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Is There a Bluetooth Keyboard for Android Smartphones?


One of the most frequent questions we receive on the topic of Android smartphone accessories is whether there are hardware keyboards that will work with the OS.  This question is a difficult one to answer succinctly because Android - being such an open operating system - is really "compatible" with just about anything; it's a question of software and drivers.

So, until recently the answer was "yes, but it's complicated." But a popular smartphone keyboard, the Freedom Pro, recently got an Android driver update, making it the first consumer-focused mobile keyboard to take the Android plunge. 

It will by no means be the last.



The Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard & Android

At present, there is one external keyboard solution for most Android phone users.  That's the Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard from Freedom Input Limited. 

The keyboard features a folding form factor and was designed specifically with smartphone users in mind.  In March 2010, the company added an Android OS driver for this product, which works with Android v1.5 and above.  The driver must be installed on your Android phone in order to use the Freedom Pro. 

Download the Freedom Pro Android OS Driver

Be sure to check out the installation instructions.


Other Solutions

Others have been and are working on bringing the keyboard and Android together.  At My Mobile Gear there are beta drivers for select SPP (Serial Port Profile) keyboards.  These drivers are not designed for typical users, but if you're an advanced user comfortable with experimenting, you can take a look at the work they've done.

You can also check out some of the following resource(s) for information regarding Bluetooth keyboards and Android:

Android, KeyPro and Bluetooth Keyboards (Simple Mobile Review)

Android 3.0, a tablet version of the Android OS, includes HID support for Bluetooth and USB keyboards.



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