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Your iPhone isn't a BlackBerry, but it can fake it with the Typo 2

The iPhone's answer to the BlackBerry keyboard, the Ryan Seacrest-backed Typo, is back. Like the first model, the Typo 2 turns your Apple smartphone into one with a QWERTY keyboard.

But the second version is a bit different — and this makes sense, considering Typo was hit with a lawsuit and pulled off the market for having a design too close to BlackBerry’s existing keyboard.

Seacrest and Typo cofounder Laurence Hallier developed the concept after realizing how some people lug around two phones: one for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for most everything else. The two developed the case for BlackBerry fans who've resisted switching to the iOS because of loyalty to a physical keyboard.

The latest version, which costs $99 just like the previous one, still looks similar to a BlackBerry keyboard, but there are slight differences and many improvements.


to avoid the complications of the lawsuit, the layout more closely resembles desktop computer keyboards and the iOS virtual keyboard

The placement of some keys and their shapes have changed. The most commonly used keys are a little bigger, including the alt key, the backspace key and the iOS "home" key. Previously, keys were more angled (like the traditional BlackBerry keyboard). There’s also lock now to prevent unwanted pocket dialing and a backlight behind the keyboard.

Like the first model, the Typo 2 consists of two plastic pieces that easily slide over the iPhone. There are exposed spots on the back of the device, so you can still charge it, take photos and so on.

You do need to charge the case in addition to your regularly scheduled iPhone charging — a frustrating extra step with no workaround. But the good news is that the case should get you between seven and 10 days of power, depending on how often you use it.


To get it going, you'll need to connect the case to the phone via Bluetooth by pressing a designated button on the keyboard and waiting for the keys to flash blue.

The home screen button, located on the bottom left side of the keyboard, is the key you'll possibly use the most — from there, you can navigate, go into apps, access your contacts and do whatever else you'd like that requires typing.

One of the major criticisms of the first Typo is that you couldn't swipe up to access the iOS control center since the case covered the bottom of the screen. But at last, the Typo 2 makes swiping up possible (the keyboard sits just a tad lower than before). However, it still blocks the TouchID fingerprint sensor, so you won't be able to unlock your iPhone with the touch of a finger.

How it feels

Tapping away on the keyboard takes a little getting used to, especially if you've been an iPhone user for awhile. For the most part, the learning curve isn't too lengthy, but BlackBerry fans will understandably have an easier transition. Despite the case's name, typos are still rampant during this adjustment period.

The case frees up some real estate on the screen (the iPhone's virtual keyboard collapses), so the extra room comes in handy. It does, however, add a bit more length to the iPhone 6 since the keyboard drops below the hardware. iPhone users who typically keep the device in a pocket will notice this more.

© 2014-2023 by Smart Group LLC.

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