iPad Pro 2018 iPad Pros’ Smart Keyboard Folio Not Functioning During Flight

AceFernalld

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 3, 2008
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Massachusetts
Hello all,

I just got off a flight and was experiencing the weirdest issue. For almost the entirety of my flight, my Smart Keyboard Folio was completely unresponsive! My iPad wasn’t even recognizing that it was connected, as the software keyboard continued to show up. After several hard resets I was wondering if my keyboard had just crapped the bed, but then all of a sudden when I got off the plane the keyboard began working again.

My head was spinning trying to figure out the root of this issue, and then I did some Googling. Turns out that I guess there have been many reports of a similar issue occurring with previous iPad Pros, and the issue was even addressed and supposedly fixed in iOS 11.3 where Apple says it “Fixes an issue on iPad Pro that prevented the iPad Smart Keyboard from working after connecting to a captive Wi-Fi access point”

Of course! The commandeering in-flight WiFi has to have been the cause, right? But if iOS 11.3 fixed this issue then how come it’s happening again? Has anyone else experienced anything like this with the new iPad Pros on iOS 12.1?
 

BaddAdvice

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2016
257
301
Very strange. I’m trying to remember if I used the Smart Keyboard on my last flight? I’ll be heading out again in a couple weeks - I’ll give it try then. I don’t know why wi-fi would interfere, but apparently, as you’ve stated, it was a problem in the past? I’m sure others while chime in - I’m interested to hear what’s going on!
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,566
14,057
Central U.S.
I had this happen several at work during important meetings when I needed to use the keyboard on my old 10.5" to take notes. Switched to using the Pencil instead, but then it would always be dead when I needed to use it. Glad to have the new one with No.2 Pencil and folio case only.
 

AceFernalld

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Original poster
Mar 3, 2008
1,766
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Massachusetts
USB 3.x have interfered with 2.4GHz WIFI but this is the first time I hear WIFI affecting a physical connection although on the surface it sounds like a software issue. Does it happen on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WIFI?

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/io/universal-serial-bus/usb3-frequency-interference-paper.html
Unfortunately I have no idea what band the United airlines WiFi was broadcasting at. Definitely a software issue given the fact that it was supposedly fixed before and is now (for me at least) resurfacing.

I’ve used mine on two flights so far with no issue.
Were you connected to WiFi access points through which you weren’t able to get the internet?
 

RevTEG

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2012
944
642
San Jose, Ca
I haven’t flown with my new folio keyboard yet so I can’t say how it will respond. However, I flew almost 500 hours of international travel with the previous ASK on a first gen 12.9 and never had an issue. Some of those flights didn’t have WiFi though. I wasn’t even aware that Apple had addressed the issue in an update. I head to Asia first part of January and will need the keyboard to work properly.
 

AceFernalld

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 3, 2008
1,766
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Massachusetts
On a flight out to Auckland in a few minutes, I’ll see if the issue presents itself again and if fiddling with the WiFi changes anything
 
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mi7chy

macrumors 603
Oct 24, 2014
5,937
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Bring some foil and tape to cover the pogo pin area to rule out RFI.
 

anthony13

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2012
223
144
Unfortunately I have no idea what band the United airlines WiFi was broadcasting at. Definitely a software issue given the fact that it was supposedly fixed before and is now (for me at least) resurfacing.


Were you connected to WiFi access points through which you weren’t able to get the internet?
I did not connect to the paid WiFi, but there is limited flight tracking available, so I suppose I was technically ‘connected’?
 

christophermdia

macrumors 6502a
Sep 28, 2008
742
152
Just took a flight to Portugal on Delta and haven’t had this issue, even though connected to WiFi the whole time. Ill look out for it when i head back Friday and test again and try to report back here.
 

DoubleFlyaway

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2017
883
828
I used the old ASK a million times on flights and never experienced this. Monday will be my first time flying with the new IPP, so we will see!
 

AceFernalld

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 3, 2008
1,766
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Massachusetts
Very weird development. Just landing from my return flight, and it happened again. The Smart Keyboard went completely unresponsive a few hours into my flight. I figured I knew the issue this time, so I disabled my WiFi, did a couple of hard resets, at least a dozen disconnection/reconnections of the Smart Keyboard. Nothing worked. It stayed non-functional for hours. The only thing that fixed it was descending. Once we got down to about 10,000 feet it ‘magically’ started working again. So strange, especially if I am the only person experiencing this.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
19,397
9,530
UK
So this wasn’t just flight related? Surely it shouldn’t be doing that. I wasn’t aware this has ever been an issue on iPads.
 

AceFernalld

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 3, 2008
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So this wasn’t just flight related? Surely it shouldn’t be doing that. I wasn’t aware this has ever been an issue on iPads.
I thought it could be an anomaly situation, but it did indeed just happen again.. don’t know if I should replace the iPad or the SKF. Neither of them have exhibited this behavior in any situation other than these 12+ hour flights.
 

cep55

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2011
27
8
Mine did exactly the same thing on two recent flights! I also tried removing/reinstalling, connecting/disconnecting from WiFi/Bluetooth, and a few hard resets. All to no avail. It just stopped “seeing” the ASK, and the onscreen keyboard would pop up.

But it also happened a couple of times at home, connected to my personal network, as well as when it wasn’t connected to anything.

The Apple store didn’t think it was a software problem, and they refunded my keyboard folio (couldn’t replace it, because they were sold out.) I just got a replacement yesterday, so it’s too soon to tell whether this one works any better. Sounds a lot like the previous, supposedly resolved, problem though...

Hello all,

I just got off a flight and was experiencing the weirdest issue. For almost the entirety of my flight, my Smart Keyboard Folio was completely unresponsive! My iPad wasn’t even recognizing that it was connected, as the software keyboard continued to show up. After several hard resets I was wondering if my keyboard had just crapped the bed, but then all of a sudden when I got off the plane the keyboard began working again.

My head was spinning trying to figure out the root of this issue, and then I did some Googling. Turns out that I guess there have been many reports of a similar issue occurring with previous iPad Pros, and the issue was even addressed and supposedly fixed in iOS 11.3 where Apple says it “Fixes an issue on iPad Pro that prevented the iPad Smart Keyboard from working after connecting to a captive Wi-Fi access point”

Of course! The commandeering in-flight WiFi has to have been the cause, right? But if iOS 11.3 fixed this issue then how come it’s happening again? Has anyone else experienced anything like this with the new iPad Pros on iOS 12.1?
 

anthony13

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2012
223
144
I’m up to like 6 flights on it now with no issues, but as a frequent flyer I am so interested in knowing the cause of yours.
 

BaddAdvice

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2016
257
301
Very strange. I’m heading out next week and will experiment with my 12.9 and ASK. We’re you connected to the in-flight WiFi?
 

AceFernalld

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 3, 2008
1,766
1,072
Massachusetts
Very strange. I’m heading out next week and will experiment with my 12.9 and ASK. We’re you connected to the in-flight WiFi?
I was at first, but once the issue presented itself I disconnected from WiFi and Bluetooth, then did a hard reset of the iPad and dis/reconnected the Keyboard. Nothing worked and the Keyboard never started working again until we had descended to ~10,000 feet.
 

BaddAdvice

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2016
257
301
I was at first, but once the issue presented itself I disconnected from WiFi and Bluetooth, then did a hard reset of the iPad and dis/reconnected the Keyboard. Nothing worked and the Keyboard never started working again until we had descended to ~10,000 feet.
Wow, really weird. I wonder what could be going on? I’ll be on American flights next week, so I’ll give it a shot and see how I fare.
 

AceFernalld

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 3, 2008
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Massachusetts
Welp. Another flight, same issue. I think it could be related to cabin pressure?? This time even when we were back landed on the ground it was non-functional, but a few seconds after the doors were opened it started working again. By far the strangest issue I’ve ever had with a tech product.
 

flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,191
914
Welp. Another flight, same issue. I think it could be related to cabin pressure?? This time even when we were back landed on the ground it was non-functional, but a few seconds after the doors were opened it started working again. By far the strangest issue I’ve ever had with a tech product.
I was wondering that. It seems odd that it only happens at altitude. FWIW, I live at 7k ft and haven’t had any issues, but it’s possible the changes in pressure are having an impact.
 

AceFernalld

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 3, 2008
1,766
1,072
Massachusetts
Apologies for bumping an old thread but this continues to perplex me. Happening to me again right now. Has anyone else experienced this in the last few months? My iPad is now running iPadOS 13 and the issue is not resolved. Really unsure how to go about fixing it. The folks at Apple support will probably think I’m nuts..
 
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scotsmandc

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2015
216
124
Apologies for bumping an old thread but this continues to perplex me. Happening to me again right now. Has anyone else experienced this in the last few months? My iPad is now running iPadOS 13 and the issue is not resolved. Really unsure how to go about fixing it. The folks at Apple support will probably think I’m nuts..
You seem to fly a lot. Film it before boarding working... then film it not working in flight and then lastly film it working again when landing or however long it takes to work again. Show it to apple.
 
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RevTEG

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2012
944
642
San Jose, Ca
Very weird development. Just landing from my return flight, and it happened again. The Smart Keyboard went completely unresponsive a few hours into my flight. I figured I knew the issue this time, so I disabled my WiFi, did a couple of hard resets, at least a dozen disconnection/reconnections of the Smart Keyboard. Nothing worked. It stayed non-functional for hours. The only thing that fixed it was descending. Once we got down to about 10,000 feet it ‘magically’ started working again. So strange, especially if I am the only person experiencing this.
I have no idea what’s causing your keyboard issues. I fly internationally for work. I’ve never experienced any issues with the first gen keyboard nor the current gen Apple Smart Keyboard. I’ve used them on dozens of short and long haul flights. I’ve used them while connected to WiFi with no issues. I’ve used them not connected to WIFI with no issues. I leave the Bluetooth on and use my AirPods while using the Smart Keyboard. Not a single issue during several hundred thousand flight miles on many different carriers. Some of my most product time is during long haul flights when my phone isn't ringing.