At Last, a Keyboard for Some iPhones

If there is one complaint people have about their iPhones, it’s that the popular cellphone doesn’t have the option of a physical keyboard to type on. That has now changed, at least if you’ve “jailbroken” or modified your phone so it can download unauthorized software.

Matthias Ringwald, a doctoral candidate specializing in wireless sensor networks in Zurich, Switzerland, launched a piece of software called BTstack Keyboard, which will let users use Bluetooth-enabled keyboards with their iPhones. The software is available through the unauthorized app marketplace Cydia for $5.

IPhones rely on typing text using a virtual keyboard on the display screen, an attribute that does not appeal to some people. The handsets have Bluetooth capability–a popular way to connect peripheral devices–but so far Apple (AAPL) has only allowed it to be used to connect with other iPhones to play games or with certain accessories like headsets. Ringwald was one of the users frustrated by the limitation. He spent eight months developing the software before releasing it on Wednesday.

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