David Di Franco


Blogging on the iPad Pro (Using the Smart Keyboard)

Having purchased myself the Smart Keyboard for my iPad Pro, I was curious as to how I could work it into my daily routine. Could adding a physical keyboard to the 12.9-inch tablet improve my productivity and overall focus? To put simply, yes and yes.

At first I wasn't crazy about spending $169+ on a keyboard, especially considering I wasn't even 100% sure I needed it. After all, I tend to spend a lot of money on technology, but carefully so. I like to believe that I only purchase gadgets that can have an impact on my life and not end up collecting dust.

Thankfully, the Smart Keyboard has proven to be quite the useful purchase. Not only has it increased my productivity and overall focus when blogging, but it's made my iPad Pro feel less like a tablet and more like an actual notebook computer.

Considering tablets are generally more portable than notebooks, it's obvious that mobile computing is making a dramatic transformation — and it's only going to get better as time progresses. Accessories like the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil are proof of that.

First and foremost, typing on the Smart Keyboard simply feels natural. The keys don't have a lot of travel like most traditional keyboards do, but it's certainly nice enough to use for extended periods of time. For example, I composed this article consisting of over 2,000 words primarily on the Smart Keyboard — aside from a few edits that I made using my desktop computer.

When using apps that take full advantage of the Smart Keyboard, you will notice a bar appears on the bottom of the iPad Pro's screen. This is called the Shortcut Bar. It provides a variety of shortcuts relevant to whichever app you are using at the time.

Click the screenshot below and you can see how Apple's Pages app uses the Shortcut Bar. Users can quickly and conveniently adjust the formatting of text, as well as a variety of other document layout enhancements.


Of course, shortcuts are not only limited to the Shortcut Bar. Holding down the Command key on the Smart Keyboard presents an overlay showing all the shortcut commands that are available. Many of the shortcuts are exactly as you'd expect from a notebook or desktop. The consistency is definitely a nice touch, especially if you find yourself often switching between devices.

Because the Smart Keyboard uses the Smart Connector, this means that it technically gets its power from the iPad Pro itself. In other words, battery life is not an issue whatsoever — which is something you cannot say for third-party keyboards. This convenience alone is a big selling point for users who are looking to get through a full work day.

And finally, you might be wondering... Why would anyone choose a tablet over any traditional computer for blogging? Well, this is certainly a personal preference, but I strongly believe it comes down to focus.

When working on an iPad Pro, you're primarily using one app at a time — with the option of adding a second app for multitasking. This means that you are less likely to be distracted by other tasks that don't matter at the time, including email and social media.

In my eyes, remaining focused on work is significant, and it's exactly why I prefer to blog on my iPad Pro over anything else in my office. I may be limited with specific tasks, but this particular workflow certainly gets the job done.