I want to take a few minutes to talk about a new toy I recently bought. It’s a miniature wireless bluetooth keyboard that works with iPad, iPhone, Android cellphones and tablets, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and other devices that allow input from a bluetooth device. I came across this little guy on one of those daily deal sites and decided to pick one up to see what it was about. The form factor is amazing. It’s a little smaller than my Droid Razr and a lot lighter. It has a keyboard with almost every key you can imagine. The only keys it doesn’t have are F1 – F12. However, it does provide a function “Fn” key that allows you to access other keys such as volume controls and playback controls (play, pause, stop, fastforward, rewind).
As soon as I got mine, I pulled out the instruction manual and attempted to connect the Hype to my Droid Razr. Even though the instructions seemed straightforward, the instructions turned out to be horrible. The manual left out several steps that I had to figure out on my own. For example, the instructions say to go into Settings on the Android device, search for the Hype, and pair it by entering “0000” for the PIN when prompted. However, it failed to mention that immediately after you do that, you have to also type the same PIN on the keyboard. It took me several attempts to pair the devices before I figured this out.
Before you can pair the devices, you’ll need to press & hold a small hidden button that is just above the “9” key. Only hold it for about a second. After you do that, a blue LED will begin to blink to the left of that button. This flashing light indicates that the keyboard is broadcasting its existence so that other devices can “see” it. As soon as you tell your other device to pair with the keyboard, this blue LED will turn off and your other device should indicate that the 2 are paired and connected.
The box for this keyboard includes a CD that contains applications that can be loaded onto Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows Mobile. However, I never could get the app to work with my Droid Razr. To install it, you have to get the Android.apk file onto the SD card or internal storage of your device. I went with the approach of plugging my cellphone into my laptop via USB so that the storage devices in my cellphone would mount as drives, leaving me the ability to drag and drop the Android.apk file onto the SD card inside my cellphone. Once I had it on the device, all I had to do was click the app and the installer began.
After the installer completed, I tried to run the app. As soon as I run the app, I’m shown a message that says “To use this software, you must activate it. Activation is free, and must be done only once, but it requires an internet connection. Activate now?” Even though I have 4G & WiFi and they are both connected, the activation always fails with the message “Activation failed. Please retry before using this software. Application will now close.” And, the application does indeed close every time I close the error message.
I never have been able to get the included software to work. But, that’s ok! The device still works even without the included software. I’ve paired the keyboard with my Droid Razr, iPad, my laptop, and a few of my different Android tablets and it’s worked great with all of them. It makes typing on things like cellphones and tablets a whole lot simpler than trying to type using the virtual keyboards on screen. I come from a long history of using Blackberries. So, moving to a touchscreen only keyboard is a pain. But, this little device has given me back the ability to type out emails, text messages, and even online articles with ease.
The battery life on this thing is amazing! According to the box (and other reviews I’ve read online), the keyboard contains a rechargable polymer li-on battery that provides around 560 hours of stand-by time and 45 hours of uninterrupted working time.
The range on the bluetooth seems to be fairly good as well. During my testing, I was able to stand almost 25ft away from my cellphone and the keyboard could still communicate with it just like I had the cellphone in my hand. Granted this was line-of-sight, it’s still possible that it can reach a little further. But, the bluetooth spec itself doesn’t allow for too far of a distance. That’s why I stopped testing at the 25ft mark. The box indicates the device works up to 30ft (10M).
All in all, I am extremely satisfied with my new Hype mini wireless bluetooth keyboard. If you’re interested in something that can help you type a little easier on your cellphone and / or tablets, I would definitely recommend picking up one of these little guys to take for a spin. Right now, you can snag one from Amazon for about $6.39. Not a bad price for something so cool. So, click the link below and pick one up from Amazon for yourself or for someone else. I’m already ordering a few of these guys to hand out as quick, easy gifts and stocking stuffers at Christmas.
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