By Cindy Downes on Thu, 02/24/2011
The Keyboard Buddy Case is an iPhone case with an integrated Bluetooth keyboard that easily slides out when needed. Use it to quickly and easily type a text message or email or whatever else you need to do on the iPhone. The way it slides in and out of the phone is super cool!
The case fits snugly on your iPhone and has a nice low profile. It doesn't detract from the look of your iPhone at all.
According to specifications, once charged, the Bluetooth keyboard lasts for about 45 days. There is an on and off switch to conserve power.
The case is compatible with both AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4.
After I played with the case awhile, I allowed some of my younger friends, who text a lot, to try it. Here is our thoughts on the case:
1. For me, I use a stylus to text message. I find the stylus very convenient - I keep it attached to my phone via a "clip." Using a stylus rather than my fingers keeps my iPhone face fingerprint-free. The keys on the Buddy Case were not quite wide enough for my fingertips. I kept hitting more than one key. Very frustrating. I couldn't use my stylus on it as I had to press too hard, which would destroy the foam tip on my stylus. The bottom line for me is that it's much easier for me to use the stylus on the iPhone screen keyboard. Granted, if I could use the Buddy Case keyboard with two fingers, I could probably type faster; but as my fingers get in the way, this is not an option.
2. The younger users said they are so used to texting on the iPhone screen itself that they felt this keyboard would slow them down. They like texting on the iPhone screen. Although they did like some of the short cuts, they found the position of a few of the keys, such as the exclamation mark, awkward to use. Bottom line: The keypad was not as responsive to them as the screen keyboard; and, to them, not worth the effort of learning. They suggested that a Blackberry user switching to iPhone might like this better than iPhone only users. None of my "testers" were previous Blackberry users.
3. The case is almost impossible to get on and off. We had to pry it off with a blunt knife in several instances, which damaged the case itself. The case offers no protection on the front at all. It needs to have a front wrap-around lip to protect the front of the phone when placed face down on tables, etc. Bottom line on the case itself: it needs some work before we would be happy to use it.
We all thought the Buddy Case was fun to try and use for a short time, but we would not use it on an everyday basis for the reasons cited above. Someone buying their first iPhone (especially previous Blackberry users), however, might like it more. They would not be as "set in their ways" and more apt to adapt to the keyboard. However, before I can recommend the case, it needs some work. It has to less difficult to get on and off. As it is, someone might damage their phone trying to get it off. The case also needs some front protection if this is going to be the only case they use.
I think the Buddy Case is a great idea; and, with some improvements made to the case itself, it could be just what some users need.