Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Most I’ve Ever Typed on an iPad

Since I got the iPad, I’ve known that bluetooth keyboards work with it, but I haven’t ever synced my BT keyboard to it until now.  And I can’t decide if it’s awesome or terrible.  Certainly, the best part about the iPad is that the keyboard is not necessary.  I’ve always figured that if I need to type, I can just use the laptop and if I just want to read, there’s nothing better than the iPad.  Today I had a flight sequence with a short overnight, and I didn’t really want to drag the macbook air through security, but I wanted to do some quick typing for my new bidding program so I brought along the BT keyboard. 

It’s nice to be able to write something like this blog post with the iPad, but some things are very lacking.  For a mouse-less computer, I thought keyboard shortcuts would work better.  Tabbing between fields seems application-specific and other than the address bar, the keyboard is useless for safari web browsing.  No page up/down or search.  I thought my SSH program would work pretty well, but the control buttons don’t work which kind of limits using nano with it.

On the other hand, with cheap bluetooth keyboads these days, it’s not too hard to throw a spare keyboard in the suitcase and when the rare situation comes across that I want to type, I’m no longer limited by touch typing on the screen.  The special apple function keys that adjust brightness and control music actually do work and are pretty nice.  Command keys like cut/copy/paste do work as well, but without a mouse it can take some time to select what you want.

For now, I think the iPad has a way to go to meet the standards of someone used to controlling a computer almost purely by keyboard command.  Maybe iOS 4 or 5 will address it, or maybe like OSX there’s a hidden option to turn on full keyboard commands.  Using a bluetooth keyboard is a nice feature but I’ll stick to the air for now. 

Posted by eclipse on 12/19/2010 at 11:13 PM
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