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TrewGrip wants to change how you type on your mobile device

Philip Michaels | July 24, 2014
TrewGrip is for anyone who sees their mobile devices as a tool for getting things done but finds that an onscreen keyboard cramps their style.

The people who will find the TrewGrip useful--at least, in theory--include anyone who sees their smartphone or tablet as a tool for getting things done but finds that an onscreen keyboard cramps their style. Often, I've perused the email on my iPhone, come across a message that requires a thoughtful, lengthy reply... and have held off responding until I'm in front of a laptop rather than tap out a message, letter by letter, using my iPhone. I can only imagine how mobile workers with more pressing productivity needs than mine must crave a physical keyboard--and not necessarily a portable keyboard that's either built into a case or works as a standalone input device connecting over Bluetooth. Those keyboards still require you to find a space somewhere to sit down and type; with the TrewGrip, you can move about freely, typing as you go.

How to train your TrewGrip
It's easy enough to get your TrewGrip up and running. Both the iPhone 5c and iPad mini I used in my testing attached easily enough to the TrewGrip's suction mount. Pairing your keyboard to your mobile device is a pretty straightforward affair. For my iPhone 5c, it was simply a matter of delving into the Settings app, turning on Bluetooth, and selecting the TrewGrip from the list of available devices. Pairing the keyboard with my MacBook Pro for training exercises--more on that in a moment--was similarly simple. About the only trouble I had was resuming the pairing when I went to use the TrewGrip after a day or so of inactivity. Sometimes I had to fiddle with the connection, telling my phone to forget about the TrewGrip before re-pairing. It was an annoyance, but not a deal-killer.

The bigger obstacle to overcome for most users won't be setting up the TrewGrip, but getting used to the layout of a flipped-over keyboard. TrewGrip's makers hope to ease the transition by offering an online typing tutor with exercises that gave me flashbacks to that ninth grade typing class. TrewGrip says that a couple of hours of practice will make you as proficient with its keyboard as you would be typing with your thumbs; spend eight hours or so with the typing tutor, and the company contends your typing speed will get pretty close to what you can do with a traditional QWERTY keyboard. One might question if the kind of person so hyper-focused on productivity that they're willing to pay up for something that lets them walk and type at the same time is really going to have eight hours to spare to relearn how to touch-type, but I suppose if you're that committed to the cause, you'll make the time.

 

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