Android and external keyboards
by Jeffrey Stark
April 5th, 2012
I have seen a lot of requests for QWERTY or external keyboard recommendations for android phones.
This post will share my experience while experimenting with QWERTY keyboards on android.
I have a Samsung galaxy nexus running ice cream sandwich (ICS). I have gotten 3 separate keyboards to work with ICS.
1) RII 66-key Mini Bluetooth Keyboard http://t.co/phMyyFnA or
The RII tends to be very sensitive on its key presses and I found I was typing many duplicate key presses when using this keyboard. However, I like the form factor. This is a 'mini keyboard' similar to a blackberry's key size. It fits in a pocket and is extremely portable. If you are into typing with your thumbs than this is the perfect keyboard size and layout.
This keyboard was very easy to set up with my phone.
2) Freedom Pro
The Freedom Pro works great with the phone. If running ICS than ignore the android instructions on freedom's website as they are completely incorrect. I was able to set this keyboard up in HID mode without installing a driver.
This is a great keyboard and was fairly easy to connect to my phone.
3) Nokia SU-8W
This keyboard is my favorite of the bunch for hardware, weight and design. However, it is also the hardest to set up with ICS. I could pair this keyboard and get the QWERTY keys to work no problem with the standard setup. However, to get it to recognize some of the non-qwerty keys like escape, I had to download and install a 3rd party app.
I would not recommend this keyboard unless you have 1 already kicking around in a closet somewhere. The app to connect the keyboard is a paid app and has a few quirks.
I would also suggest that if you are having any problems connecting a QWERTY keyboard to your android phone that you check out 2 apps:
Bluetooth Keyboard JP
Both of these apps facilitate connecting external keyboard to your phone.
I also just bought the following folding usb QWERTY keyboard: http://goo.gl/3b7Dw
And will report on results from it as soon as it arrives.