One of the many questions people had for the iPhone when it was first released was if the touch screen would be adequate for typing. At the time, Blackberry ruled the smart phone market and everyone was seen smashing away at the tiny keyboard on their phone to send email, text messages, and attempt to browse the web. Its clear that the last few years have changed the way the people view smart phones and understand the many benefits of a touch screen. Unfortunately, one thing I still hear too often from people is that they think they will only be able to type on a physical keyboard.
I’d hate to believe that individuals turn away from the iPhone because of its lack of physical keyboard. Especially now that there are third party cases that take advantage of the iPhone’s bluetooth setting and include a physical keyboard. One such case is the TK-421 iPhone Case with Keyboard.The case is clearly designed for individuals taking a big step away from their comfort zone of a blackberry physical keyboard and venturing into the touch screen world. If you’re one of these people that are still unsure about your ability to effectively use a touchscreen, then this type of case is just for you.
Installing Your iPhone Into the Case
Installing your iPhone into the TK-421 case is quick and easy. Slide open the protective case and slide in the iPhone. Unlike most cases you actually have to slide it into the holder. Trying to snap it around the sides will only damage your iPhone 4 and probably break the case in the process. Once you’ve installed the iPhone into the case you’ll need to sync it with your iPhone 4 via bluetooth.
This is as easy as adding other bluetooth devices to the iPhone and works very similarly to the process for installing a keyboard on your iPad. Open up Settings >> General >> Bluetooth and make sure its turned on. Next, Connect the iPhone to the keyboard connected to the case. Be sure that the TK-421 keyboard is in discover mode so your iPhone can detect it. When you’ve connected the iPhone to the keyboard it will be ready to use right away.
One thing to note is that when your iPhone 4 is connected to a bluetooth keyboard it does not display the onscreen keyboard. All your keyboard controls will be done through the case’s keyboard.
How the Case Feels
The case and keyboard feels great. Typing is snappy and I imagine very familiar to what bluetooth individuals are use to with their previous phones. With this in mind it will be perfect for them. I don’t find it to have an advantage in anyway to the onscreen keyboard of the iPhone but if your really looking for a keyboard on your iPhone this should fit your needs.
The case swings the iPhone counter-clockwise to reveal the keyboard. When its open for keyboard use the phone’s weight is completely out of your hands and putting all the pressure on the keyboard. This feels uncomfortable at first but you get use to it pretty quickly.
I will warn that the overall quality of the material of the case is a bit lacking. It feels very plastic and gives the full impression that the case comes secondary to allowing you to connect the iPhone to a keyboard that fits in your pocket. Speaking of pockets, the iPhone with this case is very bulky and while it does fit in my jean pocket, its not something I would ever do comfortable.
If you’re looking for physical keyboard functionality on the iPhone, the TK-421 may fit your needs. The device is quick and easy to use but lacks some of the polish we’re use to seeing in quality protective cases. If the need for a keyboard is more important than your need to protect your iPhone, this maybe the case for you.