The introduction of bluetooth keyboards was hailed by handheld enthusiasts wide and far – finally, we can keep our keyboards when upgrading or changing our handheld. Freedom input has made this freedom its company name..but fails in the most pathetic fashion of them all…

Freedom’s keyboards ship with a tiny little manual that nobody looks at – but it unfortunately contains an activation code. Without that code, the installed driver refuses to work.

The driver should be downloaded from Freedom’s OTA service and then is activated on a web page…but the activation works exactly once and for only one bluetooth MAC.

Essentially, this means that a breakdown of your handheld(leading to replacement of the BT chip) may cause you to loose keyboard functionality for approximately as long as Freedom feels fit – if the company feels like never dispatching an unlock code….well, so be it.

The freedom of the customer truly shows up when swapping device(irregardless of Palm-Palm or to a different platform). Bluetooth MAC changes…no more keyboard for you…

Yes, I do understand that Freedom input needs to protect its trade secrets – and an online activation is somewhat understandable. However, why not tie it to the keyboard’s serial number and give sufficient activations?

Also, if DRM is the reason…why is the activation hotline charged at premium rates?

Overall, until Freedom Input has completely rectified the situation, I urge my readers to keep their fingers off their keyboards by all means(and I would also be happy to see stockists discontinue the stuff in order to express disagreement). The keyboards are nice and all – but the utter unwillingness and incapability to provide drivers to customers is appalling.

P.s. Belkin’s infrared keyboard is an always-ready and merry replacement…without the driver activation woes.

Related posts:

  1. The Freedom Mini Duo Keyboard
  2. iGo Stowaway keyboard discontinued – blowout sale for 40$
  3. The Belkin Wireless keyboard
  4. Palm Mansion – 800×480, no keyboard
  5. Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic – buyer beware

63 Responses to “Freedom Universal Keyboard and its drivers – buyer beware”

  1. Hi.
    I bought the Freedom Universal Keyboard to use with my PC (running Windows XP SP3).
    My Bluetooth (bluesoleil) recognizes it. When pairing the device I give the password 0000 and says it’s connected. Alas, nothing besides that happens – either no response or each button writes repeated unrelated characters.
    I’m frustrated and don’t know what else to do.
    Please, help me solve this.
    Thanks, Irad

  2. Hi Irad,
    I have connected you with Paul!

    All the best
    Tam Hanna

  3. Using the freedom with an ASUS R2H…. keyboard quits after 2 min idle. Unable to download manual from their site as files are all empty (zero contents)

    Whats the big “B” button for on the top left?
    What is the inactivity time for shutdown?
    thanks

  4. I am in the exact same situation that Irad (comment #51). If anyone can help, please do!

  5. Hi,
    I have already put you in touch!

    All the best
    Tam Hanna

  6. OMG. If I’d only read these comments before I bought this keyboard. I have the Freedom Universal Keyboard2 and connecting it with a Samsung Epix. It connected fine at first, then I had to do a hard reset so needed to reconnect and now the driver thinks I don’t have a compatible phone so won’t download on the device. The phone is compatible. Ok, so this isn’t a big deal as long as there is some kind of tech support – a phone number would be nice, but a live chat or even timely email communication would do. I emailed last week – nothing. So, I went through the proper channels today and submitted a ticket – I’ll tell you tomorrow if anything happens.

  7. Ok, for now I take it back.

    At 9am a tech support person emailed me the following fix for my Samsung Epix i907 using WM 6.1.

    It now works the way it did when I first installed it. I guess, when dealing with this company you just have to know how to use their tech support, which needs to be streamlined, but I’m happy for now. For all of you Samsung Epix users here’s the fix with the proper drivers:

    Remove the current drivers:
    1) On the PDA click Start, then Settings and click on the System tab at the bottom.
    2) Click on the Remove Programs Icon. Highlight Drivers & Support btkbhid / Freedom Keyboard from the list and select remove, press yes to confirm.
    3) Perform a soft reset of the PDA. Normally there is a reset button on the phone that you press the stylus into.

    Install the attached drivers:
    [I cut and pasted it here - jp]
    http://freedom.helpserve.com/index.php?_m=tickets&_a=getattachment&ticketid=32801&attachmentid=13086

    1) Save the attached .cab file to your PC, Connect your PDA to the PC and run Microsoft Active sync
    2) Copy the .cab file to your phone using the explorer function in Active sync.
    3) Locate the file on the PDA and run it from there. This will install the drivers.
    4) Perform a soft reset of the PDA.

    Activating your keyboard
    1) Go to Start and then Settings and then the System tab, in there will be the Freedom Keyboard icon.
    2) Turn the keyboard on to HID (switch to the right) and then hold the B button down for 6 seconds.
    3) Tap on the Select Devices button, this will then search for nearby Bluetooth devices.
    4) On the next screen will be all the active Bluetooth devices, select the Freedom Keyboard and press the Select button.
    5) It will then go back to the previous screen and the activate driver box will now say Deactivate driver and underneath it, it will say connection established and the keyboard will be connected
    6) On that page near the bottom is a Text box If you tap on the Text box and then try typing on the keyboard it should display what you type and be working. Tap the OK button twice to go back to the main windows homescreen.

    To disconnect the keyboard after you have used it, just hold down the B button for 6 seconds and then press the deactivate driver box and then switch the keyboard to the OFF position (centre position on switch). Then when you wish to use it again go back to the keyboards drivers and turn the keyboard back to HID and hold the B button for 6 seconds. Check the activate driver and after a few seconds the keyboard will connect and be working again.

  8. I bought a Freedom Universal keyboard but I can’t make it work with my PC. If I put the keyboard in HID mode, the PC doesn’t find it. If I put it in SPP mode, I can pair it with my PC but the keyboard doesn’t work. I’m using Toshiba BT stack as my laptop is a Toshiba Satellite Pro A200.

  9. Never mind. I did what John P. described and it worked fine. The trick is to hold the B button while in HID mode.

  10. Hi, I purchased the UFK about two years ago and used it with another phone. I no longer have the unlock code and dont know where to find the unique code, without which I cannot raise a support query. Can you please help me to unlock my device so that i can use it with my blackberry – I was quite happy with it in previous use with glofiish phone.

    thanks

    ann marie

  11. Hi,
    have you already tried to get in touch with their customer care?

    All the best
    Tam Hanna

  12. Hi Tam Hanna,
    my friend bought the Freedom Universal Keyboard, and tried to unlock it through the unlock www site. He cannot get through the unlock process, so I try to help him. The problem is, that after confirming the details, we get the message, that the Unique code is invalid. But it cannot be invalid, because it is written/printed on the keyboard stick.
    We also sent these information to the freedom support site/ticket, but getting no answer already for more than week!
    Can you help us?
    Unique code is DT97KD5170KG
    The Device code is 00:22:64:cf:66:05
    thx for any help
    Martin

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