The iPad Pro Smart Keyboard gets better the more you use it
It was inevitable that Apple would make the Smart Keyboard peripheral for an iPad as large as the iPad Pro with its 12.9-inch display. People often forget that Apple released a full-sized keyboard accessory for the original iPad, but it held back on releasing a first-party keyboard cover accessory like those from companies like Logitech because, in portrait mode, the typing experience can be too cramped. With a display that supports Split View, allowing you to work with documents side-by-side, the iPad Pro is the ideal candidate for a first-party keyboard accessory.
Bug in iOS 9 blamed for removal of third-party software keyboards from Chrome
Google has released an update for Chrome on iOS, disabling third-party software keyboards from working with the mobile browser. The update, specific for the iOS version only and released through the App Store yesterday, removes support for third-party keyboards due to "crashes caused by a bug in iOS 9" related to the keyboards, though it is unclear when exactly support will be reintroduced to the browser in the future.
First third-party peripheral with Smart Connector support hits stores
As previously reported, Apple has gone live with orders for the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro, though the company is also showing the device as available in its retail stores starting today. Pre-orders will begin shipping on Friday, November 13 when one-day shipment is selected, however the Apple Pencil drawing stylus and Smart Keyboard peripherals are not yet available either online or in stores, but will be shipping beginning next week. A third-party keyboard case co-designed with Apple, the Logitech Create Backlit Keyboard Case for the iPad Pro, is currently advertised both on Apple's site and is said to already be available in Apple stores.
What's the gear you can't leave home without?
It's like looking at photos of people standing in front of bookshelves: you want them to get out of the way so you can see what books they have. Similarly, whenever there's a review anywhere of a bag, admit it: you're curious to see what people are carting around in them. There is a serious point: until you buy one, you can only get a sense of the size of a bag by seeing what they're capable of carrying. No, it's just nosiness, isn't it? With the sole aim of hoping to twist your arm into showing us what's in your kitbag, here's the contents of mine.
When you press $ and get £ instead
The contest for shortest and most obscure Pointers tutorial topic continues – and may be over. No more calls, we have a winner: this one is about changing your keyboard language. It's so obscure that you may not even understand what that means: if you're in America, for instance, you can tell your Mac that you prefer a British keyboard. Amongst other things, it saves you having to contort your fingers to press the right combination of shift and Command keys to get your local currency symbol.
Our favorite Microsoft product ever
If we had a dollar for every time someone stopped us to ask about our review unit Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard, we'd have enough money to buy one. Not one single day has gone by in the last solid month where we haven't been asked. We've interviewed actors who just wanted to know where they could get one. We've planned theater projects with producers who asked if they could just try it for a moment.
Apple Pencil, iPad Pro get government OK ahead of November release
On Thursday, the FCC granted final approval to the forthcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the optional drawing stylus accessory, the Apple Pencil, ahead of a projected November launch. Previously, the FCC had issued approvals for the Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2, but to date there's been no sign of paperwork for the Magic Trackpad 2. The iPad Pro-exclusive accessory the Smart Keyboard has also seen FCC approval, but Apple has recently noted that it will only be available in US format for the time being.
The gang rolls on, but with a visitor with something to say
We call him the Black Rider, though he isn't actually riding anything. Nonetheless, he is the Stranger of Reason, he is the Masked Man of Information and he's come along for this week's installment of the MacNN One More Thing podcast just as Malcolm Owen and William Gallagher are getting far too deep into the topic of keyboards.
New Magic peripherals switch removable batteries for lithium-ion versions
Apple has launched new "Magic" accessories for the Mac, shortly after they surfaced in code for the OS X 10.11.1 beta. The Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 improve upon the original versions of each peripheral, while the Magic Keyboard joins the Magic range, with all three incorporating reusable lithium-ion batteries rechargeable over Lightning within two hours, replacing the previous reliance on removable AA batteries.
Possible Force Touch input, Bluetooth LE support, integrated rechargeable batteries
A discovery deep in the codebase of the latest OS X 10.11.1 beta has revealed that Apple is planning to refresh it's "Magic" line of peripherals, including a new Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, and trackpad that will now include integrated rechargeable batteries instead of using replaceable ones, and take advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy (4.0) to dramatically improve battery life. In addition, Apple may have added its "Force Touch" technology, which allows for simulated "deeper" clicks, to the trackpad and mouse.
Likeable origami cover, but keyboard version doesn't quite hit the mark
Up-front disclaimer: I'm very fond of products by Moshi. As someone who gets to use a lot of brands of accessories, I have used and enjoyed the company's keyboard protectors, iPhone cases, iPad cases, adapters, and car chargers. The company's products are unfailingly lovely, practical, sturdy, and beautifully packaged. They are among a handful (but growing number, happily) of top-quality Mac accessory makers. With the Versacover, they have created another high-quality iPad cover, but with the Versakeyboard, I feel like they missed their mark somewhat. Let's take a closer look.
Stop reading now and go buy it
Okay, no messing: this is a gorgeous keyboard that we were instantaneously smitten with, and then came to like more and more in our testing. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is a simply superb piece of work, and a pleasure to write on. Fair warning: with a few mild caveats, the rest of this entire Hands On is going to be in much this same style -- so if you're already convinced, just know that it's available on Amazon for about $70, and away you go.
Sketch a symbol to send texts and messages
Texting is already a pretty fast way of communicating, but we're an impatient lot, us humans, so if you can shave a few seconds work or a few seconds thinking off a task, there is someone who will do that. This is especially true if the task involves typing on an iPhone keyboard, as plenty of people don't like doing that. Etch Keyboard 1.0.2 is for these people.
Pre-IFA debut also reveals wider LG ambitions for 'premium' input devices
In an effort to capture a larger share of the fast-growing mobile accessories market, LG will unveil the industry's first solid rollable wireless portable keyboard at the IFA 2015 trade show in Berlin, Germany. Unlike other portable keyboards on the market, the Rolly Keyboard folds up along the four rows to create a "stick" that fits into a pocket.
File management app for keyboard fans
The Commander One website, and all the company's press releases about the product, give a little wink and say that the software should remind people of a certain unnamed application. All we can think of is Norton Commander (NC) and yes, Commander One 1.0.1232 does look an awful lot like that ancient application. Of course "ancient" is relative but, come on, Norton Commander was around in the mid-1980s. Just as Apple was first making us point and click with mice, NC was all about the keyboard, and all about looking like DOS. You may be too young to remember DOS and if so, we hate you. At the time, we were young, and we hated DOS.
Speed up typing on the big iOS fondleslab
It is true that having an external keyboard for iPad is a good idea when you're going to be typing a lot, but it is far from true that you really need one. We've typed thousands upon thousands of words directly onto the glass of our iPad screen, and along the way we have learned some things. One is that invariably, you're slower typing on the screen -- but the other things we've learned are ways to speed up and to cut down how much you need to do.
Enter your email address with one tap
It's been a long time since everybody automatically knew their own telephone number, but we all remember our email addresses because we type it so often. You wouldn't think that: of all the addresses in all the emails in all the world, our own ought to be the one we use the least, as we are not in the habit of emailing ourselves. Yet continually we are giving our address out in emails and texts -- and we are forever logging in to services with our address as the username. What MailKey 1.0.2 wants to do is make that easier, it wants to make so that you just tap one button, and the address is entered.
New peripherals will feature integrated batteries, USB charging
Apple plans to release a new version of the company's Magic Mouse and Bluetooth wireless keyboard that will use Bluetooth Low Energy and include integrated batteries, according to new filings with the US Federal Communications Commission. The new peripherals will eschew the AA batteries currently used in favor of USB-based charging. Both will use Bluetooth 4.2 with Bluetooth LE, which should result in dramatically longer battery life.
Flexible silicone keyboard is lightweight, portable, and damage resistant
There's no denying that we love our tablets and smartphones, but we find that extended typing on them isn't nearly as comfortable as one would hope, especially in the case of smaller tablets. Our iPad Mini is too big to thumb-text, but too small to home-row, touch-type. Having a full-sized keyboard on hand to make extended typing easier is nice. Having a full-sized keyboard that is light, portable, and damage-resistant? Even better. That's where Scosche's FreeKEY roll-up Bluetooth keyboard comes in, offering both convenience and portability.
This colorful keyboard utility hits the crowded iOS stage
Since Apple allowed other companies to create keyboards for use on the iPhone, we've had a lot. Not so many or so great that we agree Android users were right to lord this feature over us. Not so many that we look every day for exciting new ones. Yet you may well find that Photokeys 1.0 is that keyboard you've always wanted.
High-quality case offers stylish functionality, but at designer prices
Following numerous legal shenanigans between Typo -- a company founded in part by Ryan Seacrest -- and the clear object of his physical-keyboard affections, BlackBerry -- the company found itself in a position where it was barred by the court from making any sort of of keyboard for smartphones or phablets less than 7.9 inches in size. What to do when your entire raison d'etre has been taken away? Reinvent yourself as a tablet keyboard company. Did Typo succeed with its Plan B? Find out in our review!
Combination Logitech keyboard and trackpad for living room keeps familiar design of predecessor
Logitech has unveiled a new addition to its line of keyboards for living room use, one that builds upon the peripheral producer's first attempt at the concept. Keeping the familiar design of the original, the Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus is a full QWERTY keyboard with an integrated 3.5-inch touchpad to one side, allowing it to be used as a complete keyboard and mouse system while sat in front of a television.
Updated clipboard manager is nearly a must
It's only a small point update from version 1.1.3 which we reviewed back in March, but the new Clips 1.2 adds a redesign and enough improvements that we reckon it moves from "very good" to "a must have." Well, nearly. There are still things we wish it could do, but every one of them is a specific limitation imposed by Apple's iOS.
Turn your whole Mac into an iOS keyboard
It is true that it's harder to type on the glass of an iPhone or iPad than it is to use a real keyboard with full-size keys that depress under your fingers. You could argue how much harder, as we do get by every day without carting large keyboards around with our iPhones, but it is harder -- and there's one more thing. We don't cart our iPhones around as much as we think: we are often right there with them at our Macs. Our Macs which have keyboards. Now Typeeto 1.0 lets you use that Mac keyboard with your iPhone.
New cases feature full-size keys, double-space periods, Bluetooth 4.0, more
Typo, stymied from selling any smartphone keyboards by a court order of its copying of BlackBerry's keyboard design, has struck out in a different direction with a completely new product: a Typo Keyboard case for the iPad Air and Air 2, with a forthcoming version made for the iPad mini line. While Typo is legally barred from making any further smartphone keyboards, it is specifically allowed in its court settlement to make products for devices with 7.9-inch screens or larger -- the exact size of the iPad mini.
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.