As I sit here in Barnes and Noble sipping a watered-down iced coffee (I always refill the cup with half & half when it’s halfway gone as kind of a coffee milk instead of chocolate milk) I am trying out a new Apple Wireless Bluetooth keyboard with my iPad.
First of all, it is easy to pair and types really well. I really like the response of the keys, but they seem a bit closer together than the normal keyboards to which I am accustomed. I also miss having a number pad to the side from my years in accounting work, but it was a good decision to remove it as it is unused by most users and once you get used to the standard number keys at the top of they keyboard they suffice for anything but in-depth numerical data entry. I am somewhat missing having both a backspace and a delete key–if you’re not familiar with Apple keyboards, they only have a backspace key but it is called a delete key. I really like that the function keys also have functions on iOS devices in addition to OS X Macs.
My only real frustration at this point is that most apps are not optimized to use the keyboard except for character input. I wish I could use the arrow keys to scroll up and down in Chrome. Speaking of Chrome, it’d be nice if command-T opened a new tab like it does on a normal Mac. Also it would be helpful if the cursor is automatically in the unibar of a new Chrome tab when it is opened.
There is a jailbroken app, BeeKeyboard, that should address a few of these concerns. I haven’t gone through the jailbreak process yet on my iPad; I guess I’ve been too busy just playing with it, but now that I have a serious keyboard I need to go ahead and get it done.
Finally, I’m liking this keyboard so much I think I’ll probably decide to use it at work as well. I need to get a cheap USB bluetooth adapter for it and my regular Lenovo laptop. My new EDC bags (Maxpedition Jumbo for weekends and 5.11 Messenger Bag for work) should both carry it without problem.
In general, I’m happy with the keyboard and I’m looking forward to using this design going forward. If I ever get to the point where I need a dedicated number pad I can purchase a USB version for my laptop or download an app to use my phone as one.