Microsoft launches universal keyboard for iOS, Android & Windows devices
Microsoft has announced that it will be making available a new mobile keyboard that will work universally across all iOS, Android and Windows platforms. Redmond has recently been busy promoting its services on non-Windows hardware in its new cross-platform endeavour, and seeing it’s hardware business follow suit is not entirely surprising with its efforts to embrace other platforms.
The Universal Mobile Keyboard will be able to work with all iPads, iPhones, Android and Windows tablets and smartphones that are 10mm or thinner. It will retail at $79.95 and can be paired with up to three devices running different OSes, whilst allowing users to switch between devices using what the company is calling the “OS Switch”. The switch also functions as the Windows Control key, the iOS Command key and Android’s Home button.
Following the common practice of recent mobile Bluetooth keyboards, the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard can be used as a stand and cover, whilst also capable of being useful as a standard Bluetooth keyboard. It supports all the newest versions of OSess, including devices running Apple iOS 6 and higher, Android 4 or higher, Windows 8 and higher and Windows RT. However, it won’t work with Windows Phone since Windows Phone does not currently support the Bluetooth Human Interface Device (HID) keyboard protocol.
The keyboard is set to arrive next month, comes with a three-year limited warranty, and will last six months on a single charge. Alongside the keyboard, the company has also announced a new version of its Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse priced at $59.95, and the $29.95 Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 Limited Edition. The only new device announced that pairs with Microsoft’s hardware with Windows specifically is the company’s $59.95 Xbox One controller for Windows. Both mice will be available in September, and the Xbox One controller will arrive in November.
If you are in the market for a new keyboard, you may also want to take a look at Logitech’s K480, a Bluetooth keyboard that can connect up to three devices at once.