To solve the problem of mobile text entry, I am using a Think Outside Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard with my iPod Touch. This one is model number XTBT01 and I bought it used, because unfortunately these have been discontinued.

This keyboard on Amazon

The pairing process used to connect the keyboad wirelessly to the iPod is not shown in the video. To pair them you hold down the Control key and both Function keys at the same time to put the keyboard in “discover mode”. Verify they are connected by opening Settings app on the iPod touch, then tap General and Bluetooth. I did this a while ago so I don’t remember the next step, but you might have to type a phrase that displays on the iPod – but just follow what it says on the screen.

In the video I show a couple ways that you can type using the on-screen keyboard in both portrait and landscape modes. The fastest way to type in my experience was to hold the iPod vertically in my left hand and type with my right index finger. Still, typing this way was too slow for me. I can enter something on a to-do list or make a quick notation, but couldn’t do long-form typing sessions.

The ThinkOutside keyboard has been working well! It folds up so I can take it with me in a jacket pocket along with the iPod touch – no need to bring a briefcase. It has real laptop-style keys with scissor switches, not the cheap rubber dome style keys. There’s no number key row, but you can type numbers and symbols using the function keys, and this actually makes the whole keyboard smaller when folded.

The only negative things are the Y key sticks when I open it, and the stand doesn’t stay closed when you fold it up. The stand is removable.

Filed under: Review

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