Writing the Definitive Guide For Using an iPhone With a Bluetooth Keyboard

When I graduated high school in the Spring of 2012, my mom offered me a choice: I could go to Community College with a new laptop, or a new iPhone. I was still on the kick that’d started with my first-generation iPhone, four years earlier, and decided to take the bet. Instead of a new laptop, I entered my first vaguely-collegiate experience armed with an iPhone 4S and an original Magic Keyboard, beginning an experiment that’s more-or-less ongoing (there have been intermittent pauses, notably.)

Over the years since, I have accumulated a lot of evidence to suggest that number of iPhone users who’ve used a hardware keyboard with their phone is extremely tiny (which I believe to be entirely reasonable and inevitable,) but I think also believe it’s a dynamic that’s still worth documenting properly. Frankly, I can say definitively that it absolutely has not been, thus far.

As you may have observed, even the association of iPad and keyboard in the past few years has actually made it worse — lookup any given iOS app’s keyboard shortcuts and you’ll return a list for iPad and nothing else. Over the years, I’ve maintained a habit of going down the iPad list, testing each shortcut on iPhone, noting down which of the iPad shortcuts respond on the latter in a table, and then emailing said list to the app’s developers. (Naturally, they almost never respond. Shout out to Tapbots for being the only recent exception.) After refocusing the bulk of my attention back on iOS and its adjacent communities, this year, I’ve looked around and come to a conclusion: if ever there is going to be a consolidate reference for those who regularly use a bluetooth keyboard with their iPhones, I am going to have to write it, myself.

Currently, my end target draws influence from the ebooks published by the MacStories team — like Tim Nahmuck’s Drafts 5 “Review” (which is closer to a User Manual than an App Review) — but it’s most important that it be in the form(s) which add maximum value to readers/users. In that vein, I must acknowledge that I cannot accomplish it entirely on my own, yet am fairly inexperienced with the sort of collaboration I’d imagine will be involved.


If anyone would like to advise on this in any capacity, I would very much appreciate hearing from you via any method you’d like (see the info below.)

Anyone who has used a Bluetooth keyboard with their iPhone at any point, I’d actually beg you to share any thoughts/requests/suggestions you may have.

Some Contact Info

If for whatever reason you’d prefer to text/leave a voicemail, here’s my personal phone number: +1 (573) 823–4380



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David Blue

David Blue

Editor-in-Chief, Neoyokel, Angst Wrangler. Writes about technology and culture intersecting across time and class. | davidblue@extratone.com