Written by Nick Heer.

The Smart Keyboard

Like any new Apple product I can think of, the iPad Pro launches with some surprising limitations. This isn’t bad; it’s what you’d expect in a first-generation product that’s just launched.1 Most of the complaints I’ve seen so far are for the Smart Keyboard, and how it interfaces with iOS. John Gruber:

Trying to use the iPad Pro as a laptop with the Smart Keyboard exposes the seams of an OS that was clearly designed for touchscreen use first. These seams aren’t new — I’m sure anyone who has tried using an iPad of any sort with a paired Bluetooth keyboard has run into the same things. This is simply the first time I’ve tried using an iPad with a hardware keyboard for an extended period for large amounts of work. […]

On iOS 9.1, Safari tries to support [paging down with the spacebar as on the Mac], but it is dreadfully buggy. Instead of paging down just less than one screen-height of content, it pages down about 1.5 screen-heights of content. It literally scrolls right past huge amounts of content, rendering the feature completely unusable.

This can all be fixed in software.

This, though, cannot. Federico Viticci:

Like the software keyboard on the iPad Pro, the only layout available for now is US English (Apple told me they’re working on more international layouts). For the first two days, I couldn’t type on it – I was constantly getting the keys wrong and struggling with the smaller keys and shorter travel. On the third day, the Smart Keyboard clicked with my brain (no pun intended), and I’ve written the majority of my review on it.

Since the software issues can be fixed in an update, I’m surprised that the Smart Keyboard is not available at launch.

  1. The first iPhone couldn’t cut, copy, or paste. It launched without MMS support. There was no App Store. You couldn’t reorder the home screen. The first iPad didn’t support third-party multitasking. The Apple TV has gone through multiple iterations where each has launched with significant features missing. The first iPod didn’t have a legal way to purchase music online, and was FireWire- and Mac-only.

    I would consider the iPad Pro as more of a new product of the aforementioned calibre than a size-based evolution, a la the iPad Mini. ↩︎