February 23, 2009

Bluetooth Keyboard, Palm. We Want!

Filed under: Groundwork — mikecane @ 9:48 am

It’s still a constant source of frustration to me that the iPhone cannot work with a Bluetooth keyboard. Apple has its own gorgeous Bluetooth keyboard that just weeps at night from not being to interface with the iPhone. It weeps, I say!

Hackers have gone so far to create proof of concept videos such as this one:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "apple_bt_keyboard_4_iphone_01 on Flic…", posted with vodpod

At least two Comments at that site cry Fake! And it could be.

But the point is, Palm, we want the Pre to work out of the box with the Bluetooth keyboards we already have. Yes, we know you want to make money with your own keyboard later on — but give us the goodwill first to use our own. I’m sure your keyboard will be better — and we’ll buy it. But in the meantime, we want to type.

Let all the blogs bloom on Pre Day One with posts that begin, “I’m typing this post with my Palm Pre and a Bluetooth keyboard!!!”


  1. *cough* *cough*

    Wow I have a bad cold lately ;-p. I totally agree that the Pre needs bluetooth keyboard support (perhaps HID or SPP support).

    At MWC, Dieter asked the PreCentral writers if we had any questions for Palm. I wanted to know about bluetooth keyboard support (among a few other things):

    “What about deeper access to the Bluetooth stack so that developers can get things like Bluetooth keyboards working? All in good time is the word. None of that extra special access will be made available when the SDK is launched in its initial form, but Palm expects to have it later. So no Bluetooth keyboards at launch, but we’re holding out for them later.”


    Comment by JayCanuck — February 23, 2009 @ 9:59 am | Reply

    • *cough* back:

      — February 2nd. Yours was February 5th.

      Let the “later” be a software update the week after the Pre goes on sale! That’d do.

      Comment by mikecane — February 23, 2009 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

      • I was referring to how the article shows twitters that hints Palm may make a bluetooth keyboard, as well as a Q&A with FreedomInput where they say they’ll be making webOS driver. So, if Palm falls short in the keyboard department, at least FreedomInput will be there. Not quite sure why the article date matters though.

        In all honestly, having HID support seems the best option for the Pre. Especially considering how Palm seems to be going all-out with their bluetooth support (2.1 + EDR with A2DP)

        Comment by JayCanuck — February 23, 2009 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

        • Oh, I should also mention bluetooth tethering is another bluetooth feature for the Pre. It would appear Palm is going all-out in the bluetooth department, so hopefully HID support is in the works

          Comment by JayCanuck — February 23, 2009 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  2. I’ve already been saying this over and over, as Mike knows, and have said it repeatedly to Palm’s reps when I’ve been in touch with them via Twitter and Facebook. I’m fairly confident that it will happen in short order, but given that (from what I’ve read of the O’Reilly first chapter) the SDK *can* grant access to the hardware layer including the Bluetooth stack without having to get into the underlying OS, and given that at some point Apple will probably open its own stack to a BT keyboard, I fully agree that Palm should have this capability on the Pre on Day 1, to immediately show that the Pre, unlike the iPhone and its “funnest” (oy) sibling the iPod Touch, is designed for *business*. {ProfJonathan}

    Comment by Jonathan Ezor — February 23, 2009 @ 10:17 am | Reply

    • Ha! It’d be supernatural to have the iPod Touch pair with a Bluetooth keyboard. The Touch does not have Bluetooth!

      Comment by mikecane — February 23, 2009 @ 1:08 pm | Reply

      • Actually, the iPod Touch 2G *may* have Bluetooth, since the Nike module that was built into the iPod Touch uses Bluetooth to communicate with the external hardware, the FCC filing for the Touch included Bluetooth in the description, and it does have a chip inside (the Broadcom BCM4325) that is known to be Bluetooth-capable. Whether it’s been enabled to do so is another question. {ProfJonathan}

        Comment by Jonathan Ezor — February 23, 2009 @ 1:11 pm | Reply

  3. Not that this adds much to the conversation, but here’s the response from Freedom that I received when I asked them about the Pre and their FreedomInput2 keyboard (which is surprisingly delightful to use BTW):

    “As soon as Palm release the SDK (software development Kit and release the bluetooth API’s) for the Palm Pre we will be indeed writing drivers for the keyboard to work with this new device.”

    I assume that they will have to wait for Palm to officially support a HID profile and then they will begin to write drivers, but I am hopeful that they will be all over this and we’ll see something soon after launch. This is like the only major feature that the Pre doesn’t (yet?) support that I really need.

    Comment by Galt — February 23, 2009 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

  4. Seriously. Hasn’t Palm figured out that to get new customers into this device (and away from the Aphone) it has to be a _more portable_ “laptop”? Ok, multithreading was a definite necessity, but if I can’t easily get my own thoughts into it and _create content_, more comfortably and in more contexts then it’s just a “me too” device. Content creation still = writing, still = full-size keyboard (not to mention the command line for admins.) Apple can’t let the Aphone do this becuase it could eat into laptop sales. Palm had the right thought process with the Foleo, but the execution was wrong.

    Now that we won’t see HID support from day one, will Palm survive to evolve it?

    Comment by Charlie Mote — April 30, 2009 @ 10:39 am | Reply

  5. any new news on availablility of bluetooth keyboards with Pre?

    Comment by demetrios — February 3, 2010 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

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