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It's no secret that BlackBerry has had a rough time as of late, and the remaining loyal user base that still can't quite get used to those newfangled touch screens on the iPhone are looking for replacements. Just in time, the fascinatingly named "Typo Keyboard" is out, which offers a physical keyboard attachment for the iPhone 5 and 5s that mimics the look and performance of BlackBerry's tactile keyboards.
As Cult of Mac notes, the Typo Keyboard has chiefly gained notoriety through the efforts of American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who reportedly pumped around $1 million into the development of the device. The device is a peripheral that works in tandem with a Bluetooth connection out of necessity, although fortunately it adds less than one inch (2.54 centimeters) to the device's overall length.
In the words of the press release, "The Typo Keyboard was born out of a desire for efficiency. For several years, many of our friends and colleagues have carried two phones: one for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for virtually everything else. One night, we were out to dinner and both had out phones on the table. Two people, four phones! We looked at each other than thought there was an easy solution to the problem, a keyboard for the iPhone."
Pity Steve Jobs isn't still around so we could hear what colorful words he'd have for such a device. But if you've been looking for or waiting for a similar device for years, the Typo Keyboard seems like it could be a winner. I've never handled one myself, but the materials claim that it allows you to type 50 percent faster than you can with the regular iOS interface and (name aside) with fewer typos to boot.
But all that doesn't sound anywhere near as attractive as the way it removes the iOS virtual keyboard when you type. Much as with regular Bluetooth keyboards, it simply vanishes because there's no more need for it, which allows for much more room to see what you're working on.
The device is expected to ship sometime in January, but you can pre-order it right now for $99 through the company's website.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.