PDA

View Full Version : iPad Keyboard Dock's Secret Button




macduke
Feb 20, 2010, 06:18 AM
Why is there a blank button on the iPad Keyboard Dock?

http://www.ilounge.com/assets/images/reviews_apple/ipadfl/accessories/11.jpg

Here is a list of the buttons:

1. Home
2. Search
3. Brightness-down
4. Brightness-up
5. Photo album
6. Keyboard toggle
7. BLANK
8. Skip-back
9. Play/pause
10. Skip-forward
11. Mute
12. Volume-up
13. Volume-down
14. Lock screen

Ok, so my MBP has no blank function keys. My Apple aluminum wired keyboard has two, F5 and F6, which are taken up by the keyboard backlight controls on my MBP. F5 and F6 still exist because programs use them for shortcuts. But what about the iPad? What can it do on there? Well it seems like there is nothing in the SDK for it. So why even make a button at all? Won't that confuse people--it seems unlike Apple to put something useless on their keyboard. The button doesn't do anything, at least not yet.

As some of you may know, I'm the guy who for weeks has been saying that Apple will implement a dashboard on the iPad, be it secretively in March or for certain in OS 4.0. The iPad demo lacked many widget-like apps, like weather, stocks, even a calculator among others! But you can read more about that here (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=866535).

So this morning I got to thinking about the iPad keyboard. Certainly Apple would have a key for it on their official iPad dock. Was there some clue on the keyboard? So I googled and found high resolution images on iLounge and spotted the missing button. And guess where it is? Right about where the dashboard button is on a mac. Again, on my Apple aluminum wired keyboard, there is dashboard, blank F5, blank F6, and skip-back. On the iPad, it is keyboard hide, BLANK, and skip-back. The only key with a specific function on an Apple keyboard before skip-back is dashboard, and on the iPad the blank button is right before skip-back. Coincidence? Seems unlikely.

So I want to know what you guys think. Sound off in the comments and let me know!



master-ceo
Feb 20, 2010, 06:25 AM
self destruct button? :rolleyes:

msduncan
Feb 20, 2010, 06:37 AM
I've got a good source inside apple that says when you push this button it activates the following all at the same time:

front and back cameras
flash
telephone support

and it also changes the name of the device to iSlate.


Does that cover it?

sassenach74
Feb 20, 2010, 06:53 AM
I wont try and be a comedian and say that that sounds like a very plausible idea. In fact I'd be inclined to say you're probably spot on, if not, then....it was a great idea all the same.

DoFoT9
Feb 20, 2010, 06:59 AM
they probably have no use for it yet. currently the apple keyboards F5 and F6 have nothing assigned to them by default.

juice
Feb 20, 2010, 07:02 AM
It's the home screen button. Same icon as the home screen button on the iphone/ipod touch.

-edit -- Im an idiot and completely misread the post. My advice to myself - Don't answer forums when you just wake up from a late night!

Jon-Luke
Feb 20, 2010, 07:03 AM
they probably have no use for it yet. currently the apple keyboards F5 and F6 have nothing assigned to them by default.

On a MBP the F5 and F6 keys are used to brighten and darken the keyboard's back light function. :o

Maybe the blank button will be a user assigned shortcut?!?

DoFoT9
Feb 20, 2010, 07:05 AM
On a MBP the F5 and F6 keys are used to brighten and darken the keyboard's back light function. :o

Maybe the blank button will be a user assigned shortcut?!?

i guess thats why its blank then.. no need for it on a desktop (would love keyboard backlights on desktop keyboards tho).

user assigned shortcuts would be cool! but it wont happen.

Gav2k
Feb 20, 2010, 07:05 AM
Home button is top left fella :)

t0mat0
Feb 20, 2010, 07:44 AM
Widgets?

macduke
Feb 20, 2010, 07:44 AM
they probably have no use for it yet. currently the apple keyboards F5 and F6 have nothing assigned to them by default.

I mentioned that in my post. The thing is, on Macs, F5 and F6 correspond to shortcuts in various applications. For instance, in most browsers F5 refreshes the page. I suppose they could allow for it to be a user configurable button in a future software update, but for now it seems a bit out of place on a device that has all software buttons, and where the official Apple keyboard dock would have to provide only functions to least common denominator apps, such as the ones that are baked in. Apple typically doesn't create buttons that have no function at all whatsoever on their products. For example, they could have put a mail icon there, since that is likely to be a commonly used app. But a dashboard--that would let you quickly glance at your inbox, the weather, pull up a calculator while you're in another app, etc. That makes sense. Think of it as multitasking lite edition. It's not that I'm wishcasting here. I am simply looking at the information supplied and seeing a pattern. Sure it would be nice if the iPad had this at launch, but I don't really mind if it doesn't. I'll be purchasing one either way. I'm just having fun figuring out the puzzle. :D

It's the home screen button. Same icon as the home screen button on the iphone/ipod touch.

Like I stated above, the home screen button is the first button. It has the rounded rectangle.

Widgets?

Precisely. Lite-apps that don't use many processing cycles and can run in the background easily.

gt1948
Feb 20, 2010, 10:45 AM
what will the blank key above the six key be used for?

t0mat0
Feb 20, 2010, 01:17 PM
what will the blank key above the six key be used for?

That's what this thread is about. Widgets is my guess. To correspond with this, the SDK at some point will have to show how to access that on an iPad if it is.

And if they want widgets released, wouldn't they want to announce this prior to launch so developers could knock some up?

marksman
Feb 20, 2010, 01:22 PM
Built in Click to Flash button?

Auto Load MacRumors button?

bossxii
Feb 20, 2010, 01:41 PM
I have F5 and F6 with no "apple" function on my wired Apple KB and the Wireless BT ones has the exact same keys with no function on em. Looks like Apple added a keyboard icon to one and left one blank on their dock. Don't see the issue... nothing secret about it, probably user assigned.

coolwater
Feb 20, 2010, 01:43 PM
The blank button is exclusively for Steve Jobs only. No one should even question what it is. ;)

[DL]
Feb 20, 2010, 01:43 PM
Interesting... maybe it's for widgets.

mac88
Feb 20, 2010, 01:45 PM
The blank button is exclusively for Steve Jobs only. No one should even question what it is. ;)

Sounds about right! :D

macduke
Feb 20, 2010, 04:12 PM
9to5mac.com picked up my story! Nice.

http://9to5mac.com/apple-secret-ipad-key-354986743

Dashboard widgets, here we come.

azboricua
Feb 20, 2010, 04:43 PM
I bet it's a sleep/dim screen button for when someone walks in the room while you are looking at some super secret pr0nz!:D

applesupergeek
Feb 20, 2010, 04:58 PM
The blank button obviously beams Stevie Jobs in the room.

Do Not Touch It, he's a busy guy.

EssentialParado
Feb 20, 2010, 05:28 PM
What I wanna know is why on Earth Apple still keeps putting a useless caps lock key on their keyboards. :confused:

As to whether it's a dashboard button- how often do Mac users use their dashboard, let alone prospective iPad users?

EssentialParado
Feb 20, 2010, 05:30 PM
And is it just me, or does the dock connector in the picture look way too small to fit an iPad?

thejakill
Feb 20, 2010, 05:34 PM
It's an emergency kill switch to delete the porn when your wife walks in the room.

[DL]
Feb 20, 2010, 06:22 PM
What I wanna know is why on Earth Apple still keeps putting a useless caps lock key on their keyboards. :confused:



The CAPS button is useful to flamers and ragers who want to SHOW HOW MAD THEY ARE. RAWR

But yeah, I really wish they would take it off. I hit it by mistake.

Night Spring
Feb 20, 2010, 06:28 PM
The CAPS button is useful to flamers and ragers who want to SHOW HOW MAD THEY ARE. RAWR

But yeah, I really wish they would take it off. I hit it by mistake.

How would you hit it by mistake more or less than any other key?

In any case, the caps lock key is extremely useful in some situations. For instance, I routinely have to fill out some forms where some fields are required to be in all caps. I would be very upset if they took away my caps lock key!

ergdegdeg
Feb 20, 2010, 06:28 PM
The CAPS button is useful to flamers and ragers who want to SHOW HOW MAD THEY ARE. RAWR

But yeah, I really wish they would take it off. I hit it by mistake.

At least you can disable it fairly easily.
I've maybe wanted to use it once ever since I disabled it. No more accidental yelling. ;)

[DL]
Feb 20, 2010, 06:35 PM
How would you hit it by mistake more or less than any other key?

In any case, the caps lock key is extremely useful in some situations. For instance, I routinely have to fill out some forms where some fields are required to be in all caps. I would be very upset if they took away my caps lock key!

Actually, I hit it by mistake more than any other key...

At least you can disable it fairly easily.
I've maybe wanted to use it once ever since I disabled it. No more accidental yelling. ;)

Can you disable it on OS X SL?

ergdegdeg
Feb 20, 2010, 06:39 PM
Can you disable it on OS X SL?

Absolutely. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys and set the action for it to nothing.

[DL]
Feb 20, 2010, 06:40 PM
Absolutely. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys and set the action for it to nothing.

Thank you! :D

SteveSparks
Feb 20, 2010, 07:31 PM
self destruct button? :rolleyes:

It the one where you can be transport Steve Jobs to your home for personal technical support.

WytRaven
Feb 20, 2010, 07:39 PM
It the one where you can be transport Steve Jobs to your home for personal technical support.

I'm not sure you would really want that. He would probably turn up, pinch your iPad, and 'lax out on the couch listening to some Bob Dylan whilst reading the Times. Not really my idea of support ;) :D

Night Spring
Feb 20, 2010, 07:48 PM
I'm not sure you would really want that. He would probably turn up, pinch your iPad, and 'lax out on the couch listening to some Bob Dylan whilst reading the Times. Not really my idea of support ;) :D

He would turn up, listen to your problem, then call up whichever minion is best suited to fix the problem. (Then he would relax on the couch and read the Times while the minion scurries about fixing the problem. ;))

techfreak85
Feb 20, 2010, 08:02 PM
Hey, I have an idea. How about its a button that isn't used for anything now, but will have a purpose in the future....you know like future proofing.;)

Sketh
Feb 20, 2010, 08:49 PM
As to whether it's a dashboard button- how often do Mac users use their dashboard, let alone prospective iPad users?

If dashboard is the only means of multi-tasking on the iPad, then I assume it would be used by iPad owners quite often.

It'd be great for changing pandora stations, etc.

WytRaven
Feb 20, 2010, 08:59 PM
I hate to point out the obvious but if it were a dashboard button it would have a dashboard icon on it...

Darkroom
Feb 20, 2010, 11:57 PM
the button does nothing. it's inclusion is meant to prepare users for all the other features the iPad is seriously lacking.

arn
Feb 21, 2010, 12:05 AM
someone mentioned in the main thread

http://images.apple.com/keyboard/images/top_view_20091020.jpg

the wireless kb also has blank spaces, so isn't that unusual.

arn

Stetrain
Feb 21, 2010, 01:50 AM
someone mentioned in the main thread
the wireless kb also has blank spaces, so isn't that unusual.

arn

They aren't completely blank though, they're still F5 and F6, which doesn't really apply to the iPad.

Minicapt
Feb 21, 2010, 04:29 AM
That's the Multi-Tasking "ON/Off" key

Cheers

AceFernalld
Feb 21, 2010, 04:58 AM
the wireless kb also has blank spaces, so isn't that unusual.

arn

Well those blank spaces do have some function pertaining to the application you're in, and have labels. That being said, it could be just a spacer key (if they couldn't think of any more useful keys to add) or it could be a key that will have the dashboard symbol printed on it. We'll see! :D

Masquerade
Feb 21, 2010, 05:32 AM
the dock is physically glued to the keyboard?! :eek::eek::eek::eek:

sammich
Feb 21, 2010, 05:44 AM
the dock is physically glued to the keyboard?! :eek::eek::eek::eek:

Hah, Steve would never allow glue to be used. If he could have it his way, the whole world would be made from a single piece of aluminium.

The dock orients the iPad when it's plugged in to give it a natural position to look at whilst typing.

greygray
Feb 21, 2010, 05:52 AM
At least you can disable it fairly easily.
I've maybe wanted to use it once ever since I disabled it. No more accidental yelling.

I think it's exclusively meant for MR mods. They can use it as a ban button. ;)

Masquerade
Feb 21, 2010, 06:06 AM
Hah, Steve would never allow glue to be used. If he could have it his way, the whole world would be made from a single piece of aluminium.

The dock orients the iPad when it's plugged in to give it a natural position to look at whilst typing.

I BET that APPLE WILL NEVER RELEASE wireless keyboards drivers for ipad/iphone ONLY TO SELL THIS CRAP.

Night Spring
Feb 21, 2010, 06:30 AM
I BET that APPLE WILL NEVER RELEASE wireless keyboards drivers for ipad/iphone ONLY TO SELL THIS CRAP.

The iPad supports bluetooth keyboards. It says so on the iPad specs page at Apple, and I believe Jobs also mentioned it during the iPad announcement.

WytRaven
Feb 21, 2010, 06:31 AM
I BET that APPLE WILL NEVER RELEASE wireless keyboards drivers for ipad/iphone ONLY TO SELL THIS CRAP.

Wireless
With built-in 802.11n, iPad can take advantage of the fastest Wi-Fi networks. And it’ll automatically locate available Wi-Fi networks, which you can easily join with a few simple taps. iPad also comes with Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, which lets you connect to devices like wireless headphones or the Apple Wireless Keyboard.

Well the forum wouldn't let me post this without typing something outside of quotes so how about I just say "Quit this Apple-is-conspiring-against-us crap. While you're at it, try actually researching before shooting your mouth off."

tthere5
Feb 21, 2010, 06:47 AM
It's the home screen button. Same icon as the home screen button on the iphone/ipod touch.

-edit -- Im an idiot and completely misread the post. My advice to myself - Don't answer forums when you just wake up from a late night!

You're NOT an idiot. I bet you're inadvertently right. Wouldn't it be easier to hit a button on the keyboard to act as the "home" button rather than reaching up and touching the iPad itself (even if its just a few inches away).

Night Spring
Feb 21, 2010, 07:04 AM
You're NOT an idiot. I bet you're inadvertently right. Wouldn't it be easier to hit a button on the keyboard to act as the "home" button rather than reaching up and touching the iPad itself (even if its just a few inches away).

That the iPad dock keyboard has a "home" button is not in dispute. It's the button at the very left top of the keyboard. The button we are discussing in this thread is the blank one in the middle of the top row.

gt1948
Feb 21, 2010, 07:37 AM
That's what this thread is about. Widgets is my guess. To correspond with this, the SDK at some point will have to show how to access that on an iPad if it is.

And if they want widgets released, wouldn't they want to announce this prior to launch so developers could knock some up?

video maybe? Ichat?

Masquerade
Feb 21, 2010, 08:15 AM
Well the forum wouldn't let me post this without typing something outside of quotes so how about I just say "Quit this Apple-is-conspiring-against-us crap. While you're at it, try actually researching before shooting your mouth off."

:D ok, then i don't understand why is that dock selling point!
let's hope those keyboards drivers make their way to iphone too.

RQPS
Feb 21, 2010, 08:27 AM
Maybe it wont be blank when it ships.... I hope you're right! But would a dashboard really solve multitasking? I mean it would be a cool feature but still couldn't run IM and internet at the same time.

Peace
Feb 21, 2010, 08:30 AM
Since it's next to the volume keys I'd guess it might be the iPod/iTunes key.

On the iPhone you can tap the home button twice for the iPod. I don't think you can simply tap the home key twice in a row for the iPod on that keyboard.

WytRaven
Feb 21, 2010, 08:44 AM
:D ok, then i don't understand why is that dock selling point!
let's hope those keyboards drivers make their way to iphone too.

I guess it's aimed at those who don't already have an Apple Wireless Keyboard. Some people may want one neat little package that is dock and keyboard as one to sit on their desk.

As for the iPhone bit...no idea so can't comment :)

Saskamac
Feb 21, 2010, 10:30 AM
That button boots the Ipad into OSX and opens a dvd slot, but only when Chuck Norris presses it.

JAT
Feb 21, 2010, 04:12 PM
Wow, I can't believe no one plays Scrabble anymore. Obviously it is the blank key.

SteveSparks
Feb 21, 2010, 04:17 PM
Wow, I can't believe no one plays Scrabble anymore. Obviously it is the blank key.

Oh, ya, Press it and then you get to choose any letter!

4DThinker
Feb 21, 2010, 04:28 PM
If it really was a secret then it should have been harder to spot it. :cool:

If I was going to put a secret button on a keyboard, I'd make it a self destruct. You would have to tap it three times within 5 seconds to initate the melting, as any curious thief is likely to do when it does nothing the first two times. I would also make it stand out in plain site and paint it red. Maybe a little taller than the surrounding keys. Have it blink randomly to tease. Then I'd give it a better use if you tap it a fourth time within that five seconds from the first tap. It would initialize a sterilization of the keyboard. We all know how nasty they get in use. :D

mannpau
Feb 24, 2010, 11:32 AM
It's a "REVERT-TO-NORMAL" button that dumps the MacOS and refunds you $2000 in overcharges for mac hardware and software, then installs Ubuntu.

samcraig
Feb 24, 2010, 11:37 AM
Or this photo is simply a prototype which doesn't have the final printing and/or button layout as it will appear in the final version

But feel free to speculate away....you'll have your actual answer soon enough

robfromabove
Feb 24, 2010, 12:29 PM
It activates the reality distortion field. :p


My best guess is that they might leave it open to the user, so if there's a specific app you launch a lot you could simply press the button hot-linked to it, rather than browsing through all of your available apps. Just a guess, though.

qtx43
Feb 24, 2010, 12:36 PM
It's a "REVERT-TO-NORMAL" button that dumps the MacOS and refunds you $2000 in overcharges for mac hardware and software, then installs Ubuntu.Apple fanboys are castigated for saying "it just works" when it doesn't always. But if I had a dollar for every hour I spent trying to get various device drivers and supposedly working software to actually work on linux, I'd be a friggin millionaire. And yes, I can figure it out, I just don't want to be a sysadmin when I have real work to get done.

Bodhi395
Feb 24, 2010, 02:07 PM
The dashboard/widgets idea sounds interesting, if that what the key would possibly be used for in the future.

My question though is if there is a dashboard function on the ipad, how would you access it from the ipad screen itself?

anthonymoody
Feb 24, 2010, 04:38 PM
Well what I *do* think is a valid question is: assuming the dock+keyboard does have a bunch of iPad specific keys (e.g. Home, others?), will Apple allow you to remap the standalone BT keyboard to invoke these functions?

Presumably yes since they specifically cite the BT keyboard as a compatible accessory. But until we have clearer confirmation I may hold off on a dock order as I'd much rather get the stand-alone dock and BT keyboard.

Peace
Feb 24, 2010, 04:39 PM
The key is for the accessory's. It switches you from the accessory and back while docked.

Or to put it a better way it "mounts and unmounts" accessories.

DoFoT9
Feb 24, 2010, 04:41 PM
there will not be widgets

RobBookPro
Feb 25, 2010, 12:08 AM
I just cannot believe all the people in this thread... 3 pages!

The reason the blank key is there is staring you in the face...

How much would it cost apple to manufacture a whole new set of aluminium plates to make a small volume of keyboards with that one button missing?

The answer to your question, is that this keyboard is a normal stock keyboard with a few of the keys icons changed. What could an ipad do with a control, alt and command button?

The ipad was designed to be cheap, and that means the accessories have to be cheap. Creating a whole new line of keyboards, with new machining molds and new templates just to remove a couple of buttons which may be useful in the future is a dumb dumb thing to do when trying to be cheap.

RobBookPro
Feb 25, 2010, 12:08 AM
double post much

g-7
Feb 25, 2010, 05:31 AM
What could an ipad do with a control, alt and command button?

Alt key is often used to enter national characters in many non-English languages.

blackNBUK
Feb 25, 2010, 07:31 AM
Reusing an existing keyboard mould makes a lot of sense. However it doesn't explain why the key is entirely blank. I would have thought that Apple would have put something on every key even if it was just a shortcut to Safari or the iPod.

EssentialParado
Feb 25, 2010, 08:23 AM
It exists for a reason. Apple would never throw in a blank key arbitrarily.

anthonymoody
Feb 25, 2010, 12:05 PM
I just cannot believe all the people in this thread... 3 pages!

The reason the blank key is there is staring you in the face...

How much would it cost apple to manufacture a whole new set of aluminium plates to make a small volume of keyboards with that one button missing?

The answer to your question, is that this keyboard is a normal stock keyboard with a few of the keys icons changed. What could an ipad do with a control, alt and command button?

The ipad was designed to be cheap, and that means the accessories have to be cheap. Creating a whole new line of keyboards, with new machining molds and new templates just to remove a couple of buttons which may be useful in the future is a dumb dumb thing to do when trying to be cheap.


Well for my part it never crossed my mind that it wasn't 100% the same hardware as in the standard BT keyboard.

I agree with Essential Parado - Apple would never just "leave it blank." It's way too sloppy for Apple to just "eat" an unintended consequence of using the same hardware. I feel pretty strongly that they would absolutely do something with it. Time will tell.

agirton
Feb 25, 2010, 01:46 PM
Maybe for Expose?

[DL]
Feb 25, 2010, 04:51 PM
Maybe for Expose?

There is no expose...

goobot
Feb 25, 2010, 04:57 PM
It exists for a reason. Apple would never throw in a blank key arbitrarily.

they already do with there macs

JoshJosh117
Feb 25, 2010, 05:04 PM
I've got a good source inside apple that says when you push this button it activates the following all at the same time:

front and back cameras
flash
telephone support

and it also changes the name of the device to iSlate.


Does that cover it?

You forgot multitasking and a full snow leopard OS.

mrblack927
Feb 26, 2010, 01:27 PM
It exists for a reason. Apple would never throw in a blank key arbitrarily.
they already do with there macs

How many times must this be said? This is not the same thing as the F-keys on normal Apple keyboards. The F5 and F6 keys are not blank, they are F5 and F6! They exist for a reason!

The blank key on the ipad keyboard is truly blank. It has no apparent function whatsoever. Considering Apple is a company of discriminating detail, it's pretty safe to say that they did this for a reason. Most likely, the shipping version of the keyboard will have "something" printed on that key. This thread is about what that function might be.

So, can we stop talking about the desktop keyboards now and stay on topic!


...sorry:o

sychee
Feb 27, 2010, 04:36 AM
On the far left, it is a HOME button. To get user back to the Home Screen at any application that you are using. You can also use the directional buttons to move from icon to icon on the Home Screen. To run the app, simply press the "return" button.

The empty button could be for the widget...

EssentialParado
Feb 27, 2010, 08:17 PM
Maybe they're just planning ahead?

They likely have a feature in OS 4.0 due to use that button, and instead of doing a whole change to the keyboard manufacturing process in a few months, they will be able to just print the icon on instead. This way they're also allowing the feature to be used by those 1st gen keyboard-dock buyers.

johndango
Feb 28, 2010, 05:55 AM
The "Windows" button.

innominato5090
Mar 1, 2010, 04:21 AM
as said some posts ago, I think it will be a "favorite app" button

macduke
Mar 1, 2010, 05:05 AM
How many times must this be said? This is not the same thing as the F-keys on normal Apple keyboards. The F5 and F6 keys are not blank, they are F5 and F6! They exist for a reason!

The blank key on the ipad keyboard is truly blank. It has no apparent function whatsoever. Considering Apple is a company of discriminating detail, it's pretty safe to say that they did this for a reason. Most likely, the shipping version of the keyboard will have "something" printed on that key. This thread is about what that function might be.

So, can we stop talking about the desktop keyboards now and stay on topic!


...sorry:o

THANK YOU! I don't understand why people can't see this.

as said some posts ago, I think it will be a "favorite app" button

Then why not put a star on it? Why would having app favorites be so secretive? Seems like a special key for something big enough to have it's own announcement, like OS 4.0. But I guess we'll find out about that within a few weeks.

blackboxxx
Mar 1, 2010, 02:39 PM
Well, even half-literate PC users know it's the ANY key :D

MacGadfly
Mar 1, 2010, 04:47 PM
My guess is that it is a Photo / Slideshow key (like they added to the lock screen)

Mr.Goodbar
Mar 1, 2010, 06:57 PM
I bet it's a sleep/dim screen button for when someone walks in the room while you are looking at some super secret pr0nz!:D

that. would. be. frigging. AWESOME!!!!!:D:D

friend/relative walks into the room* your expression is :eek: but you hurriedly press the blank button and your arse is saved :D

johndango
Mar 1, 2010, 06:58 PM
My guess is that it is a Photo / Slideshow key (like they added to the lock screen)

This seems like the best guess to me too. Except why didn't they mark it with the same logo?

blackboxxx
Mar 1, 2010, 07:36 PM
My guess is that it is a Photo / Slideshow key (like they added to the lock screen)

Except there's already a photo key, it's fifth from the left (where F4 usually is).

DoFoT9
Mar 1, 2010, 07:49 PM
that. would. be. frigging. AWESOME!!!!!:D:D

friend/relative walks into the room* your expression is :eek: but you hurriedly press the blank button and your arse is saved :D

+1. that would be amazing!!!

i would dig that!

sean00
Mar 1, 2010, 10:15 PM
THANK YOU! I don't understand why people can't see this.



Then why not put a star on it? Why would having app favorites be so secretive? Seems like a special key for something big enough to have it's own announcement, like OS 4.0. But I guess we'll find out about that within a few weeks.

maybe its for ichat or camera hehe... a lil off topic if but does anyone know if you can take the keyboard and dock apart? Therefore have a stand alone dock?
You can then use the iPad as a photo frame when its not being used, Or will you have to buy the dock by its self

Night Spring
Mar 1, 2010, 10:45 PM
maybe its for ichat or camera hehe... a lil off topic if but does anyone know if you can take the keyboard and dock apart? Therefore have a stand alone dock?
You can then use the iPad as a photo frame when its not being used, Or will you have to buy the dock by its self

If you want that, why not buy the stand-alone dock + bluetooth keyboard?

sean00
Mar 1, 2010, 10:50 PM
If you want that, why not buy the stand-alone dock + bluetooth keyboard?

because that would be the smart thing to do!! haha i didnt really think of that. :)

macduke
Mar 2, 2010, 12:23 AM
If you want that, why not buy the stand-alone dock + bluetooth keyboard?

Because that costs $100 vs $70. It also doesn't power the keyboard. Using the iPad as a photo frame while attached to the keyboard is pretty lame. I guess some people might already own the bluetooth keyboard, but many don't, and spending an extra $100 for the luxury seems a bit much.

I wish I could just plug my Apple wired aluminum keyboard into the thing, but I doubt I'll use a physical keyboard that much, as its not likely I'll carry it with me anywhere, and when I'm at home I always have my mac. Meh.

andyOSX
Mar 2, 2010, 01:44 AM
I have F5 and F6 with no "apple" function on my wired Apple KB and the Wireless BT ones has the exact same keys with no function on em. Looks like Apple added a keyboard icon to one and left one blank on their dock. Don't see the issue... nothing secret about it, probably user assigned.

Well that is not exactly true, because on your Apple KB and Wireless BT KB those keys are function keys, and there is an "fn" button in the bottom left that activates them. The iPad keyboard does not have this "fn" button or Function keys.

DoFoT9
Mar 2, 2010, 01:48 AM
i just wish they would bring out prices for australia so i can save! argh

andyOSX
Mar 2, 2010, 01:58 AM
I just cannot believe all the people in this thread... 3 pages!

The reason the blank key is there is staring you in the face...

How much would it cost apple to manufacture a whole new set of aluminium plates to make a small volume of keyboards with that one button missing?

The answer to your question, is that this keyboard is a normal stock keyboard with a few of the keys icons changed. What could an ipad do with a control, alt and command button?


You are incorrect my friend. The iPad keyboard is indeed a different piece of aluminum than the wireless bluetooth keyboard.

http://images.apple.com/keyboard/images/hero_2_20091020.jpg
See how the Apple BT KB has four keys to the left of the spacebar?

http://www.ilounge.com/assets/images/reviews_apple/ipadfl/accessories/11.jpg
However, the iPad keyboard has only three.

So clearly they are not using the same aluminum cutout. So in that case, why not just not put a key at all? I still think Apple would rather put a key there with a symbol and use that have a blank space or useless key. The fact that they are hiding that use from us so far is very interesting.

Ka Ora!
Mar 2, 2010, 03:14 AM
You are incorrect my friend. The iPad keyboard is indeed a different piece of aluminum than the wireless bluetooth keyboard.

http://images.apple.com/keyboard/images/hero_2_20091020.jpg
See how the Apple BT KB has four keys to the left of the spacebar?

http://www.ilounge.com/assets/images/reviews_apple/ipadfl/accessories/11.jpg
However, the iPad keyboard has only three.

So clearly they are not using the same aluminum cutout. So in that case, why not just not put a key at all? I still think Apple would rather put a key there with a symbol and use that have a blank space or useless key. The fact that they are hiding that use from us so far is very interesting.

The Wired one with the number pad has 3 buttons left of the space bar no FN key on the space bar line its under F13.

The iPad one is a cut down wired Keyboard, ie all the buttons from f13 across in the right direction are missing no number pad. So im guessing there is a little man out back with a hacksaw cutting them down.:rolleyes:

Knowing that Apple like to use parts repeatably in products, I would wonder if all the keyboards share a similar circuit board inside. And hidden away in the keyboard dock are the pin connections for USB Ports that on a jailbreak could be put to use. Its a longshot but useful hack to be investigated when the dock comes out. Waiting with screwdriver in hand.

WytRaven
Mar 2, 2010, 03:47 AM
i just wish they would bring out prices for australia so i can save! argh

If it helps I have put away AU$1,200 for the 64GB WiFi+3G + any accessories I might wish to buy. I doubt it will be that much but I figure if I over budget then I'm not likely to surprised and have to scramble to get the rest together.

This was based on the analysis of other Apple products where the difference between tax-less US and AU prices generally seems to be around 18% so adding GST to that puts the 64GB WiFi+3G around AU$1080.00. I figured $1,200 provided a decent safety margin.

INeedAMacBook
Apr 8, 2010, 11:45 AM
It's the home screen button. Same icon as the home screen button on the iphone/ipod touch.

-edit -- Im an idiot and completely misread the post. My advice to myself - Don't answer forums when you just wake up from a late night!

i thought it was the button on the corner aswell lol they should put a ring around the blank button

DoFoT9
Apr 8, 2010, 06:12 PM
If it helps I have put away AU$1,200 for the 64GB WiFi+3G + any accessories I might wish to buy. I doubt it will be that much but I figure if I over budget then I'm not likely to surprised and have to scramble to get the rest together.

This was based on the analysis of other Apple products where the difference between tax-less US and AU prices generally seems to be around 18% so adding GST to that puts the 64GB WiFi+3G around AU$1080.00. I figured $1,200 provided a decent safety margin.

interesting. any ideas of estimates for the 16gb wifi modeL? i was thinking ~$600...

el-John-o
Dec 14, 2010, 01:59 PM
In my humble opinion,

Apple simply included a version of one of their already produced keyboards, the "chassis" if you will, with a different shell and one blank key as to not confuse folks by making it a dashboard key.

Why spend the development money AND change things on the assembly line to remove one key? If one line makes the "chassis" of all of the keyboards the same, then ones like these could simply be finished up to include a blank key instead.

This sort of thing happens all the time with car manufacturers, ESPECIALLY General Motors. Look at a Chevy Cobalt and a Pontiac G6 side by side. Some people say it's the same car, while that's not necessarily true, most of the parts come from the same source. They are built on the same frame, with the same body pieces, just the logos placed on at the end are different. Almost all GM vehicles now use the same radio, and they all include buttons for a CD changer even though you might not have a CD changer installed. It's not an indication that next years model will have a CD changer, it's just an indicator that there is no need to remove functionality, even if it doesn't do anything on that model.

My Saturn has wiring harnesses in it all over for things that aren't installed, because the money they waste on extra wiring (and even mounting brackets), is less than the money wasted by making more variations on the assembly line.

And let's face it, Apple would rather produce an "iPad 2" version of the dock to include a dock button, because it would generate a handful of sales to people who already own the dock, but would be willing to buy another one to add that functionality (and would justify it by saying they would have a dock for each iPad, their old one and their new one.) They didn't do this on purpose to prepare for future functionality. If they had done that, they would have just kept it as a dashboard key. Not discounting it could happen, at all, it very well may, but that is not the motivation (in my opinion) behind the "blank" key.

$0.02

-John

bigbro1096
Dec 30, 2010, 12:49 AM
It's an emergency kill switch to delete the porn when your wife walks in the room.

Or when your mom walks in, but then you still have to pull up your pants...

iPhoneCollector
Jan 1, 2011, 05:59 PM
The button is there to remind you how empty your life was before the iPad.

el-John-o
Jan 1, 2011, 09:26 PM
The button is there to remind you how empty your life was before the iPad.

No, that's this one:

http://www.lifehack.org/wp-content/files/2007/05/20070529-windowskey-f1.jpg