Overall we found the new iPad very cool, not all that novel (if you’ve been using an iPhone or iPod Touch for awhile), and not necessarily something that will change your life. Fun for reading books and doing crosswords on the subway though.
My main complaint about the iPad is how hard it is to type on it. In fact I’ll amend that statement: For anyone who is a real touch typist, not a hunt-and-pecker, it’s very hard to type. There’s no haptic feedback to tell you whether or not you hit the proper key, whether you hit it twice, and so on. I’m used to typing very, very fast without looking down, so it’s been hard to adjust to the iPad, and needing to check every line for typos.
If you do the hunt and peck, with the two index fingers, then I bet the iPad will be no more challenging than any standard keyboard. I mean, you’re staring at the keyboard anyway, so you’ll be able to tell what key you hit.
Therefore I was very excited to find out I could pair the iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard for typing purposes. This morning I used our Apple Wireless Keyboard (available for $69 from the Apple Store) to try it out.
Step 1 was removing the batteries from the Apple Wireless Keyboard and reinstalling them, to break any existing pairing with another computer. I’ve read that the iPad can only use a keyboard that’s paired with it, not with anything else.
Step 2: I turned on the keyboard by pushing in the power button on the right-hand side.
Step 3: I went into the settings on the iPad, enabled Bluetooth, and then the iPad immediately started to look for any available Bluetooth devices. It found the keyboard right away.
And that was it! I propped up the iPad, typed away on the real keyboard, and could finally get some emails written super fast.
The one disadvantage is that you can’t use the tab key to choose from a list of things, and you can’t use the return key to “save” or “send” or anything. You still need to use your index finger on the iPad screen for all that. Otherwise a nice success.