This Quirky Keyboard Case Turns Your iPhone Into a BlackBerry
Made with love by two well-known phone reviewers.
Have you ever looked at your iPhone and longed for a QWERTY keyboard like the good ol’ BlackBerry days? You’re not the only one.
Phone reviewers Michael Fisher (you might know him as MrMobile on YouTube) and Kevin Michaluk (CrackBerry Kevin) are launching Clicks, a keyboard case for the iPhone 14 Pro, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max. The super long silicone case connects to a compatible iPhone via its port (Lightning for the 14 Pro and USB-C for the 15 Pros). Other nice details include backlit keys, a vegan leather backplate for grip, and passthrough charging (standard for the 14 Pro and fast for 15 Pros). Clicks also works with wireless chargers and some MagSafe chargers.
At $139 (14 Pro and 15 Pro) and $159 (15 Pro Max), Clicks is a pricey accessory that will appeal to nostalgia. Why make an iPhone keyboard case in 2024? Why not? There are sillier iPhone case accessories and toys than Clicks. “It comes down to three big things: space, shortcuts, and sensation,” says Fisher in his launch video. With a keyboard case, you get back the screen real estate that’s lost to an on-screen keyboard, you get shortcuts (i.e. Cmd + H to return to the home screen, Cmd + space opens Spotlight search, etc.), and typing feels better.
It’s not the first time somebody has made a keyboard case for the iPhone. A decade ago, Ryan Seacrest released the Typo, a QWERTY case that connected to iPhones over Bluetooth. BlackBerry sued the company for infringing on its keyboard patents and won, effectively shutting it down and ending sales of the product. Clicks seems to avoid this with round keys, Command (Cmd) button like a Mac keyboard, and a microphone button for activating Siri or voice dictation.
In his video, Fisher says they tapped Joseph Hofer, one of the designers of the BlackBerry Bold, and Vivek Bhardwaj, also a veteran of BlackBerry (and Apple), as product advisors for Clicks. “One of the interesting things about designing a mobile keyboard in 2024 is that you have to balance what was good about old QWERTY phones with what makes sense on a modern one,” Fisher says.
The 36 polycarbonate buttons are made into a silicone membrane and laid on top of nickel-plated dome switches.
“We’re not just replicating what’s gone before. This is a keyboard made for the iPhone.” Fisher also notes there’s a learning curve. The product site says it takes two hours to learn how to use it, two days to get good at typing on it, and two weeks before using Clicks becomes second nature.
Some downsides you should be aware of before you buy: Clicks doesn’t work with Lightning or USB-C Apple EarPods or headphones (wireless headphones and earbuds work normally) and the case isn’t water-resistant and doesn’t have any IP rating for dust. You can find a full FAQ here.
At launch — shipping by February 1 for the 14 Pro model, mid-March for the 15 Pro version, and “early spring” for the 15 Pro Max edition — Clicks is only available in English, but Fisher says other languages could be made based on demand.
There are plans beyond the iPhone, too. The company wants to make the keyboard cases for Android phones as well. Return of the HTC/T-Mobile G1 and Moto Droid, anyone? “We’ve got big ideas I’m not allowed to talk about just yet.”
The company is selling Clicks in BumbleBee yellow and London Sky blue/gray, but will do more color drops in the future.
“It’s something that goes back to the past, not just for nostalgia but to reclaim some of those good things we shouldn’t have given up,” Fisher said.