macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
11,572
15,892
Central U.S.
Why is there a blank button on the iPad Keyboard Dock?

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.

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!
 

msduncan

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2010
498
0
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

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2008
1,170
28
Spain
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

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
they probably have no use for it yet. currently the apple keyboards F5 and F6 have nothing assigned to them by default.
 

juice

macrumors newbie
Sep 27, 2007
23
0
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

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2009
278
0
Cape Town
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. :eek:

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

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,512
33
Singapore
On a MBP the F5 and F6 keys are used to brighten and darken the keyboard's back light function. :eek:

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.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
11,572
15,892
Central U.S.
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.


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

gt1948

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2007
191
2
wireless keyboard has blank key

what will the blank key above the six key be used for?
 

t0mat0

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2006
5,454
279
Home
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?
 

bossxii

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2008
1,753
0
Kansas City
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

macrumors 6502a
Jun 8, 2009
722
1
The blank button is exclusively for Steve Jobs only. No one should even question what it is. ;)
 

azboricua

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2009
559
0
Arizona
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
 

EssentialParado

macrumors 65816
Feb 17, 2005
1,161
32
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?
 

[DL]

macrumors 6502
Feb 19, 2010
314
0
Louisiana
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.
 
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