Gaming on the iPhone and iPad has become a huge industry. The capabilities of these devices allows for amazing graphics, immersive storylines, and very challenging games. The same can be said for the Apple TV. The weakest link in the gaming experience, whether it’s on an iPhone, iPad, or the Apple TV, is that you can’t use your keyboard and mouse in your games. That does not have to be the case anymore. IOGEAR’s KeyMander 2 Mobile allows you the precision and control of using a full keyboard and mouse in games.
Full Physical Keyboard and Mouse Support Across All Your Games
Whether your game of choice is a first-person shooter like Call of Duty or a more casual title like Stardew Valley, this device can definitely improve your experience. It allows you to plug in any USB keyboard or mouse, and use those seamlessly no matter what game you’re playing. The KeyMander 2 even works with a wireless keyboard and mouse, a real benefit for avoiding a rat’s nest of cables. Granted, the KeyMander 2 only has 3 USB ports; one on the side and two on the rear. Strangely enough, there’s no way to charge your device through the KeyMander 2. You can harness the power to use keyboard and mouse in games, but bring your own charger.
The accessory allows you to use your keyboard and mouse in games – thousands of them. Whether your game of choice is available through the regular App Store or Apple Arcade, chances are good it will work with the KeyMander 2. Support for Google Stadia and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The only real requirement is that the game offer controller support. If the game doesn’t offer controller support, though, this won’t help you.
Getting Started With the KeyMander 2
Setting up the KeyMander 2 isn’t as easy as you might think. Initially, I thought I just needed to hook up my keyboard and mouse to the accessory, plug it into my iPhone, and I’d be off and running. It didn’t work out that way.
First of all, make sure you have either a PS4 DualShock or wireless Xbox controller paired with your device. You’ll use the included microUSB cable to connect the controller to the KeyMander 2. The accessory communicates with your Apple device through the wireless controller. From reviewing other products that expand on iOS and iPadOS devices, I believe this is because the OS simply doesn’t support USB input devices like a keyboard or mouse.
Next, download the correct app. Make sure you install the K2 Mobile Game Dock app; the other one is for use with a PS4, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch.
Once everything is connected and ready, download the profile for your game in the K2 Mobile app. You can adjust your keybindings and mouse sensitivity to your liking. Then, start gaming with the precision and power of your keyboard and mouse, just like in your PC gaming days.
A Decent, But Not a Great, Kickstand For Your Device
This accessory does provide you with a stand for your iPhone or iPad. The green rubberized mat on the stand will keep your iPhone or iPad from sliding around. There isn’t much room for adjusting the angle of your device. With that said, I found that it worked just fine with both my iPhone 12 and an iPad Pro.
The only real downside to the kickstand is that it doesn’t seem very sturdy. It held up both of my devices just fine, but I did worry about pressing too hard on the screen and knocking it over accidentally. The accessory could probably use a bit more weight in the base, but I can’t say that I ran into any real problems with it.
Use Your Keyboard and Mouse in More Than Just Your Games
With Office Mode, you will find even better functionality with the KeyMander 2. Once you have your keyboard and mouse configure the way you want, you’ll be able to use them on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV just like you would on a computer. In other words, you will see a mouse cursor on your iPhone screen. You can type in Mail or Messages using the physical keyboard.
On an iPad, especially, this is a much more natural feel than most keyboard cases. While I rarely use my iPhone for anything that requires a lot of typing, it is nice to be able to do so using the physical keyboard instead of the on screen keyboard.
Final thoughts on the IOGEAR KeyMander 2
If you are really into gaming, this is a fantastic addition to your arsenal. You can really step up your gaming by using a keyboard and mouse. You’ll enjoy better precision, as well as faster response then just using a controller and the on screen game controls. Plus, you don’t have your hand getting in the way of seeing the action. IOGEAR lists the KeyMander 2 Mobile at $99.95, but Amazon might offer better pricing.