Happy New Year, the keyboard and cases are here!

Lukasz Erecinski Dec 31. 2021 28

The PinePhone & PinePhone Pro keyboard case and add-on cases are now available in the Pine Store!

About the keyboard case

The keyboard case works with both the PinePhone and PinePhone Pro and features a clam-shell design. It uses pogo pins located on the phone’s midsection and attaches by replacing the default back cover. When folded, the phone’s screen and the keyboard rest securely against each other. The hinge features a 180° design, which not only allows for two-hand typing on a surface but also for comfortable thumb-typing when fully extended. The etched keycaps can be easily relocated for alternate layouts such as AZERTY or QWERTZ. The keyboard case runs an open firmware, which means that anyone with the know-how can alter existing functions or add new ones. The bottom (keyboard) and top (phone) sections of the assembly are well-balanced thanks to the large, 6000mAh, internal battery capable of charging the PinePhone (Pro) during operation. The internal battery effectively triples the phone’s battery life. The internal keyboard battery can be manually toggled on/off and the keyboard’s battery charge level can be read in the supported OSes; the keyboard remains functional with the battery fully depleted.

You do not lose access to the PinePhone (Pro)’s USB-C port, speaker, microphone, or any external features, such as volume and lock buttons, with the keyboard attached. There is also a cut-out for the camera, torch, and headphone jack. The USB-C port on the keyboard is capable of powering both the keyboard and PinePhone (Pro) simultaneously. This means that you can plug in a USB mouse, a USB-C dongle, or some other peripheral while the phone and keyboard’s internal battery charge. Please keep in mind that the keyboard case transforms the PinePhone (Pro) into a PDA, which means that taking calls will likely prove awkward without a wired or wireless headset connected. 

More information

To learn more about the keyboard and its journey please read:

Keyboard case core features

  • Well balanced clamshell construction 
  • Unbranded and understated design; black shell with dark gray/ matte black keycaps 
  • Pogo pin-compatible with PinePhone and PinePhone Pro
  • 180° hinge for two-hand typing on surface or thumb-typing when held
  • Rearrangeable etched keycaps with deep travel
  • Programmable open source firmware by Megi
  • Accessible phone’s headphone jack, USB-C port, volume keys, and microphone
  • 6000mAh internal battery capable of charging the PinePhone (Pro); charge levels reported in OSes that support this feature
  • USB-C charging; capable of charging keyboard case and PinePhone (Pro) simultaneously 

About the add-on back cases

We are simultaneously releasing the much anticipated add-on back cases for the PinePhone and PinePhone Pro. These three cases offer: PineDio (LoRa), Qi Wireless charging and fingerprint reader functionality. Similarly to the keyboard case, these add-on cases make use of the pogo pin interface found on the PinePhone and PinePhone Pro’s midsection. All three cases are made of very sturdy polished black plastic and feature a modular construction. Simple disassembly of the electronic components opens up a gateway for hacking in additional functionality, at least for those of you who are up to the challenge. It also means that the cases are just as repairable as the PinePhone itself.

More information

To learn more about the add-on back cases and their journey please read:

Fingerprint reader case core features

Wireless charging case core features

  • Unbranded and understated design
  • Sturdy ribbed construction
  • Qi Wireless and Wireless Power Consortium protocols supported
  • Works out of the box with the PinePhone or PinePhone Pro, no software needed
  • Modular, easy to disassemble
  • Hackable design

PineDio LoRa case core features

  • Unbranded and understated design
  • Sturdy ribbed construction
  • Uses Semtech SX1262 power efficient LoRa module
  • Software enablement for the PinePhone by JF 
  • Modular, easy to disassemble
  • Hackable design

28 responses to “Happy New Year, the keyboard and cases are here!”

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    I am trying to order the keyboard.
    when entering the shipping address I can find my country (Bahrain) in the list but the page shows message saying that no shipping option is available.
    do you ship to Bahrain?

    is this because I am entering 0000 for zip code?
    in Bahrain we don’t have zip code system so I always enter 0000 instead.
    how can I solve this problem?

    What a great surprise! I’d like to buy more accessories for my future PinePhone Pro.
    Are following PinePhone accessories compatible with PinePhone PRO:
    1. PINEPHONE SOFT TPU PROTECTIVE CASE (https://pine64.com/product/pinephone-soft-tpu-protective-case/)
    2. PINEPHONE TEMPERED GLASS SCREEN PROTECTOR (https://pine64.com/product/pinephone-tempered-glass-screen-protector/)
    3. PINEPHONE BACK COVER (https://pine64.com/product/pinephone-back-cover/)

    The PinePhone back cover is probably is not compatible, because of PPP is a bit thicker.
    Soft TPU should not be effected much by little difference in thickness, but it’d be nice to have compatibility confirmation.
    I know PPP has the same dimensions, but because of garilla glass it can be slightly curved (don’t know).

    Lukasz, are 1. and 2. still compatible with PPP? I hope they are, but I’d like to get confirmation before I purchase them

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    Happy New Year Andrey,
    They are actually all compatible. Just put a TPU case on the PPP to make sure, and its a bit of a tight fit … but fit nonetheless. The PPP in the picture has the protective glass on too: https://imgur.com/a/6AIQ3Gb
    The back cover will work fine with the PPP, the midsections are 100% compatible – the PPP is thicker in the LCD panel assembly area, if that makes sense.

    (I’d also like to note that that TPU case in the picture is like 2 years old and looks terrible because its been maltreated 😉 )

    Happy New Year to the Pine64 team!

    An awesome surprise 🙂 Looking forward to snatching a keyboard case for sure!

    would you guys consider selling aditional keyboard caps, like cyrillic ones for example? If you did I would definitely be a customer.

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    I’ll tentatively say yes. I think that Cyrillic makes sense. I also think that variations of the Latin alphabet – German, Polish, Swedish, etc., – would also make sense. Let us catch a breath, get on with the PinePhone Pro launch, and then we’ll explore different options.

    I’d love to see the English letters moved to the top left corner of the keys to allow us to add stickers with the characters of our local language on the lower right corner.

    Piotr Masłowski says:

    Polish keyboard? Now you’ve got me interested… You mean the 214, typing machine one? Or like actually spelling out all the Alt Gr pairs (z~ż, x~ź, a~ą, s~ś, etc.)?

    Unrel: As for non-latin ones, in some far-off future I’d be mildly interested in a Zhuyin (BoPoMoFo) layout

    Ted Henter says:

    I plan to re-invent or modify a screenreader (for blind users) for the Pine phones. And I need programming help. I have done similar before, for DOS and Windows, check out JAWS and my name.

    Please contact me via email if you are a skilled programmer and would like to own part of the corporation.

    Sincerely,

    Ted

    Nikolay Khramchenkov says:

    Will next iteration of keyboard support fingerprint/lora/wireless charging? It’ll be great to have them onboard and not to change back cases

    A Linux PDA with LoRA and keyboard for messaging would be an amazing platform. I’ve ordered both. I can experiment with both. I’ll have to read up on the pogo pins – I assume they provide gpio connectivity, and I’m curious if devices can be daisy chained off of them or not. Depending on which pins are used by keyboard vs lora, might be able to connect both up.

    Excited to see the possibilities, and future keyboard/PineDio combined case possibilities.

    Regarding keyboard and LoRa (and potentially fingerprint):
    (See here: https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php/PinePhone#Pogo_pins)

    It’s a I2C Bus, so technically, it can be daisy chained:
    you just get multiple different devices accessible on that bus.

    The problem is going to be the interrupt: you only have a single line.
    So you need a mechanism for the various driver to answer the question “is my device the one that got an interrupt request”?
    (This might give flashbacks to users of very old DOS computers when we had very few IRQ lines available and a giant pile of ISA cards. You end-up with devices sharing IRQ, and e.g. your soundblaster routines needs to check if it is supposed to serve the interrupt or pass it to the printer interrupt handler).

    Regarding charging: this can be done exclusively with the power pins, but it would make more sense for a combined charger to go on the back of the keyboard it self, and charge the keyboard and the phone together, just like the keyboard’s USB charging port.

    Is the keyboard battery replaceable so when it can no longer hold a charge it could be recycled and a new one used without replacing the case?

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    Very good question. Yes, you can easily open the kb case using a guitar pick and replace the battery for on with similar spec and physical proportions.

    I’m a bit miffed. I’m subscribed to blog posts updates. I’ve gotten the emails before. This time around I didn’t get it, finding out 7 days late that orders are being taken. Now I’m in the back of the line.

    I’m a saaaaaaad panda…

    lee sze yong says:

    is it possible to show photos/videos of thumb-typing?

    bought a fxtec pro1 previously, found it difficult to reach the keys in the middle, still prefer the typing experience on a portrait-layout keyboard like a key2 le

    Wasn’t able to find a thumb typing video, but based on this one it would appear thumb typing shouldn’t be difficult at all.

    Soon I hope to no longer be thrown into murderous rage as my fat fingertips fail to position the cursor at the beginning of some previous word in a vain attempt at editing text on a touch screen.

    Touch screens are for endless scrolling, consuming muppets. Not real human beings who actually use their faculties to think, write, and create things.

    A very sincere thanks to PINE64, from the bottom of my heart, for being the only company in a very long time to take a stab at remedying this very serious and long-term shortcoming which plagues almost all “modern” devices.

    *bows*

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