Remember we covered the demo application that pairs iPhone with an external bluetooth keyboard? The demo application works great but it only allows you to type within the demo application. Now, the wait is over. The developer has finally rolled out the official BTstack keyboard app that allows you to use bluetooth keyboard on iPhone and supports nearly all iPhone apps.
The keyboard app is developed by Matthias Ringwald, a PhD specializing in wireless sensor networks in Zurich, Switzerland. It is now available on Cydia Store for US$5. The app supports jailbroken iPhone 3G/3GS and all models of iPod Touch. For those still using iPhone 2G, however, the driver doesn’t work for you (at least for v1.0 of the software). The BTstack keyboard app lets your iPhone to pair with all kinds of Bluetooth HID keyboards. As mentioned by the developer, the below keyboards are tested:
- Apple Bluetooth keyboard
- Think Outside Stowaway Universal keyboard
- Palm Wireless keyboard
To use bluetooth keyboard with iPhone, you can simply purchase the BTstack Keyboard driver. Once installed, launch the app and it automatically searches for available bluetooth keyboard. Just tap on the bluetooth keyboard to pair with iPhone. That’s it. You can now click the Home button, go back to home screen, launch any app (say, Notes) and type via the bluetooth keyboard.
The app works really great and it’s so easy to pair the keyboard with iPhone. No matter you’re using Safari, Notes or writing text message, I do not experience any delay during the typing. However, the bluetooth keyboard is not perfect with some known issues:
Issues in v1.0:
- The up/down cursor on iPhone OS 2.x devices triggers magnifying glass.
- It does not work in Springboard search field.
Functions not supported in v1.0:
- Quick auto-connect for Apple keyboard
- Selection with SHIFT key + cursor
- Copy, cut and paste
- Cursor key in MobileTerminal
- Caps Lock key
Despite the shortcoming, I highly recommend the BTstack keyboard app to any iPhone user who needs to use bluetooth keyboard with iPhone. For more information about BTstack keyboard, check out its official website and the demo video from Engadget.