It’s been here for years … it’s called ShareMouse.
Well, certainly this is a plus, but not a solution. First, as you mention, it has to be an all Apple environment. Second, there is a limit of 3 devices. Third, it doesn’t include an iPhone. Fourth, they have to have the same iCloud account.
Now, within the allowed scenario, I don’t know how it will compare in the actual act of switching and won’t be able to tell until we see it ourselves as well as get the new firmware - because I believe WT said you could switch faster now.
Meanwhile, the TB basically doesn’t care what the devices are. More importantly, what Apple is doing only serves you if you are switching with all 2-3 devices together. But what I normally am doing with the TB is being able to use the TB with my desktop at home, my iPad when out, and if I don’t have my iPad with me, using the same TB with my phone.
But it goes further than that, and is why I want even more than 6 jump slots. I use a dvorak layout usually, but I want a qwerty layout for anytime someone wants to use my keyboard. As it works now, that takes one extra slot on my desktop. If I want it for my iPhone and iPad as well, that would be 3 qwerty slots and 3 dvorak slots.
With a bluetooth dongle (just in case I need to connect to someone elses computer without paring, that takes a slot.
Then there are special layouts for special situations. Some may want a special layout for coding. Some may want it for different games.
The thing is, once you get into it, you find useful things that you never even though of before because it isn’t possible. Even if you do think of it, you may not think it is a big deal until you get to try it. I was that way about some TB stuff until I actually experienced it.
Oh, and related to this, while you can switch between devices with Apples new stuff, when you are out and about, are you going to be carrying your nice desktop keyboard? Most likely you’ll either type on the screen or you’ll have another keyboard for travel.
But with the TB, I have a device that I prefer to use, even on the desktop computer! That’s my biggest concern if it doesn’t ship. I could live with typing on the screen when using an iPad or phone. But losing it on the desktop would NOT be fun!
Besides having a great feel (personal opinion, of course), my fingers don’t suffer from stretching far from the home row. And characters I always had to look for (like numbers), I don’t have to look for anymore because they are close by.
EDIT: One huge advantage of Apple’s option is moving files from one device to another.
Regardless, it’s an area that the Textblade had more of an advantage in years back, and one slice of that may be disappearing …
There is such a thing as a first mover advantage.
Certainly this has value. But does it not work with a TextBlade when you move the mouse to another device?
If it does, then all the other TB advantages remain since you don’t have to give it up if you want to use this particular capability.
It’s sort of like improvements in dictation. Sure, the better it gets the more likely someone may use it. But to me that is a tiny change because I think the far more important factor is whether where you are is a good place for dictation. Or even if it is an appropriate place, how comfortable is it? As I said before, I find it to be uncomfortable to try to dictate things. There is no natural flow to what I think.
Or consider it another way - how many people will NOT need a keyboard? And if they need a keyboard at all, why not one that is far less stressful, far easier to edit, etc, and reduces the need to switch to a mouse, constantly going back and forth?
And if you need a keyboard, isn’t there still an advantage to have one that is completely customizable, usable with at least 6 (I think the new firmware allows for 12) devices, with every slot able to have it’s own customizations?
With the typical mobile keyboard, which were not really all that small or light and which had terrible key spacing and “feel”, those were things to avoid, if possible. So anything that gave you more reason to avoid them was pretty important. But I don’t think so in the case of the TextBlade.