Keyboards Stories January 12

The Keychron Q2, a brand-new fully customizable mechanical keyboard in a super-compact 65% layout, makes for a pretty sweet Mac desktop companion. Not only does it feature the ability to fully customize every key, but it comes with a tactile programable knob that can be configured to control various functions on your Mac. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for the details.

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Keyboards Stories July 31, 2017

Microsoft shutters one-handed Word Flow keyboard for iOS, points users to SwiftKey instead

Microsoft has shuttered its Word Flow keyboard for iOS, made popular by its one-handed mode in which the keyboard was laid out in an arc …

Keyboards Stories April 8, 2016

SteelSeries Apex M800

SteelSeries is well known around Apple circles for its iOS and Apple TV gaming controllers, but the company specializes in other gaming-related hardware ventures as well, such as mice, headsets and keyboards.

After browsing SteelSeries’ site to find some information on its popular Nimbus controller, I stumbled upon its keyboard line. Anyone that knows me understands that I have a special affinity for mechanical keyboards, and that’s exactly what I found on the SteelSeries website.

The Danish hardware manufacturer’s marquee mechanical keyboard, the SteelSeries Apex M800, is not your ordinary mechanical keyboard. It’s a fully customizable, gaming-centric experience that lets you assign an overwhelming variety of functionality and colors to individual keys. While the Apex M800 ships configured for Windows, it’s fully compatible with the Mac, and even comes with OS X key cap replacements. expand full story

Keyboards Stories February 11, 2016

Kanex launches new MultiSync Bluetooth keyboards for Mac and iOS users

Popular accessory maker Kanex today announced a new lineup of Bluetooth keyboards for Mac and iOS users that allow easy switching between up to four wirelessly connected devices, as well as two products aimed specifically at iPad users.

Keyboards Stories January 17, 2016

Microsoft developing iPhone version of its Swype-like Word Flow keyboard for Windows Phone

Microsoft appears to be planning to port its Windows Phone keyboard called Word Flow to the iPhone as a third-party keyboard, according to WinBeta. The company is currently reaching out to enlisted software testers to recruit iOS users with iPhone 5s or later to test the Windows Phone keyboard.

Word Flow works similarly to gesture-based third-party keyboards like Swype, which let you trace your finger across letters to suggest words for quick typing. The keyboard also supports traditional typing in the same interface. Emoji characters are even recommended when typing words so ‘dog’ might show the dog emoji when typing the word out.

This is how typing with Word Flow looks on Windows Phone minus gesture typing :

Microsoft is currently recruiting beta testers already in its Windows Insider Program with the following message:

Word Flow keyboard has long been one of the highly praised features on Windows Phone and was used to break the Guinness World Record for fastest texting. We are now working on extending this keyboard to other platforms, starting with iOS.

Before publicly releasing this keyboard to the App Store, we’d love to give Insiders like you a preview. With your feedback, we’ll build a roadmap of improvements to the keyboard over time.

Most third-party keyboards since Apple added the capability with iOS 8 haven’t been real home runs due to speed and performance issues, so we’ll have to see how Microsoft works around this. The company is certainly no stranger to developing for iOS with nearly 60 iPhone apps on the App Store to date.

Keyboards Stories November 17, 2015

messengeruniversal-1x

There aren’t many iPad Pro-specific keyboards out there — Apple’s $170 Smart Keyboard and Logitech’s $150 Create (reviewed here) are the first two, if you can find them, with at least a few others announced and on their way to stores. But there’s really no need to wait on iPad Pro-specific keyboards, or spend a king’s ransom for one. Tons of iPad-compatible Bluetooth keyboards are already available, and thankfully at much lower prices.

Depicted with an iPad Pro on its box, Zagg’s Messenger Universal ($70) is clearly an alternative to Apple’s Smart Keyboard. Just like Apple’s accessory, Messenger Universal combines a full-sized keyboard with a magnetic iPad Pro-ready stand that folds down to a small size. But it skips the iPad Pro-only Smart Connector in favor of Bluetooth, and rather than serving as an oddly thick screen cover, takes the shape of a standalone folio that you can carry around as needed. Although it fits the iPad Pro perfectly, Messenger Universal works with all iPads — and other devices — so you needn’t feel constrained to using the keyboard with only a single tablet…

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Keyboards Stories November 10, 2015

iPad Pro Apple Pencil

With iPad Pro officially going on sale tomorrow (possibly at midnight tonight Cupertino time if Apple follows past launches), it’s time to move our attention to accessories for the device.

Will you go the Apple route and stock up on the official but pricey Apple keyboard, case & cover, and Apple Pencil? Or perhaps you’re looking for accessories with features that aren’t offered by Apple’s. Whatever the case, below we’ve started rounding up the best of the best accessories for iPad Pro. Most are available to order now while a couple are coming soon. We’ll be adding more as they pop up in the weeks following the iPad Pro’s launch. expand full story

Keyboards Stories August 27, 2015

LG debuts ‘Rolly’ universal, rollable Bluetooth keyboard

In a press release early this morning, Korean tech giant LG announced that it wants to grab a bigger share of the mobile accessories market. It wants to do so with Rolly Keyboard, a wireless, portable, rollable universal keyboard. Opened, it forms a four-row keyboard with close-to full size keys. What makes the keyboard unique is the method by which it’s stowed. Unlike the traditional single fold down the middle, each row of keys has a hinge, enabling the user to roll it up in to a ‘stick’.

Rolly Keyboard is powered by a single AAA battery and uses two Bluetooth 3.0 channels to pair to two separate devices and enable easy-switching between them, similar to the Microsoft Foldable Keyboard we reviewed recently. What’s more, it also features two arms to hold smartphones or tablets upright. It’s made from polycarbonate and black ABS plastic and LG claims it “offers satisfying tactile feedback often not found on flexible silicone keyboards”. Judging from the selection of keys on the device, it seems it’s going to be compatible with multiple platforms, including Apple-flavored devices.

Instead of offering a separate row for extra function keys for tasks like media playback, volume etc. LG has opted to use an individual ‘Fn’ key which — when pressed with a labelled key — will allow users to skip tracks, play/pause, change volume, pair devices and much more. And it won’t be alone on the accessory market his year:

“LG Rolly Keyboard is just one of the many premium input devices we’ll be unveiling in the coming months as we expand our accessories offerings,” said Seo Young-jae, vice president in charge of Innovative Personal Devices at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The goal was to create a product that could add more value to LG smartphones and tablets at the same time offering a unique design proposition that hadn’t been explored before.”

LG will show off its Rolly Keyboard at IFA in Berlin at the beginning of next month and launch in the U.S. in September. Pricing and availability details will be shared once it’s available to consumers.

Keyboards Stories August 22, 2015

microsoft-foldable-keyboard-ios

The iPad accessory market is full of keyboards. Most of them double up as cases, they’re about as big as the iPad and they’re not well optimized for other devices. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is different. It’s small enough to carry around in your pocket when folded, and works with iOS, Windows and Android devices. What’s more, you can have it paired to two devices at once and switch between them with the press of a button. It’s safe to say that this is one of the most versatile and portable Bluetooth keyboards on the market. This review was written entirely on it.

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Keyboards Stories August 1, 2015

pixelmator keyboard main

Pixelmator is one of the best Photoshop alternatives available on the Mac App Store. I’ve been using it for quite some time now, but mostly just using a trackpad or mouse to manipulate layers, access tools and edit functions. There are tons of keyboard shortcuts. And if I had the time or patience to learn them all, I would have. Needless to say, I didn’t. So when I got the chance to check out EditorsKeys keyboard specifically designed for Pixelmator, I jumped at it.

To cut it down to the very basics – This is essentially a wired Apple keyboard with numeric keypad. Except it has custom keys to clearly label the Pixelmator keyboard shortcuts, making photo and image editing much quicker and easier. Simply put: If you use Pixelmator on Mac and you don’t already have a grasp of all the shortcuts, you should get this keyboard.

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Keyboards Stories July 15, 2015

Turn your iPad into a Surface with Logi’s new BLOK keyboard case

Logitech recently announced a new branding and marketing strategy and its BLOK family of iPad cases are the first products released under the company’s new Logi brand. The Logi Blok are highly protective, colorful, square cases and keyboard covers for your iPad.

The Logi BLOK family is made up of the Logi BLOK Protective Shell, the BLOK Protective Case and the BLOK Protective Keyboard case. All have square corners, designed to protect the precious rounded corners on your iPad. What’s more, they have been tested to ensure you can drop your iPad from “up to six feet high”, on to surfaces as hard as concrete, without killing your tablet. Unlike some other ultra-protective cases, Logitech promises that these aren’t bulky or heavy.

With Logi BLOK, you get drop protection without the bulk and weight that is often associated with ultra-protective cases. Additionally, the Logi BLOK family reflects the colorful and bold new Logitech look, so you’ll see a sleek design and bright colors on each case.

The two different case options are incredibly similar to each other. From the images, it seems the BLOK Case is the same as the BLOK Shell, except with the addition of a cover and a kickstand similar to that on the keyboard case. BLOK Shell ships with a screen protector and is available for iPad Air 2 and 2nd/3rd gen iPad mini in blue or black mini for $39.99. BLOK case costs $69.99 and is only available for the iPad Air 2.

The BLOK Protective Keyboard looks to transform your iPad Air 2 in to a Microsoft Surface. It adds a versatile and adjustable kickstand to the back and a magnetic detachable keyboard to the front. Like most iPad keyboards, it connects via Bluetooth, ensuring you can continue to type even if you don’t have it physically attached to the case.

It’s available in black, teal/blue and red/violet color combinations and will set you back $129.99. You can take a look at the new keyboard accessory in the promo video:

All three BLOK products are available to order from today at Logitech.com.

 

Keyboards Stories April 29, 2015

macipadkeyboards-13

Keyboards are important — so important that many people won’t “work” on their iPads without real keys to type on. No one complained when desktop mice gave way to laptop trackpads, or when trackpads evolved into tablet touchscreens, but the switch from physical to virtual keyboards has been met with plenty of resistance… specifically because virtual keyboards offer no resistance. There’s something about the responsive, up and down movement of actual keys, known as “travel,” that people clearly prefer over tapping on completely flat glass.

I’ve tested a lot of keyboards, and since I rely upon them professionally every day, I have some strong opinions as to the best options for different types of Mac and iPad users. You might be surprised by my advice, as it bucks a couple of Apple’s trends (“smaller!” “thinner!”), but if you’re like me, you’ll be a much happier typist if you “think different” on this topic than the folks in Cupertino…

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Keyboards Stories February 5, 2015

SwiftKey, one of the more popular third party iOS 8 keyboards on the App Store, is out with a new version today adding both new features and additional languages.

Since iOS 8, SwiftKey had been able to replace the standard Apple iOS keyboard, and the new version also packs in the complete Emoji keyboard in one package. This makes it even more simple (👌) to find that smiling pile of poo (💩) or slice of pizza (🍕) when you need it without having to toggle between system keyboards. Similar to Apple’s QuickType predictive text feature, the latest SwiftKey update also adds Emoji predictions to the word suggestion area. expand full story

Keyboards Stories October 26, 2014

iOS 8 How-to: Set up and customize third-party keyboards

 

iOS 8 brings support for third party keyboards. This allows the user to further customize their device and they are no longer forced to use Apple’s keyboard. Now that we have been using them for a while, it would be nice to even further customize the order in which the keyboards appear. In this how to article, I will discuss how to choose the order in which the keyboards appear as well as how to disable Apple’s QuickType feature.

Keyboards Stories October 3, 2014

third party keyboards iOS 8

With iOS 8, Apple now allows developers to create alternative keyboards on iPhone and iPad that can be used almost anywhere to replace the system keyboard. We told you about several third-party keyboards for iOS 8 including when the major operating system update was released last month, and a few more interesting third-party keyboards have since been released. The first is an Emoji-only keyboard called Emoji++ that makes finding the right Emoji character much faster, and the second is both a language and symbol keyboard called Character Keyboard for typing out special characters. expand full story

Keyboards Stories September 25, 2014

IMG_3396

Apple has finally released iOS 8.0.2 to address the issues discovered in yesterday’s 8.0.2 update on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The new release includes all of the HealthKit and keyboard fixes, among others, as well as the ability to actually make phone calls and connect to a cellular data network.

Apple said yesterday that the update was coming “in a few days” and instructed users to downgrade to version 8.0 while awaiting the fix. The new update is rolling out now and can be found in the over-the-air software updater built into iOS.

Apple told CNBC that “less than 40,000 devices” were affected by the buggy release. The change log is below:

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Keyboards Stories September 23, 2014

iOS 8.0.1 will reportedly bring fixes for phone & keyboard bugs, Safari video, & more

Apple’s next iOS 8 update following the public release of the operating system earlier this month will reportedly bring various fixes for phone and keyboard related bugs, problems with video in Safari and more. MacRumors claims to have details on the upcoming iOS 8.0.1 release from a source. In addition to fixing bugs with the phone, keyboard, and Safari, the fix will reportedly also include a fix for AirDrop support with Passbook and a problem with installing VPN profiles.

Here’s the full list of changes according to the report:

– Phone: Addresses bugs with call forwarding and freezing when accessing visual voicemail – Keyboard: Fixes an issue with keypad not appearing to enter iCloud Keychain verification codes – Safari: Fixes a problem with videos occasionally not playing – Sharing: Fixes AirDrop support for Passbook passes – VPN: Addresses an issue with installing VPN profiles

Apple released iOS 8 to the public earlier this month on September 17th two days ahead of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models going on sale in initial launch countries. Adoption of the new operating system is lagging behind last year’s iOS 7 release, while Apple for the first time used its own CDN to deliver the update this year. A release date for the next iOS 8 update has not yet been confirmed, but Apple has said they are working on a fix for the HealthKit bug that delayed the feature expected later this month.

Keyboards Stories September 17, 2014

screenshot-2014-06-02-14-33-38

In iOS 8, Apple is adding support for third-party keyboards. This means that iOS users can finally replace the default stock Apple keyboard with a myriad of choices already available on the App Store.

Keyboards are tied with an app. There is not a separate ‘keyboard store’. To find a keyboard, you search in the iOS App Store like any other app. Once you have downloaded an app that contains a custom keyboard, you must then enable it in Settings. Go to Settings -> General -> Keyboards -> Add New Keyboard and select the new app. This is kind of annoying, since it forces every app to instruct you how to install their keyboard in case you are new to the concept.

With that out of the way, what are the best keyboards available for iOS 8 to download today? Read on for 9to5Mac’s comprehensive roundup.

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Keyboards Stories July 10, 2014

fleksy

The popular Fleksy keyboard for Android will be making its way to iOS 8 this fall, according to the company behind the software. While the keyboard isn’t quite ready for a public beta, the developers say it will be ready by the release of the next-generation mobile OS.

Keeping in line with today’s update for the Android version, the iPhone version is on schedule to ship with support with over 40 languages.

The Fleksy keyboard has been available on iOS in the form of a standalone app for some time now, but with iOS 8’s support for third-party keyboards, it will finally be available systemwide. The native keyboard has already been demoed by the Fleksy developers earlier this year.

Keyboards Stories April 22, 2014

Logitech announces an even thinner Ultrathin keyboard cover for iPad, three new case designs

Logitech is introducing three new products for iPad users including a new lineup of protective cases and an updated version of its Ultrathin keyboard cover for iPad Air and iPad mini.

The new Logitech Ultrathin keyboard cover (pictured above) introduces a thinner and lighter design at 6.4 mm thick and two-thirds of the weight of the iPad itself. It comes with a magnetic clip in the same “high-grade aluminum construction and matching finish” that securely attaches the case to your iPad and allows for multiple viewing angles. It’s arriving for $99.99 for iPad Air and $89.99 for iPad mini in the U.S. and EU next month.

Also announced today are the three protective cases pictured above including the Big Bang for iPad Air & iPad mini ($99/$79), the flexible Hinge for iPad Air and mini that allows for 15 to 65-degree viewing angels ($59/$49), and the Logitech Turnaround for iPad Air and mini ($59/$49), a case that lets you rotate your iPad between landscape and portrait mode.

The Big Bang case is shipping in May, and the other two cases are available now on Logitech’s site.  Some of the cases come in various color options and all can be preordered or purchased from Logitech today.

Keyboards Stories March 4, 2014

Logitech just announced a new Harmony Smart Keyboard that it says is specifically designed for controlling Apple TV and similar living room devices. The idea is that the Harmony Smart Keyboard, with support for “225,000 home-entertainment devices and over 5,000 brands,” will become your ultimate living room controller. The keyboard packs in a touchpad on the right hand side, a ton of quick launch functions for changing channels, browsing menus, and controlling media, and a number of interesting new features powered by the included Harmony WiFi hub and companion app. It’s essentially the best of both worlds from Logitech’s keyboard and Harmony remote products.  expand full story

Keyboards Stories January 14, 2014

typo-iphone-keyboard

The Wall St. Journal today covers two different physical keyboard attachments for iPhone, the $100 (aptly-named?) ‘Typo’ and the Solomatrix Spike. The TL;DR is that both of these keyboards are OK (Joanna Stern seems to prefer the Typo) but have fatal flaws that push them towards edge cases – people who’ve recently just shifted away from a Blackberry, have sausage fingers, or suffer from some other problem with getting data into their phone via a screen.

Their real problem is that iOS on the iPhone isn’t designed for a physical keyboard. It is designed to flip back and forth, from landscape to portrait depending on the use and the app. It was designed from the very beginning to be agile and portable and with that portability, the ultimate sacrifice was made to the smartphone physical keyboard.

To this day, I don’t think I am faster at typing and multitasking  on an iPhone as I was on the physical keyboard of the 2007 Danger Sidekick that it replaced. But the wealth of other keyboard options and the ability to be both portrait and landscape more than make up for the speed.

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Keyboards Stories October 28, 2013

We’ve been maintaining a running list of the best new iPad Air cases ahead of its upcoming Nov. 1st launch date, and today Logitech announced four new products for the device with a new line of Ultrathin cases, covers and keyboard folios.

Available starting next month, the company will be offering The Logitech® FabricSkin Keyboard Folio, Logitech® Ultrathin Keyboard Cover, Logitech® Ultrathin Keyboard Folio and Logitech® Folio Protective Case all for Apple’s new iPad Air. Most of the products are similar to Logitech cases already available for previous generation iPads: expand full story

Keyboards Stories May 27, 2013

Zagg-Memorial-Day-Sale

From 9to5Toys.com:

Anyone familiar with Zagg, and with 9to5, knows the company offers more than a few high quality Apple accessories worth taking a look at. Not only will you get some of the best gear for iOS devices on the market, starting today you’ll also be able to get up to 50% off on select items as well as additional savings for other highly recommended accessories.

ZAGG is currently offering 20%-50% off site wide including 20% off its top of the line iPad keyboards and 50% off all invisibleSHIELDS, cases, cables, audio products, and stylus pens. 

We’ve reviewed and enjoyed a number of Zagg products that remain high on our list of recommended iPad keyboards, charging accessories, and protective covers. Below are just a few of our reviews for Zagg products that you simply can’t go wrong with:

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 12.55.38 PM

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