Typing on the iPad Pro

David Chartier is getting pretty good at touch typing with an iPad Pro and he is not alone. I’ve heard from a lot of nerd friends that are really pleased with their typing times on the iPad Pro. That makes sense.

The iPad Pro offers a full-size touchscreen keyboard. That’s the first time we’ve ever seen such a thing on an iOS device. No longer do your fingers need to figure out the jujitsu that’s involved with typing on a glass keyboard where every key just a little bit smaller and closer together. I have never been particularly fast typing on glass. Nevertheless, I’m at my fastest when my iPad Pro is laying on a table and I’m tapping away on it.

The problem, for me, is when I need to look at something else. I’m a touch typist and I can easily type while reading a book or something on the screen. When I try this on the glass with the iPad Pro, my fingers inevitably shift a bit and while my fingers are tapping in approximately the right places, my hands are not situated properly. When I do look at the text, I find that I’ve typed a bunch of gobbledygook.

So while typing on the iPad Pro glass is possible and superior to prior iPads, it still requires you to keep an eye on your fingers as you’re going at it. I’d also argue it’s still a bit slower than a traditional keyboard but not so much slower that it isn’t worth doing.

For me, the real sweet spot with the iPad Pro is Apple’s Smart Keyboard cover. It’s just slightly thicker than a standard smart cover and it has a keyboard. It is a mechanical keyboard but just barely. Nevertheless, the tips of my fingers can feel when they’ve drifted off the key. For just the tiny bit of added weight and bulk, I get a keyboard that I can fly on.

As full disclosure, I am hardly a keyboard snob. I can type on just about any physical keyboard. I’m used to and don’t mind at all the controversial keyboard on the new MacBook (that a lot of people hate) and the Apple Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro is equally acceptable.