As a writer who is also on social media, this gadget is my best new tool in years!

As a writer who is also on social media, this gadget is my best new tool in years!

After the holidays, I had $50 to spend at Amazon.

I already knew I wanted a Bluetooth (wireless) keyboard to use with my phone. I’m going to be recovering from hip replacement surgery, and using my laptop would just not be as convenient.

I decided to go with the

iClever folding keyboard (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

iClever is a brand I’ve really liked…they don’t feel like the most luxurious or top of the line, but their user interface design has been terrific (very easy to use), and they work as advertised. I got an iClever waterproof speaker that I use in the bathroom and connect to an

Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*)

(mine is a 2nd gen…this is a link to a 3rd gen), mostly for listening to the news (my “Flash Briefing”) while I get ready.

It’s been very reliable.

Well, this keyboard far exceeded my expectations as a writer!

I type pretty quickly: last time I was tested (many years ago…likely not true now), I typed in the 90s (words per minute…wpm). That’s not super-fast, but it’s fast. I’m picky about my keyboards; sometimes they aren’t responsive enough to pick up my light typing style (many speedy typists use less pressure on the keys than slower ones).

The “feel” of this keyboard is excellent…I’d say equivalent to my laptop’s keyboard. It folds up to a secure slim metal enclosed device…I feel safe putting it in my pocket with my Fire tablet (I have big pockets on the weekends).

Here’s a picture of it next to a teaspoon, to give you a sense of the size. It’s about as thick as a finger.

aluminum-cased keyboard with black closure, folded like a book, next to a teaspoon (they are approximately the same length) on a wooden background

iclever IC-BK05 next to a teaspoon

I said I’m a good typist…I’m not a good thumb texter. I’ve just never gotten the hang of that. I mostly dictate my texts…or, I did before this. Speaking out loud is not always convenient, and at this point, I’m more accurate typing than speech-to-text is. I have already paired it to my Galaxy S8, so when I unfold it, it is ready to type within a second or so.

I certainly pull it out just to type a short text, now, or even to enter a search for Google or a GIF.

I can also type longer things…and do. If I thought I’d have to do some serious writing during lunch at work, I used to bring my personal laptop (in addition to my work laptop). That’s no longer necessary…I can type effectively on my iClever.

I also, love, love, love that it has keyboard shortcuts! I can use CTRL+C to copy and CTRL+V to paste, for example. Long-pressing to perform those operations, as I’d have to with just my phone, can be difficult to get to work properly.

Another giant one? Alt+Tab! Windows users are hopefully familiar with that: it’s how you switch between open programs on a Windows computer. So much easier to do that than to tap a teensy icon to open up a “deck” of my programs, swipe to the correct one, and then tap. It’s Alt+TAB, TAB, TAB (until I get to the one I want) then just release.

Is it perfect?

No. 🙂

I may just have not found the setting yet, but it always opens up with the backlight on (there are three colors of backlighting for the keys). I can turn it off easily, but it takes a lot more battery charge and I’ll rarely use it.

One key has seemed a little loose, but it always settles quickly…no big deal.

The other thing is that I’d like a way to lock it into the flat position. It holds that shape reasonably well…I’ve used it many times on a pillow on my lap. Still, having it be rigid (maybe with a swinging arm across the back) would be nice.

If you are a writer, or just someone who wants to write things on a phone or tablet a lot (and aren’t an expert thumb typists), I highly recommend it!

One more note: there is an older version without the backlight, which is about $10 cheaper…

iClever Bluetooth keyboard without backlight (at AmazonSmile*)

Assuming everything else is about the same, that might be better for most people. It’s a 90 hour battery charge life…while using it. My version is 300 hours…but only 5 hours when using the backlight. I haven’t tested the less expensive one, though. I can see times when the backlight might be useful, even though I see really well in the dark (I think that’s tied to my color vision deficiency). On an airplane, for example, you might be able to avoid using the overhead light…but your phone/tablet would obviously be lit up anyway.

I’ve been showing it off: might become a “prize” at some point at work, when we do those sorts of things. I was amused when someone described a keyboard to me as “quaint”, and I get that. I sometimes lightheartedly kid people when they say, “Do you have a pen?” I’ll say, “No, but I have a keyboard: would you like to borrow that?” 🙂 I feel like saying, “Gosh, I think I left my pen in my saddlebags…my horse is hitched outside,” but that wouldn’t be very friendly… 😉

I also hope to use it in VR…I plan to test that soon. Using it in VR would be even easier than looking at my phone during recovery.

What do you think? What’s been the best writing tool you’ve found? Have you used iClever…if so, what do you think? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Note: I am writing this ahead because I am scheduled for that surgery on January 17th…and I don’t know how capable of cogent writing I’ll be for a while afterwards. In this case, that might mean I don’t respond to your comments very quickly.

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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

 

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3 Responses to “As a writer who is also on social media, this gadget is my best new tool in years!”

  1. Harold Delk Says:

    Bufo, first let me offer my hopes for a speedy rehab from your recent surgery; have had a few friends who all told me they had few problems at first and now are back to almost full speed within six or so months.

    I have been using a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard with my iPhone which replaced my Fire Phone and also pairs well with an old Fire tablet and an iPad. I can pair up to three devices with the keyboard by pressing dedicated keys to switch seamlessly from one to the other. The keys are marked for Windows and Mac both … a win for us Mac users. Been using this one for a few years and find it excellent and with good key response … and paid less than $20 for it on a Deal of the Day. When I am listening to music while paired to Alexa I can use the volume keys and mute as well from the keyboard via the KB pairing to the iPad; mighty convenient. It holds a charge for months on end so I routinely charge it at the beginning of every even-numbered month. My typing on small devices is much easier and more accurate and faster than trying to see and touch those little spots on the phone screen especially using number and function keys. Seems to work with all the cmd combos as well.

    Take care, heal well, and know that we are all pulling for you in this little community of ours.

    Harold

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      Sounds like a similar set-up, and I have liked Logitech devices in the past.

      As for the healing: the biggest thing is that I have to not be too confident. If I didn’t know what I’d had done, I would probably have returned to work by now. 😉 Not with standing in front of a class or rounding through a clinic, but I certainly feel like I could work from my desk. Occupational Therapy has signed me off on my techniques; Physical Therapy is coming again today (to the house), but that’s all looking good (knock virtual wood).

      I appreciate everybody’s support! Hope things are going well for you and yours!

  2. Round up #183: | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] As a writer who is also on social media, this gadget is my best new tool in years! […]

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