Bluetooth keyboard with Android

It's a question we've been asked several times: can you use a PC Bluetooth keyboard on an Android smartphone or tablet? Here we show you how to use a Bluetooth keyboard with Android.

Yes, reader. Yes you can connect a keyboard to your Android smartphone or tablet. Indeed, should you wish to you could hook up a mouse or even a joystick. You can connect any such input devices to Android via Bluetooth, and then use them just as you would with a PC.

The only exception to this is if your Bluetooth keyboard requires a specific USB dongle. If that is the case, and your Android doesn't have a USB port, you may need to purchase a separate USB adaptor (or simply think about investing in a new keyboard). If you're an iPad user see our piece: Best keyboard cases for the iPad. (Click all the images below to enlarge them.)

How to connect Bluetooth keyboard to Android

To connect your Android smartphone or tablet to a Bluetooth device, first switch on Bluetooth. You do this by opening the Settings application, and then going to Wireless & Networks. Then simply enable Bluetooth.

Wireless and Network settings on Android

Now you need to pair your Android with your Bluetooth keyboard. Touch into Bluetooth to access the Bluetooth Settings.

Android Bluetooth settings

Now switch on your Bluetooth keyboard. Then return to your Android and hit 'Search for devices'. Your Android will look for the keyboard.

Searching for Bluetooth device on Android

When the keyboard appears in the list of devices with which you can pair, click it. (Our is called 'Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard'.) Depending on how your keyboard device works you will probably have to type something in to your keyboard, as dictated on your Android. Ours required us to type in a numerical code and hit Return.

Type in code to pair on Android

Once your keyboard is paired you will see it appear in the paired devices list. Now you can use your Bluetooth keyboard to type in any application that allows for text input.

Remember to turn off Bluetooth when you're not using it, or you'll find your battery takes a beating. It's also worth remembering that you will have to turn off Bluetooth when you are on a flight - so don't bank on doing loads of typing in the sky. See all Android tips and tricks.

Bluetooth keyboard with Android