A closer look at the new iPad Pro Magic Keyboard with trackpad support
If you listen closely enough, you will hear exultations of joy from Apple users everywhere following the launch of the all-new iPad Pro Magic Keyboard. After years of ignoring users, Apple has finally added a trackpad to its all-new official keyboard accessory and enabled support in the iOS 13.4 update. Of course, Apple had to give its approach a few tweaks so as to ensure it stays in line with the touch-first approach it has always espoused for its iPad range.
Firstly, Apple has taken the opportunity to drop the dreaded butterfly keyboard mechanism that plagued its MacBooks in recent years, but was also hidden under the previous official Apple iPad keyboard designs. In fact, Apple also had to launch a special repair program for those keyboards as well, although the problem was less well known. In its place, Apple has used the new scissor switch mechanism found on the new 16-inch MacBook Pro which increases key travel to 1 mm.
Secondly, the keys now also feature backlighting while a USB-C port has been added to one side of the keyboard that enables the iPad Pro to be charged leaving the iPad USB-C port for other purposes. And, thirdly, the keyboard case enables the iPad Pro to ‘float’ above the keyboard for smooth angle adjustment. This means there is no longer a slot on the keyboard to support the iPad in place – it is certainly a new design feature we are keen to try out.
All eyes, however, are on the new “click-anywhere” trackpad, which allows for full cursor control which should make it much easier to edit spreadsheets and text. Apple’s twist is that the cursor appears as a circle that highlights user interface elements, text fields and apps on the Home screen. It also supports the multi-touch gestures users will be familiar with from using a MacBook trackpad, but designed for the iPad UI. For example, gestures will allow users to switch between apps, activate the Dock, Control Center and apps in Slide Over.
The only bummer is that although the new iPad Pro models arrive in stores next week, the new Magic Keyboard doesn’t arrive until May. :(