Tag Archives: ipad-keyboard

Attach a USB Microphone or Keyboard to Your iPad 2

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Up until earlier, I wasn’t all that interested in the iPad Camera Connection Kit. However, I learned that one of the attachments can be used to hook up musical instruments and microphones to your device. Now that is seriously cool.

The Kit includes two connectors, each with a different interface:

  • The Camera Connector features a USB interface. Just plug it into the dock connector port on your iPad, then attach your digital camera or iPhone using a USB cable (not included). iPhone 3G is not supported.
  • Use the SD Card Reader to import photos and videos directly from your camera’s SD card. Connect it to your iPad, then insert your digital camera’s SD card into the slot.

However, it has other uses, as I discovered today! With the camera kit, you can plug many USB headsets right into the USB port of the iPad. Certain USB keyboards apparently work, as well. I’ve read reports that some keyboards will give you an error message on-screen stating that the device will not work with your iPad. However, once you dismiss the message the keyboard works perfectly fine.

You can, of course, pull photos off of your cameras and devices using this connector kit. Don’t forget that it’s also simple to import photos from your iPhone and iPod touch. This saves you the hassle of having to sync through iTunes.

As I said early on, I’m using the kit to attach my favorite mics. The built-in microphone on the iPad 2 isn’t all that great. However, I can use either my AT2020 microphone or my Yeti Blue mic with my iPad now. These happen to be my two favorite devices to use when trying to record high-quality audio, and I’m happy both will easily plug into my iPad 2 using this adapter.

Just after I finished recording this video, Oscar emailed to let me know that you can also plug a M-Audio Keystation Midi Piano into the port, as well. It works perfectly, even for babies.

I am happy that I have these options, but I’m sad that Apple makes it so difficult. Why do there have to be so many attachments? Why can’t Apple simply create one attachment that will do everything? Better yet, build these features and functions right into the devices we all love so much.

iPad Keyboard Dock Review

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I am definitely enjoying my iPad, even though I’ve only had it for a few days now. The main problem I’m having, though, is trying to type on the device. When in Landscape mode, it’s seriously difficult to type with my thumbs (or even all ten digits!). In Portrait mode, it’s a little easier to use my thumbs. However, the virtual keyboard is so large that I can’t go very fast. To solve this problem, I bought myself the iPad Keyboard Dock from Apple.

This keyboard, by the way, is pretty much the same as the wireless keyboard that I use on my Mac Pro. I love that particular keyboard. It allows me to type faster than I ever have before… seriously! It really is excellent.

In the little bit of time I’ve used this keyboard dock for my iPad, I’ve been really happy with it. I can plug my audio speakers into the back of it if I wanted. I’d like to find a form-fitting protector for the back of the iPad so that it’s not so exposed when it’s sitting in the dock.

Using the keyboard is very simple. It has all of the normal keys you would expect. There is a search key and even a brightness key. I really appreciate that, so that I don’t have to migrate through the iPad itself to adjust the screen brightness. You’ll also find a button that will automatically open a photo slideshow. It can’t get any easier than that.

There’s a blank function key at the top. I’m not really sure what that’s for… perhaps to help me get past a bout of writer’s block? You can mute the iPad by touching the volume down control on the built-in iPod controls.

As I already said, I’m really happy with this keyboard dock. It looks good, it works well and it lets me type properly again.

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iPad Typing Trainer

The guys over at Flairify are ingenious. They developed the TapTyping app without ever laying a hand on the iPad itself. For now, they’ve focused on typing basics – the stuff they knew they wouldn’t get wrong. As soon as their iPads arrive on the big brown truck tomorrow, they will be busy creating an update with improved advice.

However, the app as it is now is pretty cool. TapTyping will teach you how to type on your iPad. The virtual keyboard requires a whole new way of typing in order to be efficient. Users can get past the learning curve with TapTyping, and focus on what matters the most – getting things done.

The app features lessons from a beginner level all the way to advanced. In the first lessons, you’ll focus on learning to type with primary keys. Further along, you’ll work on tricky and complex sentences that contain symbols, punctuation and numbers.

Every key you tap will be tracked by the app to give you precise feedback. You’ll be able to track your progress and learn where your weaknesses are. This way, you can go back through the lessons where you may have struggled.

TapTyping is not only educational – it’s entertaining. You can hone your skills with excerpts from U.S. history, follow Alice around Wonderland, or type the things you find in your own Twitter stream. You aren’t limited to only a few boring lessons… change things up to keep you wanting more.