Tips for connecting a keyboard to your iPad

One of the reasons some people give for being hesitant about purchasing and using an iPad is because of the lack of a physical keyboard. People who type a lot are so used to having the tactical feel that a keyboard provides that the idea of tapping a virtual keyboard on a tablet’s display screen doesn’t quite match up. Sure, people tap a keyboard on a smartphone screen to send texts, but it’s different using the QWERTY method of typing than the hunt and peck method of tapping a message on a smartphone screen.

To overcome this potential problem, you have the option of making use of a physical keyboard with your iPad. Continue reading for learning some of the options of connecting a keyboard to an iPad tablet!

Bluetooth keyboards. This probably is the easiest method of connecting a keyboard to your iPad, as Bluetooth is perfect to use when the two devices are in close proximity. (Bluetooth is a low power, short range wireless connectivity standard designed for personal electronics.) You’ll need to pair the keyboard with the iPad before they’re usable together.

Most Bluetooth keyboards are ready for pairing simply by turning them on. (If your keyboard uses a different method, the user guide should give you the instructions.) Then tap the Settings icon on your iPad’s home screen and touch the Bluetooth command. Touch the slider button for Bluetooth until it turns green to turn it on. The iPad will search for Bluetooth devices in the area. Once you see the Bluetooth keyboard in the list, tap it, and the iPad will pair with it.

Understand that a Bluetooth keyboard needs power to work, meaning it will run from a battery. Once the battery is drained, the keyboard no longer will work, which can be a hassle. Some manufacturers include a docking station for the Bluetooth keyboard, which charges the rechargeable battery inside the keyboard when it’s docked, which will be cheaper in the long run than running the keyboard from alkaline batteries.

Wired keyboards. You also have the option of purchasing a keyboard that connects to the iPad through a cable. Such keyboards plug into the lightning port on the iPad, so you won’t be able to have anything else plugged into the tablet at the same time. But the wired keyboard doesn’t require a secondary power source, meaning it will work as long as the iPad battery has power, giving it a bit of an advantage over Bluetooth keyboards.

Third party keyboards. Several different companies create keyboards that are made to work with iPads, and they’re usually a little less costly than Apple keyboards. It can be a little difficult to make this type of keyboard connect to the iPad on occasion, especially after a software upgrade to the iPad’s operating system. If you’re experiencing a connection problem, check with the keyboard’s manufacturer to see if it has released a software upgrade to deal with the changes in the tablet’s iOS.

Size. Some iPad keyboards aren’t full size keyboards, meaning the keys are squeezed a bit closer together and are smaller than normal. This can be a significant problem for some users, as it leads to typing errors. If possible, try out the keyboard before purchasing it to make sure the size will meet your needs. Some iPad keyboards also can fold down to a small size, making them ideal for traveling.