I ordered it direct from the freedom site on June 12 before the product was available and waited a month for it. Shipping also took about 10 days. I sent an email asking about an availability date to which the response was they were waiting for manufacturing of the first batch from China.
Perhaps it is on backorder due to a larger demand?
Does the freedom pro work with the iPhone or iPod Touch?
I see. That makes sense. I emailed them recently and didn't get a response on when the next batch would be available; our order was on 6/26, but who knows when they'll be getting it back in stock, so I'm going to wait for now.
I don't know for sure about the freedom pro, but several people have indicated it works definitely with the iPad, and so it should work (in HID mode) with the iPhone/iPod as well. Also, Freedom's site indicates that it should work with iOS devices, but I'm not sure if that's only the latest revision of the Freedom Pro (or how many there are).
Just a little feedback on the typing experience with a folding keyboard. I am a software engineer in the process of retiring from NASA (JSC) and beginning to write a novel. So typing speed is important to me. I love the iPad. I've managed to work out a system through which I can move chapters of my story between my mac and my iPad. I do this through Pages which seems the simplest implementation. On my Mac I use Scrivener. Anyway it lets me carry my story with me and type anywhere I want including heaved to on my sailboar.
I bought a Freedom Pro folding keyboard. It is a well made keyboard but my typing speed on it ***** for two reasons. The space keys are tiny and elevated so just bringing your thumbs up to type a space doesn't always work. I have to elevate my hands to type spaces which is very tiring. I have lately been setting the iPad up with the Apple cover which gives it an upslope. Then I lean the keyboard up on the edge of the iPad. That mostly reduces the space problem.
The second issue is more difficult. The right side shift key is much smaller than a full size keyboard. That coupled with the fact the up, down, left and right keys are in the same area, leads to missing the shift and generally hitting the up key, which screws up the line above big time. I spend a major amount of time backing out of these errors.
I normally type around forty five words per minute, but on this keyboard, I manage less than twenty.
I have an Apple wireless keyboard which works just fine with the iPad. But again it's just a bit too big to haul around with the iPad. It's also heavy. Carrying the iPad and it feels like a laptop, which is part of the sensual experience that the iPad inherently leaps past.
There is another issue with the Pro which is more subtle. Due to the need to fold in the middle, the keys in that part of the Pro keyboard do not have regular spacing. They are variable width with the 'V' key being nearly twice the width of the rest and the 'B' key being roughly half the width of the rest. That too throughs off my typing. However, I think in the absence of even the substandard width shift key and the subsequent 'Which way did he go, George' typing experience, ignoring the shift problem, it would be functional.
Thanko is re-releasing the old Stowaway keyboard, which appears to be just fine. The keys when the keyboard is compacted after opening are regularly spaced the directional keys are not so easily hit. At present it is only available from Thanko's Japanese web site and most importantly it is USB not Bluetooth. That is my next option subject to some nice person steering me to a solution I missed.
I would really appreciate any feedback on the typing experience on the old Stowaway keyboards from the viewpoint I am presenting.
Finally, there's a little computer company that we all know. I want their solution when all is said and done.
As for me we have three laptops in the house. The advantage of the iPod Touch is I can stick it in my pocket and it turns on and off in an instant. It is my choice for every day use and is with me all the time. When at home I'm using a PC. When I'm out it is the iPod Touch. I've pretty much stopped hauling a laptop with me. For long trips it is the iPod Touch too. It is all about traveling light.
We are planning a two week trip to France later this year. I want something with me that I can use for directions, check email, check the news and weather, and make Skype calls. I want it with me but I don't want to lug a laptop around all day in a backpack and go through the "come out of sleep" to do a quick check. Nor do I want the laptop left in the hotel room all day. So the idea of bringing the iPod Touch is great, except I want to be able to make notes and perhaps provide longer answers to email than are practical on the virtual keyboard. So I'll leave the folding keyboard in the hotel and just use it in the evenings when sending email.
Other than trips I see little use for the folding keyboard in my life. If I have something long to type I just go to one of the computers.
I think there are practical uses for a folding keyboard. If the iPod Touch had a QWERTY physical keyboard, a slide-out or clamshell for example, I would be a happy user. As it is I find the virtual keyboard very frustrating. It is okay for short entry but slow and with errors.
I had a Sony PDA for many years (still works and is right in front of me) with a stylus and I would prefer that. I could enter text much faster than Apple's virtual keyboard.
David., my principle use would be for traveling. I don't need to do any of the things you need a computer to do well, but my readers ask some pretty complicated questions and that leads to long emails sometimes. But since I began this thread I've gotten a lot more comfortable with the onscreen keyboard, so for me the question is moot now. I prefer to carry as little gear around as possible.
Really too bad that this keyboard is discontinued. I used it for years with my Palm devices and I use it now with my iPad and my iPhone.
It has a nearly full sized keyboard, full five rows of keys and the smallest footprint of any FULL SIZED folding keyboard.
I wonder if they could be talked into resuming production now that it could be used the the iPhone and iPad under OS4?
MSI BK100 Foldable Universal Bluetooth Keyboard
Perfect (for iPhone, not iPad). Full size (excluding Function keys), attached stand, but out of production and out of stock everywhere
FYI everyone, the Freedom Pro works great (in HID mode) with my iPod Touch 3rd generation. Unfortunately, however, none of the function keys are supported (they work in Android - I tested that also in SPP mode), and currently most apps don't support the arrow keys, though an update should be coming soon for apps like Docs to Go.
I have an old Palm Wireless Keyboard with Bluetooth. It looks like it was made by the same manufacturer of the Freedom Pro Keyboard and the MSI BK100. I was able to pair it with my iPad, but experienced the same problems as others with the shift key being located to the right of the up arrow key. Lost lines of typing are not fun.
Another issue I ran into is that after closing the keyboard, which is supposed to turn it off, the iPad gets stuck in a state where it apparently still thinks a keyboard is attached and the onscreen virtual keyboard no longer shows up when I touch in a text field/typing area.
Oddly, even if I go to Settings and manually disconnect the keyboard or turn off Bluetooth altogether, the virtual keyboard still stays hidden. The only way I've been able to fix things is to power the iPad down and back up again.
I've read in another thread that the Eject key on the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard should cause the iPad to start bringing up the onscreen virtual keyboard again. Unfortunately these third-party keyboards do not have an Eject key. I haven't tried all possible Fn/Ctrl/Cmd combinations. Anybody know whether there's a keystroke for these keyboards that will send the "Eject" signal?
This is a pretty old thread, but in my recent searches I was unable to find an answer to how you eject a Freedom Universal Keyboard from the iPad, I thought I should reply since I just found out what worked.
I have an old Freedom Universal keypad for Palm. I recently got an iPad 2 and paired the keyboard. I found that I could eject it by simply switching it off. Sliding the switch from HID to off will allow the iPad text pad to come up next time text entry is called for. Switching the keyboard back on (to HID) and it repairs within seconds. So this seems to work almost as well as an eject key.
I have not tested this enough to know if leaving the keyboard off for longer intervals allows it to re-pair again automatically.
There is still the issue of none of the special apple keys being available. For example, I'd like Apple/F to bring up the search option to search web pages. I don't know how to do that on the iPad 2 either. Know that I am using it again I am reminded how hard it is to type on this Freedom keyboard. I might still get an Apple wireless keyboard if I am going to do much typing on the iPad.