Magic Keyboard Stories April 12

It seems a given that Apple will bring Face ID to Macs sooner rather than later, now that the tech has been extended from iPhones to iPads too. We’ve today seen the latest in a series of Apple patent applications to do just that.

But the patent also suggests the Touch Bar could be coming to Magic Keyboards

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Magic Keyboard Stories November 3, 2017

9to5Rewards: Win a Space Gray Apple Magic Keyboard from ColorWare [Giveaway]

This week for 9to5Rewards, we’re giving away a customized Space Gray Apple Magic Keyboard from ColorWare, the Minnesota-based company that specializes in custom painted products & skins.

Magic Keyboard Stories October 13, 2017

Shipping times for the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad have slipped to 6-7 weeks, in contrast with the standard Magic Keyboard which is shown as in stock with immediate availability. We’re seeing the same availability for the product across Apple Stores in all countries, though it is still in stock with other suppliers.

Seven weeks would take us into December, which is when Apple has promised us the new iMac Pro it first teased back in June …

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Magic Keyboard Stories April 4, 2017

I wondered soon after the launch of the 2016 MacBook Pro whether Apple might have plans to bring the Touch Bar and Touch ID to a new Magic Keyboard. A new Apple patent application shows that the company is at least exploring the idea.

As ever, the language of the patent is dense, but the illustrations include a standalone keyboard as well as a laptop one.

In some embodiments, the device may also include a processing unit positioned within the housing, and a primary display positioned at least partially within the housing and configured to display a graphical-user interface executed by the processing unit. In some embodiments, the display is an organic light-emitting diode display. The electronic device may be a keyboard device.

As I noted previously, this would seem to address the greatest weakness of the Touch Bar …

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Magic Keyboard Stories November 3, 2016

One big question people have been asking since Apple’s announcement of the Touch Bar is if the technology could come to the standalone Magic Keyboard. My colleague Ben Lovejoy noted of the possibility earlier this week, explaining that battery life and price would be to inhibiting  factors for the Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar to come to fruition.

Those factors haven’t stopped some eager designers from creating some pretty convincing mockups, though…

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Magic Keyboard Stories October 19, 2015

I’ve been waiting for Apple to update the 2007-vintage Apple Wireless Keyboard and 2010 Magic Trackpad since the first time OS X displayed a “low battery” notification — since then, I’ve had years of near-daily pop-up reminders that either my keyboard or my trackpad (both fueled by Apple’s official Battery Charger, no less) were supposedly running low on power. Although I preferred the minimalism of a wire-free desk, I reluctantly switched back to Apple’s old but still excellent Wired Keyboard to cut “low battery” notices in half, hoping that Apple would leverage 5+ years of Bluetooth and battery improvements to produce better wireless input accessories.

Last week, Apple finally released sequels to its three major input devices: the new Magic Keyboard ($99) replaces the $69 Wireless Keyboard, the Magic Mouse 2 ($79) updates the $59 Magic Mouse, and the Magic Trackpad 2 ($129) vaults over the $69 Magic Trackpad. The signature improvement to each is the replacement of AA batteries with integrated Lithium-Ion rechargeable cells, refueled once per month with an included Lightning cable — previously only used for iPad, iPhone, and iPod accessories. Apple also tweaked each of the accessory designs, one more significantly than the others.

Having given up mice five years ago (and radically improved a carpal tunnel-damaged wrist in the process), I opted not to test the Magic Mouse 2, but my colleague Dom Esposito discusses it and the other Magic accessories in the video below. My review is focused on the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2, neither of which I’d call “must-have” accessories, though each has a couple of worthwhile assets, and at least one surprising Apple device compatibility limitation. Should you buy Apple’s latest accessories, or go with excellent third-party alternatives such as Logitech’s K811 Keyboard and Rechargeable Trackpad for Mac instead?… (Updated November 2015 and December 2015 with new battery testing results.)

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