I knew there was a reason I was keeping my old Think Outside Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard from my Windows Mobile days. Windows Mobile and for that matter Blackberry and Palm had Bluetooth keyboard profiles in 2005. Apple has finally implemented the keyboard profile for both the iPad and now the iPhone.
The Apple keyboard profile is compatible with the Think Outside (acquired by iGo) StoweAway keyboard.
Here is a picture of my 5 row Bluetooth keyboard paired to my iPhone 4. The fn + key don't seem to work which makes sense but otherwise it is fully functional. There is also a smaller 4 row keyboard which is available on eBay northwards of $170. It has crossed my mind to sell it but I like the portability.
The answer is more than likely yes, but what I find interesting is that Steve Jobs has been unusually vocal for such a secretive person. It seems that critics are pushing his buttons. Although his responses have been well thought through from the Apple corporate perspective, I think it just gives more ammunition to the critics to answer them. CNN's Money web site had an interesting piece today "What's the bug up Apple's @$$" which describes Apple's behavior towards critics. This fits right into the published email thread between Steve Jobs and Gawker writer Ryan Tate. Are we heading into a soap opera...
During the iPhone's ascendency, Apple's response to critics was very tame and yes Steve Jobs was sick for a big part of that time, however over the last three years I have been impressed how Apple has added key features in the iPhone OS demanded by critics and users. These include Apps, cut and paste, turn by turn GPS, voice control, Bluetooth A2DP stereo streaming (although no AVRCP remote control), MS Exchange ActiveSync, and probably some others that I am forgetting. The Apps and the cut and paste were biggies. I remember Apple's saying Apps were not necessary, since they provided such a rich web browser environment. Apple came to their senses and provided a good development platform, although at the time no multitasking; now we are on the cusp of having that feature implemented. We went through the same pattern with Cut and Paste, first it was we did not need it with the new touch paradigm, then that morphed into we need our time to design correctly (they did).
My hope and point is that the same will be true for Flash. I agree that HTML 5 and H.264 are probably the future. However for a device like the iPad which is supposed to be about consuming content and Steve Jobs touting it as an all-encompassing browsing device, how can you ignore a major part of the web? On the iPhone not having flash can be irritating, but since it is not my primary browsing device I can live without it. If I were to buy an iPad I would want to use as a primary browser and not having Flash is a show stopper. This does not make sense to me, and I think Steve Jobs ego is getting in the way. I am hoping that Apple will go through its no no phase, then will accede to users demands, and go through a thoughtful design and implementation (provide Adobe with the APIs they need to be efficient) as it did with Apps, cut and paste, and multitasking.
If you want to make your voice sort of heard, you can sign a petition at Flash4iPad.com. I say sort of, but the more users and potential customers complain it will start to weigh on Apple's future plans. 500 iPad users were asked by Laura DiDio, principal analyst at ITIC about Flash. According to the CNN article I mentioned previously, "she found that customers are clamoring for Flash support, but said they would continue to buy Apple products even without it". It is a mixed message but we are talking about the initial customer pool and not the average customer who is now buying the iPhone.
Until then my common sense is telling not to purchase an iPad, even though my techy side really wants one. I feel resigned to wait until next March to see what happens with iPad 2.0.
The reality is that Steve Jobs cannot eradicate Flash overnight. I agree with his stance on HTML 5, although I think there is still room for debate on H.264 for video. That said how can you tout a device's browsing experience when you don't support a large part of the web. Even MacRumors had this to say yesterday:
There is no doubt that the iPad will be an initial success, but how long will people stand not being able to browse the full internet. All the claims that Flash is on its way out are fine, but how long it will take to migrate those millions and possibly billions lines of code. People shouted the demise of the mainframe in the 90's and IBM is still selling them at a pretty good clip.