iPad Pro Smart Connector Keyboards

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by jmaluso, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. jmaluso macrumors member

    jmaluso

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    #1
    Why aren't there more of these available besides the official Apple Smart Keyboard and the Logitech Create? I would have figured that at least Belkin and Logitech would have been all over this and had numerous versions available by now. And it was a perfect time for companies like Incipio/ClamCase, Brydge, and ZeroChroma to release Smart Connector versions alongside their Bluetooth versions. I am getting tired in general of the flaky nature of Bluetooth iPad keyboards (I haven't used on yet that doesn't eventually start repeating characters or not registering characters) and was really hoping to see some real competition in this area as soon as the iPad Pro was released over 2 months ago.

    Is Apple just holding the technical data close to their chest in regard to the actual Smart Connector? Does anyone know of any keyboards that have been announced that I haven't seen?
     
  2. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #2
    I don't know for certain, but my speculation...

    • Apple may have prohibitively high licensing rights to the smart connector.
    • Companies may not want to invest the R&D into developing keyboards using the smart connector until sales figures are released to indicate how large a market there is.
    • Companies may be trying to design a keyboard that brings something new to the table beyond what Apple is doing with the smart keyboard. (one of the criticisms of the ASK is the single angle for the iPP... there may be some design work in progress that would allow for multiple angles)
     
  3. jmaluso thread starter macrumors member

    jmaluso

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    #3
    Thanks for the reply. Your points make sense. I am really looking forward to seeing what comes out in the coming months in regard to the Smart Connector. At this point the Apple Smart Keyboard, Zagg Slim Book, and the Brydge are the most appealing to me. But I really don't want to spend $150+ and then be tempted to buy another one in only a few months...but that is how the game goesI guess.
     
  4. Max Your Macs macrumors member

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    Daytona Beach, FL
    #4
    This is a good point to keep up on. I have bounced back and forth with the Logitech Create and for the most part I really like it in spite of the added weight. I also keep in mind the greater glass area of the IPP and potential for bending or flexing a larger, thinner device and the Create comes through with also having a rugged case built in. The iOS keys and backlighting, to me, blow the Apple Smart keyboard out of the water even though the thinner profile is a plus. The higher price tag, less features and less protection makes me wonder why anyone would want one to begin with. They are 'nice' it not $169 worth of nine when you can get a much better experience with the Create.

    I would love to see Logitech or Belkin come out with something similar to the Create but offer a couple more viewing angles and a thinner lighter profile. I'd be the first one in one of that!
     
  5. jmaluso thread starter macrumors member

    jmaluso

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    #5
    Belkin's QODE Ultimate and Ultimate Pro Keyboards always seemed like a great option for the iPad Air 2 as they had multiple angles and the Pro allowed for removing the iPad entirely and being able to rotate it into portrait orientation. They could keep the same basic design and just have more than one smart connector for the iPad to attach to depending on the angle you choose. But maybe not as elegant in practice as in my mind. Ha.
     
  6. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

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    New Jersey
    #6
    You will notice that most of the third party keyboard cases make versions that are compatible with many different devices including iPads and Android devices. The problem with the smart connector is that it only works with one single device, and that device has only been out a couple of months. So the market size is rather small. It is going to take time before you start to see these around.
     
  7. flapflapflap macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2013
    #7
    The smart connector was something Apple created so that it could trick consumers into believing the iPP and SP4 were similar. They needed a stand-out feature that would make the comparison of these two devices more plausible.

    Why? Apple panicked. Microsoft's success, though not over the top, is growing, and they've established themselves as market leaders in a new segment -- laptop/tablet hybrid. This new segment not only competes directly with Apple's iPad line, but also Apple's Macbook line. The SP line clearly needs a lot more work, but their growth and increasing popularity probably scared Cook.

    That's why Cook quickly introduced the iPP. It's still a great device, IMO. I have one, and chose it over the SP4 after testing both devices. But I think an Apple historian would probably agree that Apple didn't spend too much time/thought on this device. Let's face it, they just blew up the size of the iPad Air 2, took advantage of its PRE-EXISTING iOS features like Split-View, decided to throw in a smart connector with a mediocre keyboard cover to trick the everyday consumer that the iPP and SP4 were similar devices.

    In short, the iPP, was introduced to thwart Microsoft's momentum. If Apple really thought the future of computing would be in the form of a tablet, they would have spent more time/thought and added more features/functions.
     
  8. jmaluso thread starter macrumors member

    jmaluso

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    #8
    I don't agree that most companies make one size fits all Bluetooth keyboards. There are some universal keyboards but they have to make cases that fit each iPad that comes out so the keyboard can attach. So knowing that they already have to make something custom they should all be working on keyboard/case combos that include the Smart Connnector unless it is really price prohibitive from a licensing standpoint. But I doubt that is the case. Everyone wants to get on the MFI bandwagon. Companies are probably just waiting it out. But I can't wait to see what else comes out and what genius engerieering/design ideas they can come up with. I just can't stand the bulky approach like Logitech took with the Create. Too big and bulky for my taste. Honestly Microsoft got it SOOO right with the Smart Keyboard Cover on the Surface Pro 4. Someone should copy this almost exactly (within legal reason) but with a Smart Connnector...heck Microsoft should make one. Profit$$$$! Not like it will sway the Windows folks over...but it will just make the iOS folks extra happy to have a wonderful accessory forgo their iPP. Microsoft is already one of those companies that make universal Bluetooth accessories marketed to iOS users so why not cash in on the Smart Connector?

    If the iPP continues to sell well the rest of the lineup will eventually get the Smart Connector and Apple Pencil support as well. They will have to figure out which features to keep iPP specific to keep it "Pro" and stand out from the Mini and Air.
     
  9. flapflapflap macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2013
    #9
    Seriously, Logitech's keyboard is too bulky and takes away from the iPP's versatility. The ASK is thin and light weight, but I hate how it has so many flaps, the fact that the backside is unprotected, that it has only one typing view, and that the keyboard itself is limited (not backlit and no extra row of keys).

    Can someone just copy the keyboard that the Tab Pro S uses? Looks real slick.
     
  10. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #10
    I don't see the smart connector being added to the Air and Mini, but it could be possible. "Pro" is just a model differentiator so there is no need to make it stand out from the Air and Mini other than size. The Min and Air are virtually identical now... except for size. Within a generation or two, the same will be true for the Pro, IMO.
     
  11. ooans macrumors 6502

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    Jun 4, 2011
    #11
    As a non English speaking person it's even more bleak. Apple has yet to release its own Smart Keyboard in at least my native tongue orientation. It is quite unbelievable, as its been so long since the Pro was released. But basically the super bulky Logitech one is the only choice.

    I've bought multiple Macs on the first day they were available for order anywhere and always with my non English keyboard. So this has never been a problem before and thus seems very weird of Apple.
     
  12. jmaluso thread starter macrumors member

    jmaluso

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    #12
    Yeah. It seems like the advertising is saying it is "Pro" because of the A9X speed, two full screen apps in split screen, the Apple Pencil, and the Apple Smarth Keyboard. But I agree and think all models will eventually get the Smart Connector, Apple Pencil support, and added Force Touch. But who knows. Maybe they will keep those major features off the smaller models to force users that want them to the bigger devices.
     
  13. flapflapflap macrumors member

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    Dec 13, 2013
    #13
    That's exactly right. Apple threw in a pencil and a smart connecting keyboard to justify calling it PRO.
     

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