Using the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard with Your iPad

My vintage (2008) MacBook Pro, SnowSurfer, just stopped displaying anything on the screen, rendering it basically useless, so I'm desperate to utilize my older Apple devices to keep on working. I'm still using an iMac G5 (iFive) as a scanner workstation, and I'm composing this post on iFive right now. But it doesn't take much to peg this old-school processor at 100%, so I'm going to see if I can use the iPad as much as possible. This requires hooking up a keyboard, since using the on-screen keyboard for all but the shortest entries is impractical.

My first attempts to pair the keyboard didn't work. I tried pairing my old school large format white-and-clear plastic Apple Wireless Keyboard, but the pairing process stalled out and never asked me to enter the pairing key code. This is too be expected, according to Apple's iPad: Apple Wireless Keyboard compatibility note on their Support site.

My 2007 Aluminum body Bluetooth keyboard (3 batteries) should work just fine, according to Apple. But, I'm having trouble getting the two to talk to each other. I finally got it to work by enabling discoverable mode (Apple Wireless Keyboard - 2007).

Here's my cheat sheet for troubleshooting Bluetooth keyboard connection problems with your iPad:

  1. Search the web to confirm that your keyboard will even work with the iPad.
  2. Replace the batteries in the keyboard. Low power issues cause all kinds of connection problems with Bluetooth.
  3. Turn your iPad off by holding down the lock button in the upper right corner. Then turn it on again by holding down the same button.
  4. On the iPad, go to Settings > General > Bluetooth. Turn Bluetooth on (or turn it off and on).
  5. Turn the keyboard on (or off and on) to ensure the keyboard is in discoverable mode.
  6. Follow the on-screen prompt and enter the passcode.

Enjoy your keyboard, and be sure to try the standard keyboard shortcuts:
  • Cut, Copy, Paste and Undo using the command key.
  • Command-Arrow and Option-Arrow to move the cursor quickly.
  • Hold down the Shift key while moving the cursor to select text.
Watch Amazing iPad Keyboard Tricks to see these keyboard shortcuts in action. I don't think these shortcuts are truly amazing, but "Pretty Useful iPd Keyboard Tricks that You Are Probably Already Using on Your Mac" is not such a compelling headline.

If you've gotten another Bluetooth keyboard to work with your iPad, post a comment below.


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