AndroidStreakSmartTips & Deals

Dell Streak supports Bluetooth keyboards

Streak-bluetooth-keyboard (1)

It’s a known issue that Android doesn’t natively support the Bluetooth HID profile that is needed to connect Bluetooth keyboards, mice, and other peripherals to a device.

But the Dell Streak does! I paired my Think Outside Bluetooth keyboard (also known as the iGo Stowaway) with the Streak today, entered the passcode, and was amazed to see the two devices instantly connected. I thought maybe it was a fluke, so I opened up Gmail and started typing on the keyboard to see if anything appeared on screen.

Streak-bluetooth-keyboard (4)

Streak-bluetooth-keyboard (2)

And it did with absolutely no lag whatsoever.

Here’s a quick video showing it in action. I apologize for the horrible video quality but I took it with my iPhone 3GS:

This really shows that the Streak isn’t just an oversized phone, but an Android tablet/MID with phone capabilities. While this is fabulous news, it also makes the absence of a kickstand on the back of the device even more infuriating to me. Many Bluetooth keyboards come with little stands that will prop the Streak at a nice angle for typing, though, so I can get over it. Besides, I’d rather have Bluetooth HID support and no kickstand than the opposite of that (hello, HTC EVO 4G).

Streak-bluetooth-keyboard (3) 

I was able to connect a Bluetooth mouse too, though it’s completely worthless without an on-screen pointer.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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24 thoughts on “Dell Streak supports Bluetooth keyboards

  • Nice find, Jenn! Too bad the Evo can’t do this :(

    Reply
  • Avatar of latitude20

    Just want to say I am enjoying your site. I plan to get the Streak when it comes out in the US and there is not a whole lot of media coverage on it (besides the nice Engadget review.) I like it because it is the phone with the largest screen that can still fit in your pocket. All the other nice things I read about it like this bluetooth keyboard connectivity are like icing on the cake.

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  • I note that the Dell uses a proprietary port. And I’m curious to know if I can conveniently connect this thing to a USB keyboard, which I believe will be less demanding on the battery.

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  • Given that the version of Bluez in Android can use the HID profile. I’m guessing that all that’s happened here is a little additional plumbing in the framework. I wonder if Dell would release the source…

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  • Wow, this is one part of EXACTLY what I want with this device (the other being desktop out via HDMI). I can’t wait to get this unlocked from Dell…

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  • So far I like what I see about this device, and I am hoping to get one when they arrive on these shores (ie US). Then I’ll have something to get back at the wife and her fancy new iPhone with:-) One question I have though, pertains to Bluetooth: has anyone tried the Streak with stereo Bluetooth headphones yet? To me this is a bit of a show stopper if they don’t work well – I don’t like cabled headphones…

    Steve

    Reply
  • I don’t use BT headphones (wired headphones have better SQ to me), but I don’t see why they wouldn’t work well with the Streak.

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  • This is fantastic news, as I’d been hoping the Streak would do this. The bit about the mouse is a bummer, though. I wonder how hard it would be to create a 3rd party app to add a mouse pointer?

    If you had the full mouse support, it would really make the proposed HDMI dock shine. Bring your Streak home, plop it on the dock, fire up your BT mouse/keyboard, and use the Streak as a mini-desktop on your TV. For those of us who only use computers for basic office productivity and Internet, it could make netbooks obsolete (and possibly even regular laptops and desktops). All this after already cannibalizing your GPS, “casual” digital camera, and e-book reader.

    Also, if Android developers are inspired enough to take full advantage of the snappy processor and accelerometer, you could have a nice PSP-type gaming console thrown in as well.

    Pie in the sky dreams would include an unlimited data plan with a quick connection: you could essentially use Hulu and Google Voice to say goodbye to your cable bill, your wired broadband bill, and your cell phone bill.

    What a beastly little device! Let’s just hope that Dell and the Android market can take full advantage of its potential.

    Reply
  • I’ve just received my iGo keyboard, and have tried setting it up, but can’t find a driver on the disk that works with the Streak. Does anyone know which driver I need ?

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  • I beleive that you get a mouse pointer when pairing a BT mouse with an Archos 5 IT (see http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt6xo2LZeLc). As both run Android 1.6 it should be possible to achieve it with the Streak?!

    Reply
  • Typing this on a logitech keyboard paired to my streak :-). Does anybody know if there are any keys that will activate the “back” and “menu” commands?

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  • I just got a Apple Wireless keyboard for my Sreak and paid good money for it. But nothing. The Dell connects to the keyboard but when I try any keys nothing at all. Its a shame as I do not own and apple computer so i now have a keyboard that is no use to me at all..

    An I got it due to the fact engadget was on about it works with this keyboard and so did this site.
    I have the Model A1255. I do not think it said in the video which model they were using..
    £35 down the pan ( old stock brand new comet )

    Reply
  • I think you need a bluetooth which is V 2.1 or more. May be ur bluetooth is having a old version. Try by changing with the new bluetooth dongle. I’m sure it works

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  • Patrick, I have a A1255 also… doesn’t work. What model did these guys use?

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  • Bought a Keysonic ACK-3400 BT from ebuyer and it works with my streak. Does not seem to reconnect after turning off and needs to pair again with the streak. Not all keys seem to work, but this may be down to the application rather than the streak itself. Used on google docs and colornote.

    Reply
  • Avatar of coffeebiker

    Both the Streak and xperia x10 are running android 1.6. So why can’t I pair my stowaway with my xperia? Any help?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Matthias

    One big caveat for international users: only US/UK keyboard layouts are supported. I bought a Logitech DiNovo Mini with German qwertz layout and it works as qwerty which is quite annoying as you have to guess (or mind-map) all the special characters.

    Reply
  • Avatar of tbplan

    It’s been great to read about all these options. Personally my goal has been to have my car as my mobile office. I won’t be carrying my keyboard around in my pocket. So I wanted a full size one and I like the Microsoft curved style keyboard. So I bought this one, $50 at Staples.com: http://www.staples.com/Microsoft-Bluetooth-Mobile-Keyboard-6000/product_818800?cmArea=SEARCH. My work is email intensive and I can type on this keyboard in my car just as well as with my office keyboard. I set the Streak in the Dell GPS dashboard stand. To pair hit 0000 on both devices & ‘enter’. To re-connect turn the keyboard on, hit 0000 & enter. Sometimes I have to go into bluetooth settings and manually tell it to connect, but I don’t have to actually re-pair.

    Reply
  • i also bought an apple b/t keyboard. got it connected but it does nothing. i have seen it work on other sights what am i missing??!!!

    Reply
  • Avatar of Randolf Balasus

    Very special thanx for this explanation. I owning a Dell Streak 2.2 Froyo and an Apple bluetooth KB A1255. I was reading and testing and out of the Box all is working (exept menue and back, I have to search)
    greetings Randolf Balasus

    Reply
  • Hey Jenn,

    I have a Shasta Stowaway bluetooth keyboard (made by iGo or Think Outside), but the darn thing won’t work with my Streak 7! It pairs up, but once it is paired, it won’t connect. :(

    What is the model of your Think Outside keyboard? Mine is old, from back around 2005 when I had a Blackberry 7250.

    Also, just for those listening, I have a Dell Bluetooth keyboard that works GREAT with the Streak 7! It is a Model #: Y-RAQ-DEL2, Dell part #: GM952. I got it for $16 plus $10 shipping. They’re all over eBay. Be careful of the used ones, but refurbished ones are greay – at least mine is. :)

    Thanks,
    Tom

    Reply
  • I’m also having a problem getting the keyboard to work. The Streak and the keyboard will pair but input on the keyboard does nothing on the tablet.

    Reply

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