Today during lunch I stopped by a big-box store and picked up the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard for $99. I wrote a few posts back about wanting to find a portable Bluetooth keyboard that would work flawlessly with my iPhone and allow me to shift my creative writing urges as much as possible to my iPhone, especially while on the go. A highly portable keyboard such as Microsoft’s is key to this, as trying to type complex post entries quickly and efficiently using the on-screen keyboard is an exercise in sadistic futility.
Having had the keyboard for several hours, this is certainly no in-depth review. But based on what little experience I’ve had so far (writing this entry), it looks to be a solid keeper. It took less than 30 seconds to pair the keyboard with the phone. I like the fact that the keyboard folds up in the middle as you can see by the vertical indentation on the keyboard as well as the illustration on the box. Once folded it slips into my jean’s front pocket along with my iPhone.
Using the keyboard motivates me to stick to using the phone’s camera as much as possible. I took the photo of the keyboard, post-processed it with Snapseed on the phone, then used the WordPress app to upload the final image from my camera roll into the post. The keyboard allows me to quickly write out the post within the app. It takes more time to try and explain the actions than it does to actually perform them.
The only other item I really need to carry with the phone and keyboard are chargers for the phone and keyboard. The con about the keyboard is it requires a micro USB connector to charge. The mitigating pro is that it lasts for three months between charges. Still it would be nice if the power connector matched the iPhone’s lightening connector. As it is I’ll carry the Apple wall-wart and two cables to plug into it, one for the iPhone and the other for the keyboard.
I’ve more experimenting to do with this combination, such as building a post with photos interspersed with text. So far, with this style of WordPress post layout, the universal foldable keyboard is the bee’s knees.
I’m not quite so enamored with the WordPress app. Several problems have reared their ugly little heads:
- I couldn’t push out a link to this post on either Google+ or Twitter. The controls on the app are there to do this, but when I tried to send out the link I was presented with a login screen for both that wouldn’t allow me to log in. I find this annoying as I’m already logged into both services through their respective apps, as well as being logged into WordPress via the WordPress app.
- When it uploaded the lead photo of the keyboard it left it in an odd state. Normally I keep everything at a 500 px width and center aligned, going back in with the web browser editor to adjust both later as needed. When I tried to do that just now I couldn’t set a custom width. I eventually deleted the photo and re-inserted it from my media storage again. Then I was able to adjust it’s width.
I may need to look for an alternative to the WordPress app. More to come…
Update Today #2
It didn’t take long, like ten minutes, for me to discover there are no other real alternatives to the WordPress app on iOS. Maybe if I ask the WordPress folks nicely I can get a copy of the app’s code and make the fixes myself.