iKeyboard Assists Touch-Typing on iPads

| Macworld/iWorld Expo

SAN FRANCISCO - For some, the virtual keyboard on the iPad has been a bit frustrating when trying to do touch-typing. A slight shift in hand placement and you suddenly find a language no one recognizes on your screen. The iKeyboard aims to provide a tactile touchpoint by using an overlay that allows for quick and accurate keyboarding.

In many ways, virtual keyboards are wonderful — they can change depending on the context, they can be used in the dark, they can have several layers of optional characters. But for those used to physical keyboards, one drawback is the lack of tactile feedback when you type. You don’t know where your fingers are, and if you have the iPad muted, you have no confirmation that a key was pressed.

Sometimes its the simplest things that can make a big difference. iKeyboard has developed a simple plastic overlay that aims to provide an experience close to a physical keyboard. It adheres without stickiness to the bottom portion of a landscape-oriented iPad and fits the outlines of the virtual keyboard.

While not exactly the same feel as a physical Apple keyboard, it’s close enough once you get used to it a bit, to get typing speed and accuracy back up to laptop/desktop speeds in no time. Unlike the virtual keyboard, there is pressure required to “press a key” that is similar to a physical keyboard. A little odd at first touch if you’ve grown used to the flat, sensitive iPad virtual keyboard.

iKeyboard

The iKeyboard only works in landscape orientation. But if you want it out of your way for any reason, you can simply adhere it to the top of the iPad until you need it again. And it’s slim enough to not interfere with cases and covers, including the Smart Cover.

The iKeyboard is not yet available, but will sell for US$35 when it’s released.

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Comments

graxspoo

Great product idea. I’ve been frustrated with touch typing on the iPad, and have been looking around for solutions.

One thing I’m wondering about, when the iPad changes keyboard modes (like for numeric input, or the special case modes for entering URLs etc.) do the locations of the on-screen keys no longer line-up with the overlay?

Julie Kuehl

Several keyboard modes do have the same layout, but I’m sure there are some that are different. It does seem to cover the most common ones.

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