A new case for the iPhone 5/5S generated a lot of buzz at this year's CES show in Las Vegas. For $99, the Typo Keyboard Case adds a Bluetooth-linked, BlackBerry-style keyboard to Apple's popular smart phone.
Reports say BlackBerry promptly sued Typo Products (reportedly backed by Ryan Seacrest) for copyright infringement, claiming the BlackBerry Q10 keyboard design is "iconic." Demand for the keyboard, however, has gone through the roof. The company is only accepting preorders, and Typo's website says it will be March before the next production run is shipped.
As such, I wasn't surprised when my requests for a Typo review unit fell on deaf ears, but my research led me to another company that sells a slew of great products for smart phones and tablets, including the Keyboard Buddy Apple iPhone 5s Case, Backlit Edition, an alternative to the Typo keyboard that is easier to acquire.
It you have an iPhone and miss typing on real keyboard, BoxWave Corporation definitely has the cure. The Keyboard Buddy Case, Backlit Edition is an incredibly thin, form-fitting case for the iPhone 5/5S with a slide-out, Bluetooth-connected QWERTY keyboard. The slide-in/slide-out unit works great, does not interfere with the iPhone 5S' fingerprint scanner (the Typo does), and has buttons for other functions, such as rotation lock.
There is one drawback, however. If you're a fan of Apple's auto-correction, you can't access the suggestions when using the Keyboard Buddy Case, but the increased accuracy of typing on real, honest-to-god keys should make auto-correction and word completion less important. There's no word whether the feature might be added in future versions.
An onboard battery, chargeable by micro-USB cable, keeps the keyboard case going for up to two weeks without draining the iPhone's battery. Backlit keys make typing easy in darkened rooms, and the aluminum construction securely holds the iPhone, providing generous cutouts for controls, camera, and flash. The Keyboard Buddy Case, Backlit Edition lists for $99.99.
BoxWave takes pride in stocking innovative accessories for more than 3,600 devices. Visit their website, and you'll find a terrific selection of smart phone/tablet cases, chargers, cables, and accessories. Notable items include:
- Dual High Current Wall Charger, a two USB outlets AC adapter that features a 2.1 amp port for charging larger devices such as iPads and a 1 amp outlet for charging smart phones. Price: $16.95
- Apple iPhone 5/5s SelfiePod, a nearly 30 inch long telescoping arm that provides the ideal amount of extra reach for selfies or for shooting wildlife or over crowds at concerts or parades. The mounting head includes a screw mount for traditional cameras as well as a clamp mount for holding smart phones or other cameras not compatible with a screw mount. Price: $29.95
- EverTouch Capacitive Stylus with FiberMesh is advanced stylus technology, which BoxWave claims is one of the best fitting and feeling touch screen writing tools on the market. Price: $24.95
For more information, visit BoxWave.com.
Haven't we all found ourselves in situations when our smart phones were in danger of being soaked? Let's say, for example, your phone is poolside, only to have some idiot cannonball and drench everyone. What about taking your phone when you go camping or fishing? A sudden cloudburst can have dire consequences, and leaving the house with a tablet or eReader presents the same risks.
Waterproof cases are often bulky and unattractive. It's ironic that consumers buy light, thin, beautiful phones, only to clad them in heavy, ruggedized cases, most of which aren't waterproof. Nevertheless, damage to phones or tablets from submersion in liquids or exposure to dirt or chemicals can be avoided without having to carry around something that looks like standard issue for the bomb squad.