Tag - Keyboards
Since 2014 and iOS 8, we've had the ability to swap Apple's regular on-screen iOS keyboard for ones made by other companies. You would think that by 2016 and iOS 9, the kinks would be worked out. Yet they're not, and while some of this is for sensible reasons, others are just a pain -- and one that developers exacerbate. This was tested on iPhone because while you can install these third-party keyboards on iPads, it just hasn't become a thing.
Usually, when you think about searching and keyboards, it's when you're lifting one up to see where your pen has gone. That may be the only type of searching that Google can't help you with, though, and this new iPhone keyboard is the company's latest attempt to find you everything, everywhere. Gboard 1.0.0 lets you type Google searches whatever app you're in.
We don't like being predictable, but usually -- we'll admit this -- if we look at a third-party on-screen keyboard for iOS, we tend to go down the same route every time. They're mildly fiddly to switch over to, and they rarely offer any benefits. Only, we're admitting to our predictability because this time, we're different. For this Word Flow Keyboard from Microsoft Garage could well be the best non-Apple alternative keyboard for iPhone that we've seen. It's got issues, but it's the first time we could imagine you switching permanently to one.
There is no such thing as the perfect keyboard, or at least there isn't one slice of perfection for everyone. It'd be dull if there were, but it would also be quite handy. As it is, for us the Logitech K810 keyboard is so very nearly the best possible option that we're wondering why it took us years to try it out. With chagrin, we also realize that if we'd checked it out even a few months ago, we'd have ditched it in favor of the Logitech K811 instead.
The flood of replacements for Apple's default iOS keyboard died down after developers went crazy offering every conceivable gimmick, and users realized how few of them were any good. We're now at the stage where the only new keyboards that appear are ones that look like they've been built to solve a particular need, and in the case of Microsoft Hub Keyboard 1.0, that need is to speed up typing for Office 365 users.
Sometimes, just sometimes, the difference between two keyboards is quite subtle and truly down to the fingers of the beholder. What someone finds strong and reliable, the next person will find loud and clacky. This time, though, there is a very apparent and clear difference between this Logitech K480 and the K380 model that we've previously enthused about. The K480 must surely be 100 somethings better than the K380.
We've been testing a lot of Logitech keyboards lately and, just between you and me, we were considering doing a kind of smackdown group test of the lot. However, when your water cooler conversations become heated about plastic keyboards, though, it's time to take a look at yourself and your priorities in life. That's not to say I won't cave in, especially if the alternative is to discuss football, but right now I'd like you to imagine that the smackdown happened in private and that the Logitech K380 won. Keep this in mind, though -- it's still the most blue keyboard I've ever used.
Usually a sentence with the word "compromise" in it is bound to end badly, but in this case, not so much. The Logitech K400r keyboard has the features of a keyboard you're meant to travel with, and one that is best suited to staying on your desk. Whether you like it depends on how you feel about clacky keyboards instead of flat, low-slung chiclet ones, but it is a 79-key one that has the convenience of a travelling keyboard.
Keyboard maker Brydge has debuted its latest keyboard, this time aimed at the latest iPad mini, at CES. While there was a version of the BrydgeMini made for the first three iterations of the iPad mini, the new version is said to be designed specifically for the iPad mini 4, which debuted in October. Like the previous model, the BrydgeMini II is a front-only case that features backlit keys, and a unique hinge design for 180-degree viewing. The company also shared details on its forthcoming BrydgePro keyboard for the iPad Pro, announced last month.
We have a possibly unhealthy obsession with keyboards, but no plans to do anything about it -- we're not going to swap to pens and pencils, for instance. Plus, our addiction means we automatically know the two things that make a great keyboard -- or we thought we did, until we used the Logitech Keys-to-Go keyboard for iPad.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE