If you’re an iPhone user that switched from a Blackberry, or a similar device, you know that all-too-familiar feeling of missing your old school, and frankly wonderful, portrait typing experience on Blackberry. Although I never owned a Blackberry, I did start with a Motorola Q, which had a portrait keyboard, and typing on keyboards like those was always a great experience. Although I’ve adjusted to the virtual keyboard of my iPhone well (I also started on the HTC Touch Diamond’s 2.8″ screen, so I’ve gotten used to cramped keyboards), there are still times where I miss the feeling of pressing physical keys, and I’m not alone.
One celebrity who noticed this problem was Ryan Seacrest, the famous TV personality and host of American Idol. According to the press release, he realized that there was a need for a physical keyboard during dinner one night. “One night, Ryan and his friend Laurence Hallier, CEO of Show Media, were out to dinner and both had phones on the table. Two people, four phones!” They each had a Blackberry for typing and emailing, and an iPhone for normal use. This insipired Mr. Seacrest and his co-founder to invest over $1 million in creating a new product and company called Typo. As you can see in the video above, Typo is a portrait keyboard case that slides onto an iPhone 5 or 5s and delivers an experience similar to a Blackberry keyboard, and it syncs with the device through Bluetooth 3.0.
While the idea behind the case seems pretty cool, I have a few issues with the design of the case. First, it covers the home button. For 5s users, this means that Touch ID is useless, but my bigger issue is the fact that the solution for the case is to add a home button to the very bottom right of the keyboard. Sure, at least it’s there, but it sure isn’t as convenient as having the normal home button. Second, I feel like it would be awkward to have to hold the device so low, and I feel like the top would be heavier and not balanced, meaning it would be weird to type on and keep the phone steady.
The case is available to order now for $99, and will begin shipping in January, just about a month away. The company also says that they are working on cases for other phones and even tablets. What do you think about this new portrait keyboard case? Do you think the Typo is a good solution? Do you agree with some of my concerns, or am I just a little too crazy? Sound off in the comments section below, or tweet me at @TiP_Griffin.