Extend Apple's Spotlight features with this free utility
Those of us who have used Apple's built-in local search tool Spotlight through its early years to now often find they've outgrown it, and are now life-support-dependent upon Alfred 2. Yes, there was some notable improvement in Yosemite, but it was too little, too late. Now Flashlight could bring us back. It's a free application that extends Spotlight's searching facilities, and to give you quick access to different corners of your Mac. From the keyboard, you can search the web, start a phone call, email someone a file, or shut down your Mac.
Apple bought out alternative keyboard maker late last year, reports claim
Apple apparently bought out software keyboard developer Dryft last September, acquiring one of the co-founders of Swype in the process, according to reports. CEO Randy Marsden changed his job title to Apple's iOS Keyboard Manager on LinkedIn around the same time as the deal allegedly happened. Apple only rarely confirms acquisitions of small tech companies like Dryft.
Deeply impressive dictation and voice recognition
Do not ever give voice recognition software to a writer who's a keyboard junkie. Do not ever give Dragon Dictate to any one who saw how rubbish dictation software was in the 1980s, 1990s and probably 2000s but they didn't check. For a few minutes sitting in front of Dragon Dictate will destroy their worldview like a politician discovering that encryption makes monitoring computers hard. Dragon Dictate works and it works extremely, just extremely well. It also does more than dictation: this is powerful software for word processing by voice command.
Build quality and support detract from a good keyboard
I'm in England, where you don't tend to lean over people and ask where you got that device. We're not really polite, we're just wary. Yet I've been asked that many, many times since I bought this Belkin keyboard case for my original iPad Air. It definitely looks great, it definitely looks immediately, obviously useful. The point of Living With is to examine beyond those first looks, though, and I think the question is whether, after 15 months of intensive use, I would buy it again.
Pioneer debuts second-generation NEX in-dash receivers with CarPlay, Android Auto
Auto audio accessories maker Pioneer has debuted a new series of second-generation NEX receivers that feature both CarPlay and Android Auto baked in, replacing earlier models that added CarPlay compatibility through a firmware update. Versions are available with either resistive touch or capacitive touch screens, ranging from $700 to $1,400 for aftermarket installation. The new models add support for Android Auto, and offer better touch sensitivity, brighter screens, and better color vibrancy.
A handy tablet or spare wireless keyboard made from natural materials
Sometimes, you need to do a lot of typing on a mobile device. While spiffy keyboard apps like Swiftkey and Hero Keyboard make it faster and easier using the on-screen keyboard, it isn't always enough. Or perhaps that deadline for a paper you were supposed to write is nigh, and your notebook or desktop computer with a keyboard is not handy. In each of these cases, a Bluetooth keyboard is a life saver. The Bamboo Bluetooth keyboard from Impecca is one such keyboard, and we quite liked using it.
Foldable Keyboard has spill-resistant design, can switch between two devices
Microsoft has made a second version of its multi-platform keyboard, this time in a more-portable form. Unveiled at Mobile World Congress alongside new Lumia devices, the Universal Foldable Keyboard is a full QWERTY keyboard which can be paired with two iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or Windows devices, with the user able to switch between the two with a press of a button.
Small file utility makes big difference to OS X
Back in the day, the first thing we learnt on Macs was to point and click. Then it was how to drag and drop. We've never gone back: even the most keyboard-obsessed of us still end up clicking on a file and clicking or dragging to do something with it. FilePane is a clever app that just watches for the click and drag before stepping in with options.
A series of circular key sets that claim to save three feet every tweet
Hero Keyboard by Corey Stone is a keyboard app that arranges the letters based on the frequency of use in the English language, to make it easier for the user to type with both of their thumbs. The keyboard consists of three concentric rings surrounding a circular "space" button. More frequently-used letters displayed larger and more centrally than less popular letters. As a result of this configuration, the letters at the top of the first ring spell out "HERO," hence the name of the keyboard.
Helpful real-time translation keyboard for iOS 8
There's no doubt that the world has gotten much smaller in recent decades. Thanks to mass media and the Internet, most of the world is connected constantly. While this is often quite beneficial, there's still the issue of language differences. However, thanks to technology, even that barrier is constantly being chipped away at. We took a look at Slated, a translation keyboard designed by Gist, that aims to help connect users with those who speak another language.
Gestures for iPad, key sounds, new languages, more
SwiftKey integrated keyboard for iOS was introduced back in September. The iPhone and iPad apps have been updated today to include new features, including predictive emoji along with text. Now offering predictions of whatever word or phrase users may be typing, they may see emoji of coffee cups and crying cat faces pop up for you to choose from. SwiftKey supports 34 different languages, with 11 of them just added.
Mimic a full-size Mac keyboard on your iPad
Apparently, Android users have crowed for years about how their platform allows you to change the on-screen keyboard to ones from any company that cares to make them. We say apparently because, really, there's plenty of more serious stuff to listen to from Android users, and onscreen emoji keyboards are not high on that list. Consequently, if we were surprised that Apple added the feature in iOS 8, we are not surprised that the world has failed to shift on its axis. ProType, however, may have turned our head: read on to find out why.
Scribble on iOS like you had a old Newton and good handwriting
People must really dislike Apple's on-screen keyboard for iPhones and iPads, because the instant we could try alternatives, we got alternatives. Some seem different for the sake of being different. Some, like TextExpander's one, add useful new features -- yet take away some of the usability. But then you get the odd keyboard like Mazec, which tries to offer a true alternative. Rather than typing, you scribble with a stylus -- if you've got one, and haven't lost it -- or with your finger.
Swipe your way through even the longest texts without lifting a finger
Most people have gotten used to texting and typing on their iPads and iPhones, and chances are, they're good at it. However, it's undeniable that the standard thumb-texting can be pretty slow. On top of that, texting tends to grow tiresome in this manner as the conversation becomes more involved. Of course a user can always revert to hunt-and-peck typing with an index finger, but that leads to slower typing or reliance on predictive text, which can produce unintentionally-hilarious mis-types. Swype by Nuance has come up with a clever solution to help us text and type faster and longer, with less fatigue.
iMac useless after setting login password
One Fresh-Faced Recruit reported some troubling news about his iMac recently in the MacNN Forums. He said that after changing security preferences to "require log-in upon start-up" he was unable to log into his system, and a solution has yet to be found. Yesterday, another Fresh-Faced Recruit turned to the forums looking for help trying to figure out why the tab, caps lock and eject keys stopped working on their keyboard.
win a Penclic K2 wireless mini keyboard
Black Friday is in full swing, but instead of door-buster deals, we have more prizes to give away to our readers. To get things started today, we have the Penclic K2 wireless Mini keyboard. Reclaim your desk, and create a healthy working position while you're at it. Find out how you can enter to win below.
win a Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480
According to a recent survey conducted by Logitech, 65 percent of Americans are distracted by messages from one of their devices when using another. In fact, multi-tasking is the new normal, with more than three-fourths of Americans using two or more devices simultaneously a day. Fortunately, Logitech has the cure for this affliction. It's called the Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480, and it's designed to be used with computers, tablets and smartphones. MacNN has teamed up with Logitech to give away one of these keyboards to one of our readers.
Thin Bluetooth keyboard features touchpad, allows users to configure 15 gestures
A new Bluetooth keyboard from Rapoo is bringing some of the functionality of a notebook to wireless keyboards. The E6700 Bluetooth Touchpad Keyboard features a "touch area" on the right side of the thin keyboard, that has added functionality for gestures. The E6700 lets owners configure 15 different gestures, bringing the keyboard closer to the use seen in MacBooks and other notebooks. The "touch area" also has a glass surface, which Rapoo says makes it scratch-resistant and easier to clean.
Mechanical SteelSeries keyboard with Cherry MX switches stuffed into 18-inch laptop
MSI is looking to blaze a new path in mobile gaming with the announcement of the GT80 Titan gaming laptop. While the computer builder is quiet about almost everything packed into the new laptop, outside of Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics, it revealed that it will feature a SteelSeries mechanical keyboard. The company claims that the GT80 Titan "is the world's first and only notebook equipped with a gaming mechanical keyboard."
Xtreem debuts new 3-inch drone toy
Xtreem, a range of remote controlled toys designed by Swann, has announced the release of its new Atom RC Mini Drone. Focused on precise maneuverability, the drone uses an infrared signal to communicate with its joystick remote control, which offers eight-way multi-dimensional movement, and heights of up to 100 feet in the air. The helicopter's Li-poly battery provides up to four minutes of continuous flight time, and can be recharged via its remote control or by plugging it into a USB port. Priced at $40, the Atom Mini RC Drone is available at Fry's.
Bluetooth 3.0 keyboard gives tablets versatility, but typing space is cramped
The shift from typing on physical keyboards to digital versions on smartphones and tablets hasn't been an easy for many consumers. From the lack of feedback to the change in configurations, there are several obstacles that can get in the way of adapting to a new format. However, physical keyboards are available on the market to help people retain some of the familiar feel, without having to carry around a laptop. Adesso offers a Bluetooth keyboard for fit this need with the Compagno X. But is the keyboard helpful to users, or will it drive them back to using the screen-based alternatives? Find out in our review.
Keyboard takes new approach with redesigned switches, Arx Control app
During Penny Arcade Expo 2014, Electronista had a chance to have some time with a prototype version of Logitech's G910 Orion Spark keyboard before it was officially announced. We sat down to talk to Director of Logitech Gaming Vincent Tucker to about the genesis of the keyboard, as well as the company's gaming accessory design process.
Bluetooth keyboard, case combo features wider space between keys, rechargeable battery
(Updated with corrected Type+ pricing) Logitech announced a new case and keyboard combo for the iPad Air today, the Type+. Like many other Bluetooth keyboards for tablets, the Type+ is powered by an internal battery. In this case, the battery is said to last up to three months on a single charge, according to Logitech. The case portion uses clips in the corners to hold onto the iPad, also using magnets to hold the cover closed. The Type+ auto-wakes or auto-sleeps the iPad Air, depending if the cover is open or not. The case does make the tablet a little thicker, as it bumps up to 0.71 inches.
Hybrid capacitive keyboard released in United States, coming to Europe in November
Cooler Master's Novatouch TKL "tenkeyless" keyboard has hit the market in the United States, offering consumers a new switch type that the company calls "hybrid capacitive." The Novatouch is meant not only for gamers looking for an edge, but also professionals looking for a high-quality keyboard with quick response. Cooler Master worked with Japanese company Topre to create the new design, which is a cross between dome and mechanical switches. It requires only a 45-gram force and 1mm travel, less than we were told at Penny Arcade Expo, to actuate.
GarageBand for iOS updated, adds iOS 8 support
Music production app GarageBand has received an update for iOS, including support for iOS 8. Users can use their iOS device to "play" a collection of instruments and record musical pieces.
G910 Orion Spark works with Arx Control mobile app, offers extra in-game data
Logitech has launched a gaming keyboard which offers extra functionality with a smartphone. The G910 Orion Spark can be used with an Arx Control app for iOS and Android, turning the smartphone into a second screen displaying data about the player's performance, with the keyboard also including a small docking area to hold the mobile device upright.
Keyboard works on iOS, Android, Windows, new wireless mice also on the way
Microsoft announced a slate of new accessories with wireless features today, one of which is ready for use with three of the major mobile operating systems. A universal keyboard, wireless mouse, Bluetooth mouse and a PC-ready Xbox One controller are expected to make their way to consumers, starting in the fall.
Keyboard offers quick response, switch choices in compact package, but few macro keys
The market for gaming keyboards is getting crowded, starting off with some fairly simple keyboards and diverging into the land of modular configurations and piecemeal construction. But what about gamers that just want a plain mechanical keyboard that handles the daily grind with ease, only to spring to life in gaming situations? Would what a relatively unknown brand - Tesoro Tizona -- calls a "tenkeyless" keyboard be something that users should consider, or would they be better off looking for something a little more complex? Find out in our review.
T-Mobile announces availability of Samsung Galaxy Avant for $9 per month
T-Mobile has announced its release of the new Samsung Galaxy Avant, available starting today. Promoted as part of its Uncarrier lineup, the Samsung Galaxy Avant features a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1.5GB RAM, and a 4.5-inch qHD screen. The phone connects to T-Mobile's 4G LTE network, and is priced at $220, or $0 down and $9 a month for 24 months. The Simple Choice plan includes no traditional contract, no overages, no device financing fees, global roaming and the company's Music Freedom service.
Disney's Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse released for OS X July 24
Feral Interactive today announced the upcoming release of its fairytale platforming game Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, a reworking of the SEGA Genesis and Mega Drive original. Players navigate the 3D game as Mickey, with the goal of rescuing Minnie Mouse from the evil witch Mizrabel. Players will run, jump, swing and swim through whimsical levels such as a haunted forest, and solve puzzles along the way.
Amid layoffs Microsoft announces closure of original content wing of Xbox
On top of the 18,000 layoffs and shifting company structure, Microsoft will be closing the Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months. The studio was launched to add Microsoft to the original content race on the Internet, with shows based on some hit Xbox franchises such as Halo. Xbox head Phil Spencer issued an internal memo thanking the team for their work, as well as what to expect. Microsoft issued a statement to Joystiq confirming that existing projects would carry on.
Smartwatch app from Fleksy uses onscreen keyboard, predictive text
Fleksy, a creator of third-party keyboards for Android and iOS, has released an SMS messaging app for the Samsung Gear 2. Fleksy Messenger allows owners of the Tizen smartwatch to send text messages directly from the watch itself, complete with a miniaturized onscreen keyboard for entering text, without requiring the user to use their smartphone.
Magnet-based keyboard could be used to make notebooks thinner
A keyboard manufacturer has demonstrated a new type of keyboard at Computex that could result in thinner notebooks in the future. The Darfon maglev keyboard uses magnets to keep the keys raised and in position, instead of a membrane, scissor switches or other mechanical means, with the producer also claiming it to have a longer product life.
Belkin announces availability of QODE Thin Type keyboard case
Belkin has introduced a new keyboard case for the iPad Air, intended to provide a laptop-like experience. The Qode Thin Type is approximately 12 ounces in weight, and features comfortably-spaced, responsive keys, Bluetooth connectivity and functions as a screen cover when not in use. Secure-hold magnets attach the keyboard case to the iPad, and is compatible with both landscape and portrait viewing. Its rechargeable battery can run for 79 hours of average active use. Available in silver, the Qode Thin Type for iPad Air is priced at $100 and is available for purchase online.
Infrared proximity sensor array detects fingers in Microsoft keyboard prototype
Microsoft Research has demonstrated a prototype keyboard that can be used to recognize gestures. The Type-Hover-Swipe keyboard is able to detect fingers and entire hands hovering just above the keys, allowing users to perform various maneuvers typically used on a touchscreen or a tablet but without having to make their hands travel far from the home position.
Microsoft unveils All-in-One Media Keyboard for living room use
Microsoft has launched its All-in-One Media Keyboard. Designed for use in the living room, the peripheral offers a full-size spill-resistant QWERTY keyboard, and connects to a device using a USB wireless transceiver. On the right-hand side is a multi-touch trackpad that supports gestures, and a row of three buttons above which can be customized for quick access to specific apps. Shipping tomorrow, the All-in-One Media Keyboard is priced at $40.
Corsair's Vengeance K70 mechanical gaming keyboard new keyswitch colors
Gaming hardware developer, Corsair, has announced that its Vengeance K70 mechanical gaming keyboard, originally available in black aluminum with red backlit keys, is now available in new keyswitch color options. Now offered in Cherry MX Blue and Brown keyswitches in addition to the original Cherry MX Reds, the refreshed K70 features an anodized black aluminum chassis and red backlighting.
Logitech launches K830 illuminated keyboard in US, Europe
Logitech has introduced the K830 Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard. The wireless, rechargeable keyboard has a range of up to 33 feet from its 2.4GHz USB adapter, and an integrated trackpad for mouse controls. The backlit keys, along with the multimedia keys, automatically dim and brighten based on the amount of available light, with the backlight switching off after five seconds of inactivity. Logitech is shipping the K830 in the US and Europe this month for $100.
Moshi's Versa case features Bluetooth keyboard with sliding storage slot
Accessory maker Moshi yesterday launched its VersaKeyboard case for iPad Air, featuring an origami-style folding stand that includes a Bluetooth keyboard. The keyboard component to the case can be easily hidden away when not in use, due to its 'sliding' keyboard storage feature built into the back. Aimed to provide a versatile keyboard without adding bulk or a need for additional storage, the VersaKeyboard is 0.6-inches thick while being nearly full size -- about 80 percent of the size of a standard keyboard.
Typo Keyboard allegedly infringes design
BlackBerry has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Ryan Seacrest's startup Typo Products, calling foul over the company's physical-keyboard accessory for iPhones. The Waterloo-based company claims the Typo accessory infringes an existing patent related to the iconic keyboard design that has adorned most BlackBerry models throughout the past five years.
Dedicated media keys, backlighting in small-scale keyboard
Mad Catz has announced a new mobile keyboard in its line of GameSmart gaming peripherals. The Strike M takes the design of earlier keyboards in the range, scales it down to a device with a tablet-sized footprint, and introduces Bluetooth connectivity so it can be used with various smartphones, tablets, or micro consoles such as the company's own Mojo.
Surface 2 set to gain rechargeable Power Cover, extend battery life
The Microsoft Surface 2 will feature a TypeCover variant with a built-in rechargeable battery designed to extend the life of the unit when on the go. Dubbed the Power Cover, by Neowin, it will be compatible with the Surface 2 (running Windows RT 8.1) and the Surface Pro 2. It is also expected to be backwards compatible with the current Surface Pro, but not the current Surface RT.
Win one of two Satechi Bluetooth wireless smart keypads
Ever since Apple first brought their Bluetooth wireless keyboard to the market, fans and newcomers alike have cursed the design for its lack of numeric keypad. Oh sure, it's still possible to get the classic wired keyboard from Apple with a numeric keypad, but who wants to be shackled to their desk with a wire these days? Finally there is a wireless solution, the Satechi Bluetooth wireless smart keypad, which is the perfect compliment to Apple's Bluetooth keyboard. MacNN has two of these to give away to our readers.
New keyboards and mice intended to improve comfort at work
Microsoft has announced its release of two new desktop accessory sets: the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop and the Sculpt Comfort Desktop. Intended for comfort and productivity with long-term use, both products are optimized for Windows 8. The Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop consists of a split keyboard design, which helps to position the forearms in a relaxed pose, and have the palms cushioned. The ergonomic mouse assists with a neutral wrist position and minimizes carpal tunnel pressure. The Sculpt Comfort Desktop has a detachable palm rest on a contoured keyboard, and a Windows touch tab featured on the mouse, specifically for Windows 8 navigation. The Sculpt Comfort Desktop and Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop are available for $80 and $130 respectively.
Airbender Mini includes Bluetooth keyboard
New Trent, a California-based designer of mobile accessories, released its Airbender Mini, a rugged case for the iPad Mini yesterday. Complete with an integrated screen protector, aluminum arm, and built-in Bluetooth keyboard, users can effectively use their iPad mini for watching movies, FaceTime chatting, gaming or checking e-mails while still protecting it. The Airbender Mini's body is hardshell, composed of polycarbonate thermoplastic. At 0.4 inches, the inset Bluetooth keyboard attaches via the durable aluminum arm, allowing the case to rotate 360 degrees for landscape or portrait viewing angles. The Airbender Mini is available for $40.
Three different covers, all with Bluetooth keyboards
Accessory and security manufacturer Kensington has unveiled its first keyboard covers for the iPad mini, ranging from an ultra-thin folio case to a hard-shell style case and a model specifically designed for the touch-typist that features a removable keyboard. All three new models feature magnetic covers to wake the iPad mini when opened, and put it to sleep when closed. Each offers a different style of protection, hoping to provide the perfect fit for users on the go through a variety of keyboard types and cover materials.
F.R.E.Q.4D to provide 'actual physical sensation' to game audio
Mad Catz revealed four gaming headsets and a new keyboard at E3, alongside its earlier Project M.O.J.O. game console announcement. The Tritton Kunai Universal headset is designed for both consoles and PCs, the F.R.E.Q.4D, Tritton Pro+, and Tritton Kunai are meant just for computers, and the S.T.R.I.K.E 3 keyboard offers the feel of mechanical keys, and backlighting.
Google puts stock Android keyboard on Google Play
Google has added its own keyboard to Google Play. The downloadable Google Keyboard will allow users of Android 4.0 and above to use the same keyboard as used in stock Android, replacing ones used in manufacturer-supplied Android user interfaces. Gesture typing, error correction, word prediction, and voice typing has made the transition, along with dictionaries for 26 languages and accompanying keyboard layouts, according to the Android Google+ page.
Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad takes cues from Surface
Logitech has introduced its new FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for the Apple iPad. The new device is compatible with the iPad 2 as well as third and fourth generation iPads. The device takes some design cues from the Microsoft Surface TouchCover, by integrating a super low profile keyboard into the cover of Folio.
Tablet design includes kickstand, Surface-style keyboard
A patent application by Nokia shows the company not only thought about creating a tablet, but also incorporating a keyboard into the cover. The application, titled "Apparatus Cover with Keyboard," was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in October 2011, long before Microsoft revealed its Surface tablets, complete with the Touch Cover.