more and more on Siri and dictate my notes, reminders, emails, and text messages that way. Siri is training me to be brief and to avoid complicated words that can be misread. ;-)

Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't watch the video yet. I'm one of the people who hasn't has good luck w touch ID (hardly ever works) so I'd love to give this a try.

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[Face palm]
This is dumb. What would that be... A 10"-12" long iPhone?

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This is kind of depressing in a way... Between this, and BBM going cross platform, it shows people are willing to invest lots of money to get the BlackBerry experience, without having to buy a BlackBerry. Ryan Seacrest would rather throw 6 million dollars at an iPhone keyboard project, than own another BlackBerry.

Blackberry did not invent the keyboard. You could call it the Palm Treo experience as well. The bottom line is some people would like a keyboard. I think its great its being developed for an excellent phone like the iPhone 5.

Well if he has money to spend by all means do so. I think the onslaught of smartphones with touch screens has mentally condition the first world to not need qwerty anymore. I know that anyone 15 and under definitely does not want one but hey if you have money spend it...

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After re-watching the video a few times if someone gave this to me I would put it in a drawer.

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Well that's stupid your putting a keyboard on a phone that already has a keyboard. It's not like the iPhones keyboard is difficult to use, the blackberries keyboard is ridiculously difficult. I can understand putting a tablet on a Bluetooth keyboard to space your words out, give you tactile feedback and not having to stretch your thumbs that much but for a phone.. no makes no since at all. And then it make your phone extra long, who would want that in there pocket all day long?

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How are blackberries ridiculous I use? The keyboard is not hard to use. Apples feels cramped. And yes I use an iPhone and would never switch back to bb

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He turns iphone into blackberry , i dont know how to use keybord anymore,i find it hard to use laptop to reach out every key is hard

I can only use one hand and type really fast on my phones and tablets with no problem (Ok, I hold my tablets with the other one). I hold it at the back and then type with my thumb. I just move the back of my hand a little to the left so my thumb can reach the entire screen if I'm using a much bigger device. I only type with my middle and index finger on a regular keyboard without looking at it. I don't get how after all this time, people are still so upset about not having a tactile keyboard on the iPhone.

While not for me, I find it interesting. As with every third party accessory of this sort, it takes them18 months to get to a point to put something on sale, just a few months shy of a new form factor. Same with the game controllers. Why not be a bit more inventive? The game controllers for sure could be.

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he should donate his million dollars to charity. it's not like this fool is going to be the next Steve Jobs and create a revolutionary device or add-on.

That looks disgustingly horrendous on an iPhone. Don't get me wrong, a good keyboard would be nice but it has to be a landscape slider....period.

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Ryan Seacrest owns an iPhone? Makes sense, they are both played out. They seem like a good fit. Power on Apple! :) bunch of idiots!

You are that fat kid that plays online games from the basement and dreams of popularity aren't you. Come onnnnnn you know it's true. Go eat another one of mommy's p&j sandwhiches you silly little troll.

You are so close! But I'm actually the guy your wife works with that has been fucking her because she said you have a turtle head and a beer belly. Don't get mad at me, I'm just telling you what she told me. By the way, how's your wife and my kids? :)

Oh that is so cute. Did I touch a nerve darling? I know the truth hurts. Judging by that ever so clever retort, I overestimated your age. Teen?

My pic is right there next to my name. I don't hide anonymously behind the keyboard. See, I am proud that I am the guy that would handedly kick your ass in the real world buddy.

Wow, you really do look like a douchebag. I bet you are a blue collar worker, probably at the local steel mill. And you live in a trailer park, but it's probably a nice one. lol You are clearly delusional if you think you could kick my ass. But if you are a low class, uneducated redneck that likes to fight, I'm down with it. I'd want to fight the guy who has been banging my wife too if I were you. Btw, tell that bitch to shave! lol

Awww look at you talking tough again. Listen my little friend, it's no stretch that I out earn you, out class you, and would own you in anything you attempted at life. But hey, as much as I would love to continue to out-wit you, I must carry on with my non-cyber life. But you keep clicking away on that keyboard fatboy and one day, you will rise above mom's basement. God-speed little boy!! And remember, no one judges you for eating chocolate and fapping to internet porn. It gets you by lol...

OK big boy, you are definitely a hero in your own little world. I bet you spend a lot of time at Bass Pro shop all dressed up in camo. Lol And the only person eating chocolate is your mom, she said she likes them big and chocolate. I'm not sure what she meant that?? Do you? Lol

You truly are an idiot. You deserve your little iToy. With your limited mental capacity, you couldn't use any other device. It sounds like your mom and dad could be brother and sister too. Seriously, does your family tree just go straight up? Ha,ha!

yawn.....you're really reaching now. I thought at this point you'd bring your A game but you've let me down. When you want to join the rest of us upper class feel free. Until then, keep rocking that plastic, gimmicky, cracker jack Note 2 or whatever the hell it is your wield. And keep reading articles that pertain to Apple LOL you jealous little troll you. Maybe if you clean your room and eat your vegetables, mommy will up your allowance and you can afford a grown-up phone lol. Nighty night bitch tits!!

I guess rich stupid people have the luxury to waste money on useless stupid crap. It's not a first world problem, it's the 1% problem.

That said, if I had money to burn, I'd fund the development of a slimline add-on battery pack that I can attach to an iPad with a Lightning pass-thru port. Mophie JuicePack for the iPad if you will.

And if I thought someone else would pay for it, too, you better believe I'd make that thing a reality.

I like the concept but can't see adding length and potential bulk to my phone just for a keyboard. Also, I've become so acclimated to typing on the Apple interface that I think it would start to feel weird to have actual physical buttons again, but I can see this taking off with Blackberry users wanting to switch to an iPhone. Maybe..

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Someone might want to let Mr. Seacrest know that he can turn his iPhone 90 degrees and he'll get a built-in keyboard twice the size of that plastic eyesore.

I'll be honest. I'm a fan of phones with a physical keyboard. The sound it makes whenever I press a button, the tactile response. There's just something about it that makes me more comfortable when typing. (And, yes I own a BlackBerry)
Really interested to see how this will turn out and what would be the feedback of those who have tried it. And, I'm no fan of Seacrest but I think what they did is a clever advertising trick.

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I understand what you are saying. I like the idea. I'm not sure it will be for me but, I'm glad to see a product like this coming to market. The more products there are for iPhones the better it is for Apple overall. This might be exactly what some people want/need. This could be great for people who are visually impaired, who knows (I know there are settings to helps as well)..

I'm not sure why people seem upset that a product like this is coming to market. Who cares who has invested in it.

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Exactly. If this is something that can enhance someone's iPhone experience, or maybe increase their productivity even by a bit then I don't see the problem in letting the product do its own thing. As for why people got upset about this news, beats me.

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I think it would be great if Apple would allow a third party keyboard instead. There are so many great alternatives that are found on Android. The Apple keyboard is my biggest complaint regarding my iPad. I like to long press to get my numbers, symbols and punctuation. That was off topic. But its hard to believe someone would put this on their iPhone. I guess its like the people who buy the old school phone receiver and use it as a headset while talking on their mobile phone.

Although a physical keyboard would be nice I will pass on this one.. Don't need attachments.. I am over the physical keyboard :)

I agree with the other commenters here that if a tactile keyboard is that important to you, why not make it landscape and a lot larger?

Also, the home button is critical to pretty much everything I do on my iPhone. An accessory that obstructs the only button on the device and requires you to use the iPhone differently seems poorly thought out.

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A lot of biased opinions on here about BlackBerry's awesome QWERTY keyboard. How can you compare touchscreen with a physical keyboard? My first BlackBerry was a 9000 up until I sold my last one (Q10) only because Apple's App Store had Voxer which is almost a requirement in my line of work. Simply put, there wasn't enough support from developers. If Blackberry (App World) had the same support I would sell my 5s to get a BlackBerry Q10 because Blackberry's are workhorses. My iPhone 5s looks beautiful, has cooler apps and games and I just love getting updates on my apps every couple weeks. You have to wait months to get updates on the App World (for the most part). But one thing you can't take away from BlackBerry is their QWERTY keyboards. These QWERTY keyboards are designed to work a lot like a real keyboard. There is a reason why they sell small keyboards for iPads. If you're one of those sheeple and still think touchscreen (keyboard) is better than a QWERTY keyboard it's probably because you're into looks. I love my new iPhone 5s and I think it's a very fun phone to have when it comes to apps and games but when texting or sending email, it will never compare to my old girlfriend, the Blackberry. It is the could've-should've-would've of my life.

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I have both an iphone and blackberry. I find it much more difficult to type on the blackberry. I have had a blackberry for 5 years and iphone for only 1. Personal preference I guess.

I love how your opinion turned into facts. So if anyone thinks an onscreen keyboard is bettery than a physical keyboard they must be a sheeple in your words. No they actually just have their own opinion just like you do. I've never used a physical keyboard on a smartphone so I'm at home typing on glass and to me it's the better option. This is my opinion but I would never disparage anyone else just because they like typing on a physical keyboard. Everyone has a choice and an opinion. There is nothing that makes one opinion more right than another. I'm not the god of smartphone keyboards so I can't say which is better. I just know what I like and what works for me.

Well a lot of people thinking it's "useless" and "worthless" that was very much expected, but I think it is good for people that likes that option without having to change their iPhones for a Blackberry or carry 2 phones. I think it's interesting but not sure about the $99 price tag though.

Many visually impaired people would welcome this. Typing on an on screen keyboard with VoiceOver is of course possible, but for many it's a slow process. So a BlackBerry style snap on external keyboard would be a great accessibility boost.

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I'II Take of these in black, of course, but I'd love a side slider, even more. Will the iMore store be carrying this case for the 5C?

I don't think I would like my iphone looking and feeling like a Blackberry. And plus it does look like a TV remote as mentioned by another reviewer.

This will go great with the camera accessoriy Will I A Am made for the iPhone. This is so pointless. A bulky, battery draining keyboard case. Yeah, genius.

Options are always a good thing, however, like many options i see this as being a poor one. I bet it will awkward to hold while typing and it will make getting to the control center very difficult to get to since you have to swipe from the bottom of the screen upward. However, until Apple allows for a third party keyboard this might address an issue for those that don't want to type on glass or like the oem keyboard.

Why would you want to sacrifice arguably the main feature of the iPhone 5S- Touch ID for a plastic keyboard?

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If Apple added Haptic feedback to the iPhone keyboard then there would be no need for hardware keyboard cases.

The iPhone Keyboard is fine but sometimes I find that I get miss types where the Keyboard incorrectly guesses what key I've pressed if my thumb is close to another key. the one advantage of an hardware keyboard is that you can type fast without worrying if you'll get typos from miss hit keys.

I've tried using Siri for messaging, but for some reason it has trouble understanding what I say.

Even though I do not want one, IMO it is an option (good or bad) for those that want one. There is no need to berate someone for their choice or their opinion. :)

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I say good for Ryan Seacrest. Solutions come from people identifying a problem and then creating a solution. I think there are a ton of BB converts to the iPhone who will like this and buy it. The price is not crazy expensive and if it helps someone be more productive then it's worth it. I think it will catch on it has Ryan's name on it which I'm sure will come with some celebrity endorsements. It has the appeal to any BB converts who will get the keyboard for familiarity, nostalgia and the price makes it worth a try. It does cover the home button which I think will reduce functionality and it makes the phone longer. However it's a 1.0 product which means based on user feedback future models will iron out those problems. I've never used a hardware keyboard so I'm right at home typing on glass. However in the winter when my hands are in gloves and my phone is in a case a keyboard might be a good thing for me. There are use cases which aren't too insane that make it a viable product IMO.

Is probably get it. Would be almost like being on a Palm Pre again, but with iOS apps!

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