Apple Wireless Keyboard and iPad Air – Hands-on test

The other day I made friends with someone who had a similar approach to technology as me. He had bought an Apple wireless keyboard to go with his iPad.

As logic would dictate genuine Apple products should work seamlessly with their other products. But this was not the case.

Soon after I bought my keyboard I immediately found problems with compatibility. Not so much that it didn’t connect with the iPad but rather some apps just didn’t recognize the keyboard as Japanese layout (which is the country I bought the keyboard in). That really isn’t the problem as I also require Japanese. But not being to find characters because your iPad thinks you are using an English keyboard is really really annoying.

Thinking that this was an issue with the keyboard and Apple’s manufacturing error I went online to find a solution but to no avail. I gave up and continued to rubbish Apple for its lack of language compatibility.

But as I said, I made friends with this guy who had a similar to mine and asked him about whether he had this problem or not.

“No,” was his answer.

So this got me thinking: perhaps the problem isn’t with the keyboard but with specific apps.

So I went home and began testing all my apps to see which worked with keyboard and which didn’t. And these were the results.

Text-input-driven apps that didn’t work with the keyboard:
Gmail
Instagram
Facebook
Moleskine
Simplemind (mindmapping)
Blogger
Twitter

Text-input-driven apps that worked with the keyboard:
ALL Apple made apps (including Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Notes and Calendar)
WordPress
Tumblr
My Wonderful Days (journal)

Of all the apps listed Gmail and Simplemind are perhaps the most missed. It literally means I cannot write emails or produce mindmaps effectively with the keyboard hardware. The point of a keyboard is to make typing easier, as an alternative to the virtual keyboard. But since most of my work is done on the Apple apps and the WordPress app not all is lost.

And Apple are not the ones to blame for this since this seems to be a problem on the individual app makers’ part. So now I wish there is a list of apps out there that would tell me which apps are not compatible with Japanese keyboards. This would save me from buying unusable apps.