12:00 PM — We have seen previous reports that BlackBerry is going after Typo Keyboard, which is backed by Ryan Seacrest. For old school BlackBerry lovers, Seacrest wanted to bring the old physical keyboard back. In today’s smartphones, we aren’t seeing many physical keyboards, rather all are touch and integrated into the screen via software. BlackBerry is mainly the only company that still uses physical keyboards in their smartphones, for example the Q10.
Even though BlackBerry may be suing Ryan Seacrest’s Typo Keyboard, there is another company that is coming out with a similar piece of hardware. You may recall that even though the Typo keyboard is nice, it covers the iPhone’s home button. This is very inconvenient for iPhone 5s users who use the Touch ID feature to log in. The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern reports that another company with the name SoloMatrix is slowly making mainstream headlines.
While the Typo Keyboard covers the home button, SoloMatrix’s keyboard design looks to cover that. In their new design, you can actually use the home button while using a physical keyboard at the same time. Stern says that the keys need to line up directly with the virtual keys on Apple’s own keyboard, this means that they’re slimmer than the keys on the Typo and aren’t as easy to use.
“It’s clear no software keyboard can give me the speed and confidence I get from one I can really feel,” Stern states. “The perfect transplanted BlackBerry keyboard may still arrive, but the Typo is the best one I have found so far. Ultimately, those of us with a love for hardware keyboards seem to be running out of time, especially if we want to maximize the benefits of modern-day smartphones.”
While BlackBerry does own a bold, beautiful keyboard design, it may not stop other companies from using similar design features on physical keyboards. BlackBerry could go after all future companies that infringe upon its intellectual property, but it will cost a lot of court fees. The company needs to save every penny it can in its current state.