iPad and the Apple wireless keyboard

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by ardchoille, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. ardchoille
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    ardchoille iPad Addict

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    I just bought the Apple wireless keyboard, hoping to pair it to my iPad mini, and it turns out it was a smart purchase. Now I'd like to post a mini review.

    Accessory: Apple Wireless Keyboard
    Model: MC184LL/B
    Apple Store Link: http://store.apple.com/xc/product/MC184LL/B

    Pairing
    Pairing my new Apple Wireless Keyboard was crazy easy. Follow these steps to pair the keyboard

    1. Open Settings > Bluetooth on the iPad mini and turn on Bluetooth.
    2. Press the power button on the right side of the wireless keyboard
    3. The iPad mini will detect the new keyboard
    4. Tap the keyboard entry on the iPad mini
    5. The iPad will give you a 4 digit code to enter into the keyboard
    6. Pairing will automatically complete

    Performance
    1.The arrow keys work as expected

    Despite the lack of arrow keys on the virtual keyboard, the external keyboard arrow keys work just like they do on a Mac. You can move up and down, and the command + right, command + left combinations move you to the start and end of the given line. Command + up and command + down also work.

    2. The media keys work

    If you connect the Apple wireless keyboard to the iPad and hit the media play key (the one that looks like a play/pause button), then the iPad responds by playing music on the iPod. The forward and reverse media keys move between songs as expected.

    3. The volume keys work

    The volume keys control the volume in exactly the same way as it does on a mac. You can mute and make the volume go up and down by using the three volume keys on the wireless keyboard.

    4. The Command-Tab keystroke does not switch between apps

    Despite now being a multi-tasking operating system for most apps, the command-tab keys do not switch between apps. This means that you will have to move your hands back to the iPad to move between apps.

    5. The screen brightness keys work as expected

    The two screen brightness keys control the iPad’s brightness just as they would on a Mac. You can brighten and dim as needed.

    6. The Eject button on the wireless keyboard pulls up the virtual keyboard

    If you find yourself needing or wanting the regular iPad virtual on screen keyboard without powering off or disconnecting the wireless keyboard, simply press the eject key. The virtual keyboard will slide into place on the iPad, and once you are finished either dismiss the keyboard in the regular way or hit the eject key again.

    7. The selection and navigation keys work as expected

    When you hold the option key and hit a left or right arrow key, the cursor moves to the next word as expected. If you hold the shift down as well it will select as it moves. And command + a will select everything on the page, just as it does on a Mac.

    8. You can undo/redo from the wireless keyboard

    Just as you can on a Mac, command + z will undo the last action and shift + command + z will redo it. This is quite handy for those accidental keyboard hits and screen touches.

    9. The tab key actually tabs

    Despite there not being a tab key on the virtual keyboard, the wireless keyboard’s tab does as expected. While for some this is not a big deal, I like to take notes in outline fashion using the tab key as the offset. On the virtual keyboard this is obviously not possible, but on the wireless keyboard it works just fine. Of course, editing it later could be an issue.

    10. The special character keys work

    If you are a longtime Apple user, you may know what to expect when you press shift + option + k. Well, it works as expected, and when you do it an apple pops up on the screen. The option + keys as well as the shift + option + keys work as expected, giving the desired special character.

    11. The classic emacs control key bindings work

    For those of you who are used to the classic control key bindings, I have good news – they work on the iPad with a wireless keyboard. For those of you who are not familiar, they are:

    ctrl-e: end of the line
    ctrl-a: beginning of the line
    ctrl-k: delete to end of the line
    ctrl-f: cursor forward
    ctrl-b: cursor back
    ctrl-n: next line
    ctrl-p: previous line

    The only exception is the delete forward key, ctrl-d, which does not work. It seems odd that there would be a single exception, but perhaps it will be supported in a future release.

    12. The command + c and command + v cut and paste keystrokes work

    I am glad about this one, and it not being present would be sorely disappointing. Once something is selected, a quick command + c will copy it to the clipboard, and command + v will paste it into the current document.

    13. The wireless keyboard will wake up iPad

    Everybody likes a bonus, so here’s one for you – once the wireless keyboard is paired with the iPad, hitting any key on the keyboard will bring the iPad back to life once it is in screen mode. This works if you power off using a quick tap of the power button or if it times out and turns off. Of course, if you do a complete power down of the iPad this will not work.

    14. Easier word selection

    I quite like how word selection works on a physical keyboard and the Apple wireless keyboard is no exception. When selecting a word, place the cursor at the end or beginning of a word and hold down the SHIFT key while pressing the left or right arrow key. This is much easier than having to drag those tiny blue dots on the iPad screen.

    Opinion
    I love this wireless keyboard, it essentially turns my iPad mini into a mini netbook. And, of course, it will come in handy when I purchase the Mac Mini later. I'm also guessing this keyboard will work on iPhones, iPods and the Apple TV.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  2. hookbill
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    hookbill iPad Junkie

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    Yes, I agree I love my Apple keyboard with my iPad. It's one of the reasons I prefer just going into the forum as opposed to using tapatalk.

    One thing negative however that you didn't mention. Leaving the caps lock key on can cause . IUB cannot be typed with the cap lock on or you will get what I demonstrated.

    Sometimes if you are in a hurry that's a bit frustrating but that's the only negative thing I can say about the Apple Key Board. You can type those letters on an iMac using the wireless keyboard but not on the iPad.

    Nice review, I learned quite a few things from it and I've had the Apple keyboard for probably 3 years. This is actually my second one, my first was a victim of excessive drinking of Diet Pepsi.
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  3. ardchoille
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    ardchoille iPad Addict

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    Hey, thanks for that tip, I didn't know about that either. I actually like to disable the capslock key if at all possible, it's not something that I use.

    I didn't think there was such as thing as drinking excessive pepsi :)
  4. ardchoille
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    ardchoille iPad Addict

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    I just found this information on Apple's website:

    The Apple Wireless Keyboard and many Bluetooth keyboards that use the Apple keyboard layout are compatible when used with the following iOS devices:

    iPad (all models)
    iPhone 3GS or later
    iPod touch (3rd generation or later)
  5. hookbill
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    hookbill iPad Junkie

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    Since you quoted me you saw the demonstration. Just for those who might be wondering what in the world I'm talking about I causes the Italics symbols, B causes the Bold symbols and U the underline symbols.

    You may want to keep in mind not to feed your keyboard diet pepsi. It actually get's intoxicated and some strange stuff happens. Ultimately it becomes useless. ;) That goes for regular pepsi, coke, and ginger ale.
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  6. ardchoille
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    ardchoille iPad Addict

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    Another tip: Command + a selects all text in a text field. Very nice for copy (command + c) and paste (command + v).
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  7. TopDog69
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    TopDog69 iPF Noob

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    Are there any ways to navigate in Safari using a bluetooth keyboard? Like page up/down, top of page, bottom of page?

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