1st generation iPad Pro 12.9” & Magic Keyboard?
May 5, 2020 4:31 AM   Subscribe

Hi. I have the first gen iPad Pro (lightning port, rounded corners). It has a smart connector. I know Apple aren’t officially supporting this model with the new 2020 Magic Keyboard (though oddly 1st gen 11” is supported). But won’t the smart connector allow it to work anyway? I’d love to use the Magic Keyboard as a dock for working at. If this would work, presumably the magic connector would also let the iPad charge from the Magic Keyboard’s built-in USB-C port? Thanks for any advice on this!
posted by dharma rascal to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't get confused by the gen. numbers. Your 1st. gen 12.9" came out three years before the 11" debuted. The 1st. gen 11" model shares internals with the 3rd gen 12.9" model. It's the internals that make it compatible with the Magic Keyboard.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:34 AM on May 5, 2020

The connectors are in different places between the three ipad pro models. The original round corners ipad had the smart connector on an edge, while the square corner ipads have it on the back. You might be able to bodge an adapter somehow, but it doesn't seem clear to me how it would work with the magnets.
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:36 AM on May 5, 2020

Yeah, that's not gonna work.

Unless you need an ultra portable keyboard, I'd recommend a good mechanical keyboard and a Moft (or similar) stand. You'll get a much better typing experience. I haven't used the 2020 Magic Keyboard but Apple has unquestionably been making the worst keyboards of anyone for several years now. Dreadful things.

The first gen keyboard for that 12.9 Pro you have was a piece of shit, frankly. I returned mine after a single day.

The best keyboard I know of is a TextBlade, but they're not shipping yet (regardless of what the site implies). I'm a tester for the product and use one and a Moft with a Galaxy Note and it's an amazing combination, far superior to anything Apple has on offer.
posted by dobbs at 6:01 AM on May 5, 2020

ZOMG absolutely do not even click the TextBlade link. They are never going to ship a real product. They've been promising this thing for YEARS AND YEARS -- and taking peoples' money! -- but have yet to ship anything. I ordered, and cancelled, in (I think?) 2015. They hand out 'eval' units to people sometimes, and invariably those get nice reviews, but they're obviously cherry-picked units. It's very very clear they can't create a functional product in volume.

Lately, there's been chatter of people requesting refunds and having trouble getting them. I am not alone in considering them a deeply unethical and dishonest organization, and I would not want someone to find that out the hard way. At the least, do a LOT of Googling first.

That said, the FIRST link dobbs included is to KeyChron, who make really really great keyboards. I'm actually typing on that very model, though with different options -- mine has the backlighting and aluminum frame. It's nice and smart, and easily switches between my Mac and my iPad Pro, or between tethered and Bluetooth operation.

I use mine with this stand (which is the one Daring Fireball's John Gruber linked) when I want to do anything serious. My iPad lives in the current-gen Smart Folio as a case, though, so for quickie things (or things when I don't need a full mechanical keyboard) I just use that.

An adjustable stand is also really really nice in this era of socialization by videoconf. Neither of the two angles on my Smart Folio are especially great for Zooming from our couch, but the little stand does a great job.
posted by uberchet at 6:28 AM on May 5, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! Bummer that it’s not possible but I appreciate the help. 🙏🏻
posted by dharma rascal at 6:22 PM on May 5, 2020

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