John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Jeff Gamet to look at the changes in Apple’s new Touch Bar MacBook Pro keyboard, plus they discuss a MacBook Pro review from a scientific perspective.
One of the features Apple is pushing for its new Touch Bar MacBook Pro is a quieter keyboard. Less clackity-clack will no doubt make a lot of people happy, but is it really quieter? TechCrunch did their own informal test with a previous generation keyboard and the new model. They recorded the results, and there is a difference between the two, but it may not be as dramatic as some were hoping for. Still, it’s quieter, and that’s something.
Apple’s new Touch Bar MacBook Pro, released last week, has a new keyboard that appears to be redesigned to fix the failure issue plaguing the 2016 and 2017 models.
AI agents are often identified as the next I/O device, supplanting our traditional keyboards. John thinks the keyboard will actually be around for a long time to come.
Apple revamped the built-in keyboard on its Mac laptop lineup in 2015 with a new butterfly switch mechanism. Turns out a lot of customers have been disappointed because some of the keys stop working and the only fix is to replace the keyboard with the same design and potentially face another failed keyboard. Now there’s a class action lawsuit calling out the design as defective. If you have a 2015 or later MacBook or a 2016 or later MacBook Pro you can sign up to be part of the suit. Happy litigating!
For years, Apple shipped its Aluminum Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad with a wired USB connection. But the wired version was discontinued in 2017. Fortunately Matias has an even better replacement. John reviews it.
The 2016 and later MacBook Pro keyboard has been a point of contention—and failure—for some users, and now a petition is demanding Apple recall the laptop and install a better keyboard.
Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about Twitter’s plain text password list, and a petition to recall and replace the Touch Bar MacBook Pro’s built-in keyboard.
I spotted the Azio mechanical keyboard as a sponsored post in my Instagram feed last night, and I thought it was super cool. Originally funded on Indiegogo for more than $388,000, the Azio keyboard is shipping now. The one shown in the image below is the Azio Retro Classic BT (for Bluetooth), with a USB version available, too. It’s not quite steampunk, but it’s close, and there are several other styles, too. There are also also different color options for each model. There are also models with modern key shapes, and some much cheaper entry-level models, but I love this typewriter feel on the Retro Classic. It’s priced at $189 for USB and $219 for Bluetooth. The video is from the original Indiegogo campaign. [2nd Update: Azio told me that the Bluetooth version supports the Mac and comes with replaceable keys. The USB version is Windows only. – Bryan] [3rd Update: I’ve now published an Azio Retro Classic BT Mac review].
Let’s say you know what an interrobang is, and let’s also say you want to type one on your iPhone or iPad. Here’s how to make that happen.
There’s a really cool, cutting-edge input device that looks like a must-have for musicians, artists, hobbyists, and professionals alike. Called the Sensel Morph, early adopters call its user experience seamless, even though it’s capable of filling many roles. There are 10 unique overlays available for the Morph. These allow the touch-sensitive accessory to act as many devices. There is an overlay to turn the Morph into a keyboard, piano, drum pad, gaming pad, and much more. When you place one of the overlays on the input device, it automatically “morphs” into a MIDI controller, video editor, drum set, art tablet, keyboard, and more. The Morph offers precise tracking and high force sensitivity, while being able to detect any object or tool from a gloved finger to a paint brush. The Sensel Morph connects via Bluetooth LE, USB, and even serial port (with the optional Developer’s Cable).
The recently released Logitech CRAFT keyboard for PCs and Macs has more than the usual features for a keyboard, and most are good.
iOS 11 has a new one-hand keyboard option for the iPhone that lets you do exactly what it says: type with just one hand. It’s easy to get at, but a little confusing why you may not see it.
Microsoft’s surprisingly useful iPhone one-hand keyboard Word Flow has been discontinued and is being calling a completed experiment.
Those looking for an official Apple keyboard with numeric keypad can now shell out $129 on the new wireless model, or try to pick up the old wired model from third-party retailers before supplies run out.
We like backlit keyboards. We also like wireless keyboards. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many options that feature both, especially when it comes to Mac-specific models. But accessory firm Matias is looking to change that with the CES announcement of the Wireless Aluminum Keyboard with Backlight. It’s a sleek Apple-style Bluetooth keyboard with support for up to four devices and, here’s the kicker, separate batteries for the keyboard and the backlight. That means when your energy-hogging backlight goes out, you can keep on typing without skipping a beat. The keyboard ships in June in Silver and Space Gray color options, but you can pre-order now for $139.
My favorite accessory for my iPads has been the line of Brydge aluminum keyboards. These are first-class, full featured, Bluetooth keyboards that use a unique, secure hinge attachment to the iPad. The result looks a lot like a MacBook. Now, Brydge is offering reduced prices at Best Buy only starting 12/15. I’ve reviewed these keyboards in the past and love them all. The link here is to the latest reviewed product, the Brydge 12.9 for the iPad Pro 12.9-inch. Here are the new Best Buy prices. These new prices will propagate to all sales locations over the next week.
- iPad mini 2 and mini 4 keyboards (BrydgeMini and Brydge 7.9) US$99 (was $129)
- iPad Air, Air 2 and Pro 9.7 (Brydge 9.7) to $129 (was $149)
- iPad Pro 12.9 (Brydge 12.9) $149 (was $189)
I have no idea how practical these products are, but they’re gorgeous. Check out the Orée Board and Orée Touch Slab, a keyboard and trackpad made from wood. The Board is portable and can connect via USB or Bluetooth. It’s designed to work with macOS and iOS, or Windows and Android. Each is made from a single piece of wood, making individual units unique. The Touch Slab is a multitouch trackpad that can also be used as a numeric keypad. Look closely and you’ll see the keypad outlined on top. It’s Bluetooth only, and works with macOS, and Windows 7 or 8. The Board is priced at US$129, while Touch Slab is $150. I haven’t tested them, but they totally caught my eye.
Mac Geek Gab listener Bruce recently upgraded to Sierra and noticed that one of his favorite features, the Mac’s virtual on-screen keyboard, was missing. Thankfully, Apple hasn’t removed the Keyboard Viewer, it’s just hiding in a new location. Here’s how to access it!
Apple has waxed enthusiastic about keyboards for the iPad and now offers its own. But the design may not be for everyone. If you’ve been thinking about a sturdy, aluminum keyboard/case for your iPad Pro, one that makes it look (and function) very much like a MacBook, then you’ll want to read John’s review of the Brydge 12.9 model for iPad Pro.