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I'm wondering about the feasibility of using my iMac's built-in bluetooth as a source for keyboard input to my iphone.

There are times I want to type longer messages in my iphone, i keep a bluetooth keyboard around just to have a full sized keyboard to use on the iphone. I don't use the keyboard on my iMac because I have an ergonomic keyboard there that I much prefer. What I think would be great is to use that corded ergonomic keyboard as an input to the iphone via a bluetooth device that uses the iMac.

Any thoughts on this?

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    I wanted a feature like this a LONG time ago. Pair your computer to your iPhone/iPad, use some client app to push keyboard focus (ala. a virtual machine) onto the iPhone/iPad. That would be wonderful. – Jason Salaz Nov 30 '10 at 5:54
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There are apps in App Store: iKeyboard ($9.99), Type2Phone ($9.99), 1Keyboard ($9.99) and Typeeto ($4.99) that allow to use your Mac's keyboard as Bluetooth keyboard. The obvious requirements are Mac with Bluetooth and recent OS X.

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    Do these keyboards work with iPhone/iPad as well (which is the actual question here)? – nohillside Nov 16 '11 at 8:53
  • @patrix Yes, any iOS device above v3.2 – Sergei Dec 5 '11 at 14:09
  • This is the answer I'm looking for – mko Feb 7 '12 at 10:52
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    I used Type2Phone for a long time, but got very annoyed with it's mouse driven interface (read: slow), not to mention mostly unnecessary interface (watch the letters fly by! whatever). I also wanted to use it for more than just iOS devices. I stumbled on 1Keyboard which I enjoy quite a bit. It's a generic bluetooth keyboard (and mouse!) binding app. I seem to recall seeing a Type2Phone update addressing some of these, but I don't intend to switch back at the moment. – Jason Salaz Sep 29 '13 at 20:11
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2017 Edit: As mentioned in other (newer) answers, there are iPhone apps available that can act as Bluetooth keyboards from the Mac. I've been using Typeeto myself. My original answer should be considered quite out of date now.

I'd recommend using the dedicated Bluetooth keyboard if it's not too much hassle, as it's currently the most elegant solution.

If you really want to type from the iMac though, you'll need a Jailbroken iPhone. There is a VNC server called "Veency" available from Cydia. You'll then need a VNC client for the iMac (I use JollysFastVNC myself). The iMac and iPhone also need to be networked via either Wifi or Bluetooth LAN.

You'll want to ignore the video and just look at the iPhone's screen while typing, because it lags heavily.

I would love to have something more elegant to suggest, but other mouse/keyboard-only solutions like Synergy or Teleport are Desktop/Notebook only at the moment.

  • This was a terrific idea and works like a charm, better even because now my mouse can be my finger. It's a ridiculous step backwards, but it's the outcome I wanted, simply using different tech. Brilliant mate. – Mutant Dec 2 '10 at 23:10
  • @Mutant, It's not backwards. The touchscreen was actually invented before the mouse. Past (and present) research had shown that people find touchscreen clumsy for real extended work and prefered using the mouse. Thus the mouse entered market mass production and the touchscreen stayed within the academic labs. Steve jobs, knowing how prestige works, took the buried touchscreen out from the musty old labs and brought it into the new market. The current "touchscreen hype" is simply because it feels new to people, but that hype wouldn't last 5 decades. – Pacerier Feb 11 '17 at 16:48
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If your iPhone is jailbroken, you can install a BlueTooth driver that supports external keyboards.

  • Sounds like another good reason to skip jailbreaking your phone—external BT keyboards work just fine with my non-jailbroken iDevices, without having to install anything. – Dori Dec 1 '10 at 4:37
  • Not until recently... – user588 Dec 1 '10 at 6:38
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I've just installed Typeeto today and it seems to work really well. It's easy to pair with multiple devices and then select which one you want to connect.

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Try 1Keyboard for Mac

Type on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV using your Mac's keyboard. Turn your Mac into a Bluetooth keyboard that works with all of your devices.

1Keyboard
(source: eyalw.com)

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