iPad Pro Software Keyboard

I posted some of my preliminary thoughts on the iPad Pro’s software keyboard. Bottom line is that I think it’s very good. If you’re used to writing code or text with a lot of symbols, you can turn off Auto-Capitalization and Auto-Correct and make it function more or less like a regular keyboard. There’s also a video in the post that shows the speed difference with the settings on and off while typing a simple HTML document.

One worry that I have with the TextBlade is remembering all the chording combinations to input characters like angled brackets, numbers, etc. This slows me down a lot on smaller virtual keyboards (iPhones and previous generation iPads). For the coders here on the forum, do you really think you’ll be able to switch out to the TextBlade as your primary keyboard for development?

Thoughts on the iPad Pro Software Keyboard

As long as it is a chord, I don’t see it as a big issue. It would be more bothersome if it was like iOS, with a “dead key” style of alt-shift modes. I code on APL for fun, and as such I have to get used to weird keyboard mappings. Getting used to it (i.e. needing to press alt-cmd something to get a weird glyph) comes as a second nature quickly, maybe more easily if you are a vim/emacs user.

Yeah, I’m actually hoping it’ll make coding easier as they’ll be less distance to do cover to press all the shortcut keys. As @rberenguel points out, it’s even worse on a Mac cos even to get an insert key you have to use a modifier, so alt+shift+insert translates to alt+shift+fn+return on a Mac.

So, maybe learning the chords will take a while, but once they become muscle memory it’ll be far more efficient.

At least that’s my hope. My fear is that some standard developer shortcuts aren’t available/possible on the TB and so I’ll have to set up custom mappings which will be a pain.

Yes, I’ve spent a number of days exclusively using wmertens’ Karabiner TextBlade layout to write code without issue. The biggest ongoing annoyance is accidentally hitting return instead of ’ when I’m texting, resulting in sending a text or message before it’s complete.

I’m a web developer and I’ve been using a version of wmertens’ karabiner layout for a couple of weeks now - at work and at home. I’m still getting used to it, but I’d say I’m already close to my usual typing speed.

Until I learned the position of many of the symbols, I printed out one of the custom layouts, located on the WayTools home page, and used it as a reference. To anyone thinking of copying that idea, I’d recommend adjusting the colours first, as the green does not contrast well on grey, and so isn’t very visible.

My personal customisations involved aligning the shift keys with the home row, I feel this adaptation makes typing even faster.

As @orand stated, the premature message delivery was a problem when I started, but I’m used to it now, I rarely make that mistake but it only happens when I’m using my rubber dome keyboard, whose keys have a slightly unusual layout.

For what it’s worth, the cut/copy/paste and arrow keys shortcuts are incredibly useful. If anything, having those shortcuts on the home row alone feels way faster than (what WayTools call) legacy hardware ;).

It may or may not be relevant, but I switched to Colemak from Qwerty in June, so I also had to learn the slightly different TextBlade variant of the Colemak layout.