Use a Mac as a Bluetooth Keyboard for iPhone, iPad, or Android with Type2Phone
If you don’t have a spare Bluetooth keyboard to connect to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch with, why not use a Mac? This seems like a no brainer of an idea, but until the Mac app Type2Phone came along, I haven’t heard of any such solution. The app works by pairing a Mac to the iOS device (technically it works with Androids too), which is fooled into thinking the Mac is a Bluetooth keyboard, then all you have to do is type in the Mac app and it appears in iOS. Smart huh?
- Type2Phone costs $4.99 on the Mac App Store (App Store link)
Requirements for using Type2Phone are fairly basic: you’ll obviously need a Bluetooth enabled Mac and iOS device that is set to discoverable, and Mac OS X 10.6.6 and iOS 3.2 or later. Then all you need to do is launch the app on the Mac, and from the iPhone/iPad tap on Settings > General > Bluetooth to enable and then select the visible Mac to pair the iOS device to.
Other than the ability to use a Mac keyboard as a way to type on the iPad or iPhone, you can also use the app to finally copy text from Mac OS X and paste it directly to an app on the iOS device. These two features are so useful that it makes you wish Apple had included them in iOS and Mac OS X directly, it just makes sense.
This is a great find by Lifehacker, who reminds us that the price of the app is significantly less than the price of a separate bluetooth keyboard.
If you’re having problems getting the app to work, here’s a quick little troubleshooting guide from the description on the Mac App Store:
When attempting to pair, your iOS device may not list your Mac or indicate that it is incompatible. The workaround is as follows:
- If the Mac is listed with a blue arrow, tap that arrow and select “Forget this device”.
- Disable Bluetooth on the Mac
- Reenable Bluetooth on the Mac
- Set Bluetooth on the Mac to be discoverable
- Launch Type2Phone
- Now restart your iPhone / iPad
- On your iPhone / iPad, go to Settings > General > Bluetooth
- Enable Bluetooth on your iPhone
- Tap the name of the Mac to start the pairing procedure
If this convoluted procedure is needed, it is needed only once during initial pairing. Future connections are initiated from the Type2Phone software.