Some thoughts on the Magic Keyboard for iPad

I've been using the iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard daily since I got mine a few weeks ago. I think I am now confident enough to write down my thoughts and share what I like and don't like about it.

If you've been holding off of buying one, I hope this clears up some things for you. These are in no particular order:

  • With the Magic Keyboard, the iPad Pro is the nearly perfect modular computer. It's so close, oh so damn close. There are only a few things missing which would enable me to use the iPad for 80% of my work. Mainly Apple's Pro-apps, better external display support and a full dev-environment with a Terminal and an IDE. Maybe I will explain this in a later post.
  • Typing on the Magic Keyboard is excellent. And this is coming from someone who usually uses Mechanical Keyboards only. It is way way better than typing on the butterfly switches of my MacBook Pro. I use the 11 "model by the way.
  • The trackpad is in typical Apple-fashion excellent. They have just figured this out, haven't they? It's way smaller than the one on a MacBook. Then again, I'm wondering why it is that big in the first place. But...
  • ...if an app doesn't natively support the trackpad it is very, very obvious. Especially if you use the same apps on your Mac. Two-finger swipes, right clicks. They do nothing when the app doesn't support it. And it bothers me that some companies like Microsoft take ages to add trackpad-support to their apps. Don't even get me started on Google.
  • I am not missing the function keys. My MacBook is hooked up to a mechanical keyboard. Also Touchbar. There are no function keys on that either. And if you want to change the volume on your iPad, the volume buttons are there, top left of your device.
  • I miss EurKEY. I have a US-American-layout on my Magic Keyboard because that's the way I roll and it is the only correct layout (don't even mention Dvorak). Same on my PC and MacBook. EurKEY is a keyboard layout that facilitates using all the different åçcéñts used in European languages. It's great. It's missing on my iPad.
  • The Magic Keyboard is a tank. I don't feel like anything can destroy it. Except for dust. Or crumbs. I don't know what Apple's fixation with this soft-touch material is, but it is a freaking dust magnet. Just by looking at it, I need to clean it with a pressure washer. If it's going to break, it's because of crumbs. Mark my words!
  • It drains the battery on my iPad. I haven't done any particular testing, but it's just a feeling I have. It drains faster. Period. But...
  • ...the USB-C port on the side is great. I can use my iPad on my desk hooked to a charging cable. I don't need to care about battery drain. (I still do.)
  • The iPad Pro has hot corners for the trackpad. Drag your pointer to the right and keep going and you open apps in that multitasking-overlay. Go down, and the dock pops up. Top right Control Center, top top Notification Center. The hot corners work great, except for the multitasking one. One out of three times, nothing pops up. It's as if I don't hit the spot I need to hit. It drives me insane.

The Magic Keyboard is a great device. It isn't perfect but still very, very good.

And now I feel confident enough to say that the iPad Pro is not a complete device without the Magic Keyboard. Do you want an iPad Pro? Get a Magic Keyboard. You don't want a Magic Keyboard? Don't get an iPad Pro.1 The other iPads probably suit your needs better.

  1. Except if you're an artist. That's the only exception I could come up with.