Virtual Keyboard Alternatives for the iPad mini - dummies

Virtual Keyboard Alternatives for the iPad mini

The various virtual keyboards that pop up just as you need them on the iPad mini are perfectly fine for shorter typing tasks, whether it’s composing e-mails or tapping a few notes. For most longer assignments, however, most writers are more comfortable pounding away on a real-deal physical keyboard, and you may feel the same way.

A physical keyboard for the iPad is an easy addition.

Fortunately, a physical keyboard for the iPad mini is an easy addition, and Apple offers a good one for $69.

The Apple Wireless Keyboard, is a way to use a decent-enough aluminum physical keyboard without tethering it to the iPad. It operates from up to 30 feet away from the iPad via Bluetooth, the wireless technology.

[Credit: Courtesy of Apple]
Credit: Courtesy of Apple

If you have an Apple TV connected to your HDTV, you can stream the screen of your iPad mini to the HDTV by using AirPlay. And although you probably can’t see it from 30 feet, we’ve found the Apple Wireless Keyboard is great for using on the couch, where you can easily see the screen.

As with any Bluetooth device that the iPad makes nice with, you have to pair it to your tablet.

The Bluetooth keyboard takes two AA batteries. It’s smart about power management, too; it powers itself down when you stop using it to avoid draining those batteries. It wakes up when you start typing.

The Wireless Keyboard is very thin, so it’s easy to take with you. If you use a backpack, briefcase, messenger bag, or even a large purse, you almost certainly have room for the Apple Wireless Keyboard.

And if your native tongue isn’t English, Apple sells versions of the Wireless Keyboard in numerous languages, each still $69.

Not all the function keys on the Wireless Keyboard, will, um, function on your iPad. They’re there, though, because you can use the same keyboard with a Mac.

The iPad ought to work fine with any keyboard that supports Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology.