The iPhone is in many ways a full-fledged computer. It has a speedy multicore processor, screen with a resolution that's superior to many notebook computers of not too long ago, and a broad range of software applications that enable you to be productive. However, its small onscreen keyboard can make a number of tasks very slow and cumbersome. To this end, there are a number of ways to add a portable keyboard to an iPhone.
Foldable Bluetooth Keyboards
Foldable Bluetooth keyboards represent a balance between the full-size keyboard experience and portability. These units are usually close-to-full-size keyboards that fold in half. When unfolded, they give you almost full-sized keys with travel, just like a real keyboard, but when folded they're small enough to put in a purse or briefcase.
Keyboard cases combine an iPhone holder with small Bluetooth keyboard. While these keyboards are much smaller than a traditional one, they have two key advantages. The first is that even though they're small, they still have real keys that you physically press down, which many people prefer to onscreen keys. They also free up screen real estate, letting you use the whole screen to see what you're working on while you type on the keyboard.
Laser Virtual Keyboard
If you want full-sized keys and a very small keyboard, virtual keyboards are an option. These devices project the image of a keyboard on a flat surface and sense when you type on the virtual keys. While they offer a large typing area, they have the same drawback as the iPhone's screen in that they don't offer tactile keys.
Software engineers have created apps that use the motion sensor built into the iPhone to enable you to create a virtual keyboard without hardware. This technology lets you type on a piece of paper with an image of a keyboard on it. When you set your iPhone close to the paper, its accelerometer can sense the different vibration patterns for each of its keys and record them as a keystroke. As of November of 2012, this emerging technology isn't yet widely available, but it's under development.
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