The Million Dollar iPad – Stop Pecking Away at Your Screen Once and For All
I learned to type when I was in high school. Typing by touch (while looking at handwritten content or source material) was drilled into us. As such, I type really, really, really fast. And you already know I’m passionate about my iPad. The challenge for me arose when I started to create content using my iPad’s native iOS keyboard. Did I say challenging? I meant maddening. I’ve seen some of you actually typing on your iPad’s screen with the built-in keyboard. I’m even envious of some of you and your light touch and your deftly moving fingers and the apparent lack of need to hit delete-delete-delete (that’s the key to the top right of the keyboard with the arrow pointing left and an “x” in the middle).
For the rest of us, I wholeheartedly recommend that you learn two additional ways to make iPad content creation happen at an efficient and effective level. I’ve written about it before and I want you to practice using Siri and actually dictate into your iPad (or iPhone). It’s truly remarkable the time you can save when you have the necessary connectivity and what you can accomplish using the Siri-input method. For those of you with privacy concerns over particular content, bear in mind that your audio input is being sent away from your iPad to Apple’s servers for translation into text and then back to your iPad. If you have critical information, then I suggest you go out and invest in yourself and your clients by obtaining a bluetooth keyboard.
So, I’m going to talk about two bluetooth keyboards I have used with my iPad Air – the ZAGG Folio and the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio Cover. Both are listed at $99.99.
You can explore these accessories here:
There are positives and negatives to both. And there are always personal preferences to take into consideration. Still, I get asked all the time about my recommendations for accessories, so here are my thoughts on both of these after many, many hours of use and on-the-road testing.
The first keyboard/cover combination I bought for my iPad Air was the ZAGG version. I really like the layout of the product (it is very ergonomically easy to move from the normal Apple wireless and the MacBook Pro keyboards to the ZAGG keyboard without having to adjust your finger positioning/strike zones), the special keys that give you shortcuts (remember, this is all about saving time), and I LOVE the backlit keyboard option. The case is very sturdy. One of the things you should consider in getting a folio-type setup for your iPad is the ease with which you can detach your iPad when you want to you use it separately. The ZAGG keyboard/folio combination is a snap (literally and figuratively) to use in this fashion.
The downsides, however, eventually caused me to move on to the Logitech version. First, I had nothing but challenges with extra letters and numbers periodically appearing. In doing some research, this appears to be a common problem for those of us who have a little heavier-than-normal strike on the keyboard keys. Hence, you get repeating characters. Irrespective of the real cause of the repeating character situation, there is no current workaround to solve it. Second, the cover for this folio (the part that houses the iPad and which uses ZAGG’s “patented” design) certainly does adjust to multiple angles. It does not, however, open flat nor otherwise allow you to easily use your iPad in a normal “tablet” mode. This also creates issues when you want to use your tablet in portrait mode.
When you want a keyboard/folio alternative for your iPad that feels and acts more like a book cover, the ZAGG keyboard/folio is the option for you.
Just recently, however, I was introduced to the Logitech ultrathin keyboard folio.
The Logitech keyboard was frustrating for me at the beginning because I was so used to the footprint of the ZAGG version. I found I kept hitting the wrong keys and, periodically, even striking the “Home” and “Return” keys instead of the “1” and the quote (“) characters. This proved to be more a temporary annoyance than a deal-breaker as I quickly retrained my fingers to strike in the appropriate places. But it was disconcerting and a little disappointing right out of the box. I’m really glad it was a short-lived concern.
Unlike the ZAGG book-like style, the Logitech option holds your iPad in one landscape viewing angle. Between us, I like this angle and I never really used the ZAGG multi-angle flexibility that much, anyway. The Logitech keyboard snaps your iPad in place at the top left and right corners and then holds the bottom in place with a magnet and small groove. It’s surprisingly sturdy and the magnet keeps everything tightly in place.
Alas, there is no backlit keyboard. However, there are also no repeating characters when I strike the keys. Even when I strike them hard. Remember, this is all about saving time and being productive. The elimination of the repeating character problem (which means I don’t have to constantly keep deleting and retyping) was the true game-changer for me.
As to the keyboard configuration, there are far fewer “special” shortcut keys on the Logitech keyboard. I’m okay with that, but you might want to check out the ZAGG alternative if keyboard shortcuts are important for your workflow. (I am not referring to the keyboard shortcuts that you can program with iOS or with TextExpander.)
Both of the keyboards boast up to three months of battery life (depending on your usage, of course). And they both charge very quickly.
One more thing about the Logitech version. It actually lets you fold the iPad down on top of the keyboard so that you can easily use it as . . . an iPad. The keyboard rests safely behind the iPad and I don’t have to snap the iPad out of the case like I have to do periodically with the ZAGG version.
BOTTOM LINE – I have now retired my ZAGG keyboard in favor of the Logitech version.
So, stop pecking away at your screen. Start using Siri to dictate and do yourself a favor and get a bluetooth keyboard. You’ll be amazed how much more productive you’ll be.
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© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.