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Pairing the iPhone 4 with the Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard

June 28, 2010 • Darrell Shandrow

The Freedom Pro Bluetooth keyboard from Freedom Input may be used as an alternative to the touch screen for typing text. This can be particularly helpful for performing text entry tasks such as taking notes and writing e-mail.

As of June 28, Freedom Input has not provided instructions for connecting the keyboard to the iPhone in its knowledge base or manuals. This document provides those instructions in a format that is especially useful for blind people.

The gestures and instructions in this document assume VoiceOver is enabled.

Preparing the Keyboard

Follow these steps to prepare the keyboard for use:

  1. Place the keyboard on a desk or other hard surface and orient it so that the rough plastic end is to the left and the rectangular raised button is to the right.
  2. Press in on the button to release the keyboard and open it to its full size.
  3. Locate the hinge on the top of the keyboard near its middle.
  4. Locate the indented lever to the left of the hinge and pull it to the right using a fingernail. This keeps the keyboard open during use. Move the lever back to the left before folding the keyboard.
  5. Locate the raised, round, vertical battery cover at the far left end of the keyboard.
  6. Pull the top half of the battery cover forward and up until it has been removed.
  7. Insert two AAA batteries flat-end-first.
  8. Replace the battery cover.

Pairing the Keyboard with the iPhone

Follow these steps to pair your keyboard with the iPod Touch or iPhone:

  1. Disconnect the iPhone from the data cable so it is not docked or plugged into the battery charger or computer.
  2. Turn on your iPhone.
  3. Tap the Home button.
  4. Double tap Settings.
  5. Double tap General.
  6. Double tap Bluetooth.
  7. Move to the Bluetooth button and make sure it says “on.” If not, double tap the button to change its status. The iPhone will start searching for available Bluetooth devices.
  8. On the keyboard, locate the two slide switches near the lower left-hand corner.
  9. Move the top switch to the right to select HID (Human Interface Device) mode.
  10. Move the bottom switch to the left to turn on the keyboard. Move it back to the right anytime you won’t be needing to use the keyboard.
  11. Locate a small hole immediately above the two slide switches.
  12. Using a pen or stylus, press and hold the button in the reset hole for four to five seconds. This makes the keyboard discoverable so it can be paired with the phone.
  13. Flick left or right around the Bluetooth screen on the iPhone until you find the Freedom Pro Keyboard button.
  14. Double tap the button to start the pairing process.
  15. Listen carefully to VoiceOver until you hear four numbers. Remember these numbers.
  16. Enter the numbers you heard on the keyboard and press the enter key.
  17. VoiceOver should say the keyboard has been paired. Double tap the OK button.

Now that the keyboard has been paired successfully, you can use it to type in apps such as Mail and Notes. Simply locate Mail or Notes on the Home screen, double tap and start using the Freedom Pro keyboard anywhere you would normally have to use the on-screen keyboard.

Major thanks go to Jon, a technical support representative with Freedom Input, for his patience and thorough assistance with the Bluetooth pairing process on the keyboard.

Please feel free to add a comment to this post if you encounter any problems following these instructions or I can help in any other way.

15 opinions on “Pairing the iPhone 4 with the Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard

  1. This, fortunately, is also the exact same procedure for the IConnex keyboard, which I gather is the same keyboard but with only HID support, thus, only one slide switch. It’s probably important to note that numbers don’t start where one expects; there are two keys to the left of the 1.

  2. Has any way been found to access some of the other features of the Freedom Pro keyboard? For instance, there’s the “Calendar” button on the left-hand side of the keyboard, but pressing it does nothing. Are there, perhaps, some drivers somewhere that can be downloaded and installed that will maximize Freedom Pro’s usefulness?

  3. is there a way of replicating the double tap feature on the iconnex keyboard? can’t seem to find the option key on the keyboard to do VO keystrokes

  4. Unfortunately, the special keys on the left-hand side of the Freedom Pro keyboard don’t do anything when it is paired with an iDevice. Freedom Input’s technical support team told me there’s nothing that can be done about the issue, since the keyboard’s firmware can’t be updated.

    The I-Connex keyboard has media keys that do work with the iPhone in a similar manner as Apple’s keyboard.

    Keep in mind that these keyboards work like a Windows keyboard. The key immediately to the left of the space bar, which would normally be alt on a Windows system, is option when it is being used on an Apple device. So, hold down the alt key and the control key, the third one to the left of the space bar, together while issuing VoiceOver commands.

    I hope this helps. Please keep the comments coming.

  5. so basically this keyboard is only good for text entry and in order to enter any menues on the handset, you still have to double tap on the screen?

  6. In order to move around the different areas, instead of having to use your fingers, you can use normal voiceover navigation keys, ctrl+alt left and right arrows move around the different buttons and areas of the current screen, and, ctrl+alt space is the same as double tapping an item. two keys left of the left arrow, can be used as a home button also. I find the layout of the keys for the i-connex is sort of strange, having two space keys, but, it seems to be a nice keyboard so far. Hope this little info is help to someone.

  7. What applications work? I can type in the notepad but when I try to type in a Google Doc it types in all CAPS and won’t do lower case.

  8. Just got a new iPhone 4S for the speech accessibility. I found the on-screen keyboard a bit slow and frustrating. Thanks to your advice I got my old Freedom Pro working with it which sould help enormously. Pity there are no drivers like with the Nokia phones to make function keys emulate some of the gestures. Thanks again.

  9. Thanks a million I am able to use my freedom pro keyboard after only 4 minutes trying to pairing with my new iphone 4s. G_D bless you.

  10. I bought the Freedom Pro Keyboard for my iPhone 4. I hadn’t noticed that the iConnex keyboard is more adapted to the iPhone. Or is it? Should I return the Freedom Pro? is there a real advantage of the iConnex for the iPhone?

  11. I have an Iphone 4S. I recently paired a bluetooth keyboard with the phone and it allowed me to type but did not voice the text as I typed. It did read when I backspaced. Is this a problem with the Iphone?

  12. I have an older freedom keyboard without the HID switch. Is it possible to pair it with my iphone4? When I set the iphone to search it does not discover the keyboard.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

  13. Following the instructions found above, I paired my iPhone 3GS (MB715LL/A Running iOS 5) to the Freedom Pro Bluetooth Keyboard. All indications showed that the pairing was successful. Please note, I’ve never used this iPhone with other Bluetooth devices.

    Here’s the issue:
    The keys t, y, [, ], and shift aren’t responsive at all.

    Let me know if you have any suggestions to solve this dilemma. I’ve tried new batteries, turning the iPhone and keyboard off/on simultaneously, off/on at different times…

    If you know of one, please post a support phone number that I can call – I’ve tried the U.S. numbers I can find on the internet – they ring twice and then give me a busy signal.

    Thanks!

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