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iPhone Hard Keyboard... the Hard Way

Not only has the iPhone 3G finally been unlocked, it's now also been hacked to work with a Blue Tooth keyboard. Sure, it's not the elegant, Apple, "it just works" solution the world at large has been waiting for, but a "it's hard work" solution for those desperate and ingenious enough to tackle it. Ars Technica's Erica Sadun breaks down the solution:

For the external approach, Ackermann modified a Robotech Bluetooth module, which he placed in an iPhone battery sleeve and connected to the iPhone (serial) connector port at the bottom of the unit. This allowed the the phone to communicate directly with the the module using the Bluetooth serial port profile.

And you can find out more at Ackermann's blog, if you want to try it yourself. Do you? Or are you waiting (and waiting...) on Apple?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Love the green january calendar!!
  • Sweet! Now I can edit my spreadsheets and word documents on my iPhone....... Hopefully soon :)
  • I'm not waiting on this because I'm not a reetard.
    When I'm on the go, a full keyboard won't fit in my pocket... when I'm at home, or at the office, or in a hotel room, I can use a computer or laptop and DON'T NEED MY IPHONE!!!. :roll:
    (and using this for SMS or IM warrants being shot in public).
  • I would love for the iPhone to communicate with a BT keyboard, but I'm not going to hack it to make it happen. Although I disagree with his vitriol, I agree with Steve that a laptop is better suited for on-the-go editing. I can't imagine such a hack being all that beneficial, other than for people to say, "Hey, look what I can do!"
    In other words, it'd be nice to pair with a BT keyboard, but I'm fine to wait for Apple to support it natively, if at all.
  • Sure a laptop is better suited, but a laptop weighs a ton compared to a phone and a keyboard. I'd love to have an external keyboard like this so I could leave my laptop at home more often.
  • @Steve: Er, the keyboard is a folding bluetooth keyboard that WILL fit in your pocket. PocketPC owners have had this option for years...
    I'm waiting for this to be a standard accessory for Apple. I'll buy one, knowing how useful it was for my PocketPC a few years ago. It changes your handheld device into a whole new device. It's hard to explain, but it really does.
  • @Doctor: Er, yes, I know it folds... but that'd still require one big-azz pocket, and it defeats the whole purpose of mobility. Apple won't make it as long as Steve Jobs is running things.
  • Steve Jobs may not be there much longer so... hopefully something great like BT KB support would be possilbe. I personally can't wait till I can add a BT keyboard.
  • Dangit -- this is maddeningly close.
    The inability to use a BT keyboard with the iPhone is one of the very few things keeping me from getting one.
    (The other is the inability to use it as a HSDPA modem over BT for a laptop.)
  • @Steve: Apple doesn't need to make this...all they need to do is open up the bluetooth profile to allow one of the many manufacturers who already make BT keyboards work with the iPhone OS. As for the folding keyboards, they fit quite well into a pair of jeans or a coat pocket...
  • Whether or not you're into bt keyboards, you gotta admit, the iPhone, with it's big, bright, hi-res screen, is more suited to one than most other devices out there that have them.
  • When are we getting Iphone's with atom or better chips?
  • I think this would be nice if you are too lazy (like me) to boot up my PC and rather than using a tiny keyboard and having to go back and edit your text every time you mess up you take out your handy-dandy keyboard and type superfast.