Microsoft's new Bluetooth keyboard plays nice with Android, iOS, and Windows

Microsoft has announced a new compact Bluetooth keyboard with a dedicated switch to jump between Android, iOS, and Windows modes. Doing so will make sure the keyboard's home key does what it's supposed to when connected to your device.

The included cover can prop up the keyboard and hold your device when in use, or detach if you need a little distance from the screen. When the cover is fully closed, the keyboard shuts off. Battery life will last 6 months on a single charge, and in a pinch, ten minutes of charging will provide 8 hours of use.

This Universal Mobile Keyboard will hit retail stores in October with a $79.95 pricetag. More information can be found over at the Microsoft store (opens in new tab). Any takers? How many of you guys already have a Bluetooth keyboard? Do you jump between mobile operating systems often?

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Simon Sage
  • What about Windows PHONE? They mention an Android phone and an iPhone as an example in the article, yet there is no mention at all of Windows Phone compatibility.
  • I think that in WP 9 it will work on phones
  • Ah... "coming soon", right? Just keep waiting... as usual...
  • Trademarked by Microsoft
  • raight from the Microsoft product page. Unbelievable! Computer/Operating System
    Requires a PC that meets the requirements for and has installed one of these operating systems:
    •Microsoft Windows®8+ and Windows RT
    •Macintosh iOS v6+
    •Android 4+
    •Works with tablets and smartphones that have Bluetooth HID (Human Interface Device) keyboard support.
    * Does not work on Windows Phone
  • Windows phone does not support Human Interface Devices (HID) at this time.
  • It doesn't support Xbox One either apparently.
  • "I think that in WP 9 it will work on phones" You don't know that.  Pure speculation and hope.
  • It is quite obvious. Do you think that Windows ARM tablets are all of a sudden gonna lose the ability to use keyboards? We will have one Windows. Use common sense.
  • It's for tablets, not phones.
  • See blog post (and video, once I looked at it).
  • The video is designed to show you that you'd look like a dick if you used this with a phone.
  • Actually it's for WINDOWS tablets, but for Android and iOS devices since, unlike Windows (at least until Windows 9), Android and iOS phones and tablets run the same OS.
  • So they managed to make it work for 3 completely different OS's, but not 4...?
  • Yeah, how dare them only do 3? They should make it for 7! Maybe even 10!
  • That's unacceptable! I want 11 :P
  • 14!
  • & a 1/4
  • When the fourth one is their own... they should give us at least four.
  • WP doesn't support Bluetooth keyboards yet. Get over it or switch?
  • Too many people would rather switch. I'd prefer that Microsoft would have put an update out to support it. Yeah, yeah... Later on, I guess.
  • Denim should support it
  • What my Denim jeans are supported too? Gasp!
  • Windows Phone doesn't support the bluetooth profile ( Bluetooth HID) needed for it...
  • Lumia Denim support Bluetooth Peripherals, so Lumia 730 & 830 has it and all Lumia when we update.
  • It will work for windows on tablets or phones. Windows phone as a brand name is discontinued.
  • Yes! It's compatible with my HTC fuze.
  • Do you really need a keyboard for your phone? (Typed and sent with my on screen keyboard from my Lumia 1520)
  • @Dave Yes. I used an external keyboard a lot with my Galaxy Note. With my 1520 it would work even better for example with OneNote in landscape mode, where the onscreen keyboard uses more than half the screen.
  • THIS! +1520. I want one and I don't even type that much. The very first "threshold/windows 9" mobile device plus this keyboard sounds great.  
  • I don't think windows phone supports Bluetooth hid profile. When it does, it will work. The keyboard seems future proof except for lack of touchpad. Although touch screens fill this role.
  • I don't think there's BT HID support in WP 8.x which this keyboard requires.  Coming in 9. Oh and I hope the Surface Mini will (someday) fit in its cover.
  • Microsoft, the only true cross platform company...
  • ...who fails to implement Bluetooth HID on their own phones! Madness. (I remember custom romming my ZTE Blade to work with a Bluetooth keyboard back in 2011!!)
  • Daniel reported on WP8.1 update 2 like two days ago and Bluetooth HID(Peripherals) was mentioned so its 85% assurance that we will get it.
  • I hope you're right. I hears the same rumours regarding WP8.1!! Regardless, MS are embarrassingly late to market with Bluetooth HID support. Not good for a productivity orientated company.
  • And that post was updated to mention that the source was unreliable and retracted the announcement.
  • Why do phones need a full size keyboard? So much faux rage.
  • Yeah! No windows phone! Waiting for the day when I'll be able to use my mouse and pen drive with my windows phone.
  • Connecting a mouse to my Android phones and having a cursor appear is pretty cool. A lot of people don't even realize they do this. 
  • Yeah it's nice!
  • It will work for windows on tablets or phones. The brand name windows phone is discontinued.
  • It doesn't work on Windows phones so why would you say it does?
  • I wish I had that battery life in my lumia.
  • Cool
  • You have to love the fact that they can make it work for every mobile phone OS except there own!
  • No, they made it for tablets and the phones just so happen to run the same OS. When the ARM version of Windows that runs on phones and tablets comes out, then they'll do the same thing that they're doing for iOS/Android.
  • what exactly do you need a keyboard for on your 4.5" celluar phone?
  • Science?
  • Exactly. I did it once on my phone to try it out, but really don't see any point to it. I'd rather use my SP3 if I'm writing a novel. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android on a BlackBerry Z30
  • YaY good for you that you don't need it but other people do. You have a problem with that?
  • It is GREAT if you're at the office and put your phone in the charger on the desk to have a keyboard on the desk for all your needs, instead of having to take the phone out.
  • I'm waiting for the inner city mass transit rider to post a comment about how car docks and turn by turn directions are useless too.
  • Miracast?
  • A much worse solution to a different issue.
  • How is it worse, you connect a keyboard and use Miracast to project to a bigger screen. If you're going to use a phone screen might as well use the builtin keyboard.
  • Maybe I have misunderstood Miracast. How does it let you type content on your phone on a hardware keyboard?
  • Stupid question.
    A Galaxy Note 3 is far more productive than my 1020 - even though my 1020 has MS Office and a better email system built in...
    Why? Because typing words on a proper keyboard is far preferable to using an on screen keyboard.
    Microsoft really need to go toe to toe with Android/iOS and give us Bluetooth keyboard support (and ideally, pen drive support!).
    The iPhone 6 spanks every Windows Phone into touch in that regard. It's embarrassing given that MS is a productivity company!!
  • it will work on windows tablets and phones. The brand name windows phone no longer exists.
  • Your question is answered in this thread.  Hint:  BT HID support.
  • No love for Windows phone. I think Microsoft should focus on how to make Windows on phones better than other os instead of releasing better updates for them.
  • how is a keyboard an update for anything? 
  • Because this peripheral highlights how MS STILL hasn't implemented Bluetooth HID support. I'm sure Windows Mobile had I back in the day. Symbian certainly did.
  • well windows phone will cease to exist (only ARM/RT to be) pretty soon so who cares?
  • There was Bluetooth HID support way back when it was Pocket PC Phone Edition for crying out loud. The fact that it's been 4 years and WP still don't have features that WM had is inexcusable. And to the people that don't want/need a bluetooth keyboard - stop telling others how they should be using their phones - you look like douches.
  • Hey at this point, I would settle for "the same" clearly they can't make them better, and clearly they can't even make them equivalent, which brings the question, if all microsoft can do is make its own phones worse...why bother?
  • You can't expect Windows Phone to just be on a par with iOS and Android. It takes time to build all these things into the OS while others are still progressing and adding more things. Stop being ridiculous and grow a pair.
  • You know it's been 3 years since WP came out...
  • And Windows Mobile had it before then.
  • And BlackBerry managed more in less time!, mind you.
    It's a shame how slow MS is, really. :-/
  • What your next move? Punching babies? Calm down son.
  • As long as it's Bluetooth it works with phones. Don't u worry. Microsoft will always have your back.
  • You what?
    This doesn't work with Windows Phone...
  • Windows Phone doesn't support Bluetooth HID
  • Why would you want a Bluetooth keyboard for your phone? That's impractical to carry, and you'd just look stupid. Honestly who cares if they make it for other devices. I love all my windows devices but id rather see Microsoft making money so they can focus on us.
  • What if your phone had monitor out "mirracast", and you didn't need to travel with a laptop since you could just browse and email with your phone.... Think outside the box.
  • Yeah this is more for tablets imo. But all the bitchy people here will bitch of course.
  • It's just another in a line of WP shortcomings made extra obvious when Microsoft themselves expose it so blatantly.
  • Amen
  • People are not getting a solution that they would benefit from, and complaining is bitching? You, sir, are an idiot.
  • Why have a phone like a 1520 with a huge screen and MS Office built in (and Miracast support), if you then can't use it as a proper productivity device?!
    It makes no sense to me.
  • Thats what THEY said about large screen phones too. Look who's stupid now.   When you are using a 6" phone - it better allow you do do more than what a 4.5 " screened phone does. Whats the point of productivity if it cant allow you to just type something on your phone using a bluetooth keyboard ?  
  • Lol ohhhh whoops we forgot to write the code in WINDOWS PHONE to support Bluetooth keyboards... This is one of the many reasons why people stick with ios and Android
  • sadly yes. Thanks yet again windows phone team for failing to live up to even the expectations of a mouse and a keyboard.
  • Beautiful and compact. Will definitely buy. I like how everything Microsoft is making these days is about productivity.
  • Apart from Windows Phone, clearly :).
    Lack of Bluetooth HID support is one of my biggest frustrations.
  • I guess windows phone isn't productive? is that wha tthey are doing lately?
  • Well, I just found out that Mobile Office is a truly gimped version of the real deal; it won't show attached images on your documents. Wham! Instant uselessness!
  • I would never buy a product with android or apple logo on it.
  • Can I buy this in EU is my question..
  • It's gonna work with Windows "Phone 9", once it will be RT.
  • no rush, the mobile market will wait for MSFT to get its act together.
  • This is for tablets!
  • The multi device connection is similar to the Logitech k810 which is my favorite keyboard.
  • its dor iOS tablets means iPad, shitty droid tablets and windows tablets not phones. y does a phone need keyboard?
  • Why carry two devices (a laptop and a phone) when the phone can do 90% of the work? A Bluetooth keyboard makes a phone only solution that much more viable
  • so u mean to say u work on excel sheets using all big inputs and formulas on your phone. obviously no one does that. though they must have made it for their own platform. wp9 will merge rt and WP. maybe then only we can use keyboard on our phones. but I still think its good for tablets not phones. tablets are bigger in size hence touch typing isn't easy. for phones its not worth spending.
  • Lots of people use keyboards for their Android large screen phones when stationary. Keep up with technology.
  • Excel in Windows phone is the sadness
  • I'm with spinzero, but I agree with you about Excel--at least on a small screen. I could do a lot of writing on my phone instead of using a tablet or laptop.  A small wireless keyboard is super light and I don't have to worry about someone jacking it when I'm on the train or in the city.
  • True!
  • Oh Daniel pls lets do a re-visit of that rumor about Bluetooth Peripherals for WP 8.1 update 2 so that people will stop ranting?
  • The same rumour about it being built into WP8.1. Yes, get the rumour mill churning to appease us for a while :)!
  • That rumor was false.
  • Looks like this one might be usable on your lap, right? As opposed to for example the Surface Touch Cover, which can't be used on your lap since it doesn't hold the screen in place.
  • ha ha, so it doesn' work on windows phone because WP doesn't support bluetooth HID. I can't wait to see the excuses.
  • You guys are forgetting that the brand name windows phone is being discontinued. So it will work for windows whether on tablet or phone.
  • then they should have shown Lumia device too. y did they showed only tablet? for what?
  • That would be a hint
  • It does not work on Windows phones. Why do you keep saying this in multiple comments? Are you lying or unable to read?
  • Does everything my relatively new Wedge keyboard does, only better and more compact. Damnit!
  • again, too bad they dont support new phones.   i will stick with windows 7.8, hardware keyboard FTW.
  • Idk what's wrong with Microsoft , they don't support their OS? Why no Windows phone support? , I hate Microsoft :'(
  • Your lack of understanding is disturbing.
  • Your level of jerk-ism is disturbing.
  • No jerks except u both
  • Awesome device
  • Straight from the Microsoft product page. Unbelievable! Computer/Operating System
    Requires a PC that meets the requirements for and has installed one of these operating systems:
    •Microsoft Windows®8+ and Windows RT
    •Macintosh iOS v6+
    •Android 4+
    •Works with tablets and smartphones that have Bluetooth HID (Human Interface Device) keyboard support.
    * Does not work on Windows Phone
  • It is starting to get really annoying to read the comments on articles here anymore. Every 9/10 comments is just complain complain complain instead of simply enjoying the phone that they have and being good with what it already does. Who cares if your phone doesn't support a bluetooth keyboard, just because it is technically plausible does not mean it is what it should be used for. You should always carry the best tool for the job, so if you think you need to edit a word document, carry a laptop or tablet around. ... I honestly feel bad for the writers here if they have to read through your comments because it would drive me insane from all the hate.
  • Look, when an article on Windows PHONE Central is about hardware that doesn't work on Windows Phone, but works on iPhones and Android phones... You gotta expect a reaction to that. "You should always carry the best tool for the job, so if you think you need to edit a word document, carry a laptop or tablet around. " LOL. You probably work for Windows Phone marketing. ;)
  • First of all, it doesn't work on just Android or iOS it works on Windows as well. The only platform it doesn't work on is Windows Phone. Second of all, and people need to really get over this, Wpcentral is not just a windows phone website, they cover Microsoft news in general therefore this article is more than relevant. There should be no reason to complain here either, the article was made to show that Microsoft had designed a new Bluetooth keyboard, regardless of the fact the Windows Phone doesn't support it. If you wish to complain go to the forums and do so there so readers like me don't have to deal with whiners like you who litter the comment section with their unneeded input. Though, I will admit, I do want to work for Microsoft so I guess I can take that as a compliment. I just really love what Microsoft does but at the same time I try be real about the problems that exist. If I though hardware Bluetooth support was a killer feature that WP desperately needed I would agree with you guys. However I do not believe that this feature is all that important so I don't believe all of this naysaying is warranted
  • Just because it is not important to you does not mean it is not important. Remember that.
    From my own perspective, I use Word on my phone quite a bit. I would LOVE to be able to use a Bluetooth keyboard (the onscreen keyboard on my 1020 takes up so much editing space!).
    I don't want to take a laptop around when I could so easily achieve the same workload on my 1020.
    Regardless f what you think, both iOS and Android have had this capability for years. Microsoft can't claim to be about productivity when it has such a glaring hole in its OS.
    I love Windows Phone....I hate these deficiencies.
  • Remember this. Just because it is important to you does not mean it is important to the majority of people who wouldn't even think to try and add a Bluetooth keyboard to their phone. What you are wanting to do is specific to a niche and no matter how invaluable or useful this capability may be to you, it does not take away the fact that the majority of people don't want/need it.
    You also can't speak about productivity and trying to type word documents on your phone at the same time. It is the least productive way in order to type up a word document. It is the hardest to be accurate with the least amount of accuracy and speed. So Microsoft not supporting this is not that great of a loss because in all reality you shouldn't be typing up a word document on your phone no matter how Convenient *that's the word you are looking for* it is for you
  • As I say, it's not important to YOU, it is to ME (and judging by this forum, many others).
    It was also a feature that Microsoft deemed important back in Windows Mobile 6.5....
    So yes, defend MS all you like. That does not change the fact that Bluetooth HID is important to many of us.
  • You do realize you can't use this forum to judge what the average person needs right? No normal person is going to be on Wpcentral and they are definitely not going to be commenting in the comment section about how much wp sucks because its missing this one little feature.
    And really now, Windows Mobile???? Everyone knows how well that turned out /s
    Finally, don't see how I'm really defending Microsoft, I'm more like criticizing you and your unusual choice in what device to use when typing a word document then getting mad at Microsoft for not being everything you need all the time. If you and all your friends here seem to think it is so important, let Microsoft know about it through their feedback program and leave the whining off this website where I don't have to deal with it.
  • Just a little heads up. There are lots of normal people on WPCentral - people who want a viable third smartphone platform because they are frustrated with the Google/Apple duopoly.
    You may not see why people would wish to use BT peripherals (or pen drives) with their phones. That's fine. But please stop saying we are wrong to bring up such a feature gap. MS may not have the power to close the app gap, but they sure as hell should be able to implement a Bluetooth standard like HID that has been on some competing smartphone platforms for more than half a decade.
    Or to make it easier for you. A 1520 has a huge screen, Miracast support and MS Office built in. It has all the bones necessary to be a super productive device....yet it is absolutely impossible to connect an external peripheral. A high end smartphone missing such a core feature - poor show.
    For me personally, Bluetooth HID is more important than wireless charging, glance screen and double tap to wake. But I recognize those other things are important to some people. Point being, MS needs to cater to all of our needs asap - they can't afford to hemorrhage WP advocates like us.
  • /end rant ... Hopefully
  • True for iOS and Android as well, and still they're getting the option... From MS, no less! Grief...
  • "WPCentral is not just about Windows Phone"... I've pointed out this peculiar lack in logic as to the naming of the site. If they (and you) want to avoid endless future complaints, they can either 1) change the name of the site, or 2) stick with reporting on Windows Phone. You can't keep your cake AND eat it...!
  • +1
  • Really, this comment thread is for discussion about how I use Bluetooth keyboards?i don't because the only device I have without a keyboard is my Windows phone. I prefer to hear the bitching, as we have been doing since 8.1 BT certification when we all noticed HID was missing.
  • That keyboard doesn't look very high quality. The whole thing is shaking when typed on. And that shiny plastic looks cheap. If Microsoft wants to sell peripherals to Apple and Android fans they're going to have to make something a lot nicer to get any attention considering all the alternatives. If they're trying to capitalize on the small number of people who have a Windows tablet and a non-Windows phone, and want to type with both, well then they should sell dozens and dozens.
  • How doesn't it look "very high quality"?  You seen and used one?  
  • I have to disagree.  It actually looks pretty solid to me.
  • It is a little but pricy. There are very goos Logitech's keyboard outthere
  • I'm always excited for new Microsoft products. This looks pretty lame.
  • Too Bad Google Refuses to Play Nice With Windows Phone! They have thier eyes on Microsoft's forte-the enterprise. Keep Google services off WP, keep people who WOULD adopt the WP platform at bay do to missing Google services, mobile weight of Android among consumers, BYOD, bring android to workplace...Google begins chipping away at Microsoft's enterprise(and home PC-Chomebooks) dominance.
    Google Refuses to play Nice.
  • It looks pretty nice and useful, particulalry when you consider most homes are now BYOD.  In my house, we have Surfaces, Ipads, Androids, Windows Phones and Blackberries, all of which might use the keyboard although the Surfaces have their own, bigger keyboards.  But even there, if someone were using it tablet only and wanted to type something it would come in handy.   I expect that MS will overcome the HID incompatability soon, although it is disconcerting that they still can't quite get their act together.  I have an old portable bluetooth keyboard that I don't use much and I recall at one point way back Blackberry couldn't accomodate the HID standard.  But they were working on it and within a short while their devices were compatible.   This product may also work with BB10 devices as well. 
  • Any takers?  Yes!
  • Great Gadget...
  • No.
  • It doesn't play nice with Windows Phone because Windows Phone doesn't support the Bluetooth HID profile evidently, gee what a surprise.
  • Nice, but what about Windows Phones?
  • Honestly the only real complaint about the Surface Pro 3 is the keyboard (which personally I like). Why cant MSFT give in and design a hard shell keybopard for the Surface Pro 3? they have plenty of weight to work with an still come in equal to the Mac Book Air, with the advantage of touch screen. I hope they do this for Pro 3 with Windows 9.
  • Microsoft is playing really, really, really, really nice with rivals..... What's the idea?
  • In conclusion iOS & Android are kms ahead of wp?
  • I dont have a need personally for a physical keyboard on my phone. And if I didnt have a surface with type cover. I would probably buy this. Really awesome design and that they support every platform right out of the gate, thumbs up! Although reading some of your comments about WP not supporting HID that really sucks. But I would hope they address that soon, it's pretty logical.
  • Will this work when using a Windows RT device connected to a Mac through Teamviewer? I've been unable to use the command key this way currently.
  • I've been using WP from day one, it's always the same thing coming soon. always the same thing ios ,android no WP. I'm coming to the end of waiting for a high end device my carrier, heck we can't even get WP8.1 from T-MO. The Note 4 edge is starting to look good to me.between all the exclusives and lack of high end devices and support from MS why should we support them when they do not support there own products,
  • This keyboard will work with Windows Mobile 6.5 (like my iGo Stowaway) but not any version of Windows Phone released in the last 4 years. Completely unbelievable.
  • Amen
  • I have the keyboard that came with the 2520 tablet.
  • Hrm. This community is starting to make me sad. Quite a good bit of whining going on. I always thought our community was on the brighter end of the spectrum given the ole MS vs Apple days, but common sense just seems to be in scarce supply these days across the board. People, its called pipelines. As we've seen time and time again, Microsoft did not build a single pipeline and center it around Windows Phone. Should they have? Perhaps. This is why they are restructuring and laying off 18,000 people. When right and left sides of the brain aren't in sync you end up with confusion. Don't take this "other platforms" first news so danged personal. Threshold is upon us and things will Start to make more sense.
  • Except its far too often that ms either doesn't implement something until later (alot of times MUCH later than it needs to be) or we have to wait forfreakingever for support to show up. Then they also update their own apps on other platforms first while their own platform languishes with either good enough or barely passable.
  • I agree far too much whining. I say that this means that Microsoft and windows phone users are better screen typists with our superior intellect and better integrated keyboards that we are not in need of a keyboard peripheral on our phones. ;)
  • Test
  • Does Microsoft have any programmers? Seems they could use some.
  • I have 2 Bluetooth keyboards. The Stowaway compact Bluetooth keyboard (I used to use with my HTC Touch to take note in Mobile Word on Windows Mobile 6) It runs on AAA batteries (lol). And I have the Microsoft mobile Bluetooth keyboard I use with laptops and my ASUS note 8 Tablet. I wish ASUS would make a windows phone.
  • I see all the comments asking what about windows phone and to that I say who the heck wants to type up something on their phone? 
  • Yeah that's crazy. Except in the advertising video linked to in this article that is the EXACT feature that Microsoft showcases with Android phones and iPhones. And lots of people use BT keyboards with those phones ALREADY. But yeah, since you don't want to (or claim not to want to in order to defend MS, hard to know) why would anyone else, right?
  • That much battery backup is amazing
  • Yea exactly!
  • Exactly
  • Why not still Windows Phone!!!!!!?????
  • STILL no decent widows phone support, but great with every version of Android.... LEL