“Does Apple consider the Smart Keyboard an important new direction for the iPad line, or an accessory designed for old fogeys who can’t get with the program and adapt to typing on glass?” Jason Snell asks for Macworld.
MacDailyNews Take: Judging by the lack of backlit keys, no layout beyond the sole U.S. keyboard, and no top row of system-wide shortcut keys, among other issues, we’ll go with the latter.
“I’m not convinced that the Smart Keyboard offers more value than a regular Bluetooth keyboard that you can tuck away in a bag, unless (of course) you really need to carry a keyboard with you everywhere you go. As an iPad cover, it’s bulky and lumpy, and I found myself pulling it off at every opportunity,” Snell writes. “Whether I’m using a fancy new Smart Connector-based keyboard or an old-school Bluetooth one with the iPad, though, I keep finding quirks that remind me that iOS was built with software keyboards in mind.”
“It’s quite a task to add support for hardware keyboards to an operating system that was never really intended to use them,” Snell writes. “But in for a penny, in for a pound, as they say: Apple isn’ts just supporting these keyboards from afar, it’s selling one itself.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We’re getting the strong impression that those who write for a living should stick to devices that are more built around, you know, the keyboard. Writers should choose a MacBook, MacBook Air, or even a MacBook Pro and — now, this isn’t a criticism of Snell as his article is expressly about keyboards — but reviewers shouldn’t be reviewing the iPad Pro as if everybody is a writer or a typist.
For the vast, vast, vast majority of users, the software keyboard on any iOS device is perfectly fine. That’s not to say Apple shouldn’t continue working to improve the software keyboard, autocorrect, and even their hardware keyboards, of course. There are certainly issues that need to be addressed (see Snell’s full article) and hopefully will be sooner than later.