iOS 9 hardware keyboard shortcuts bring Apple's iPad world closer to the Mac

Posted:
in iPad edited September 2015
New hardware keyboard capabilities for the iPad in iOS 9 make it easier than ever to switch apps and access shortcuts, pushing Apple's tablet to become more like a traditional computer than ever before.




By making use of a Bluetooth keyboard, or the new Smart Keyboard with iPad Pro, users will be able to simplify system-wide iOS tasks such as app switching or launching search. The keyboard-triggered iOS app switcher is in fact identical to the one in OS X, driving home the idea of desktop convergence.

More significantly, developers will be able to offer their own app-specific keyboard shortcuts. In promoting these capabilities, Apple has used its own word processing app, Pages, to showcase shorcuts for tasks such as adding comments, checking word count, or finding a keyword.

To make discovering shortcuts easier, Apple has added still another shortcut -- holding down the Command, Option, or Control keys will display an overlay window with a complete list.




Prior to iOS 9, the only shortcuts available to iPad owners were hardwired into custom-built keyboards, for instance letting users jump back to the homescreen or copy and paste.

In addition, Apple is also making separate improvements to the iPad's onscreen keyboard. One is a shortcut bar, with buttons for basic functions such as cutting, copying, and pasting, and unique ones popping up per app -- Mail, for example, includes an attachments button.

Text selection will also be made easier through a two-finger gesture that turns the keyboard into a trackpad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    I don't use my keyboard very much, so I'll be pulling it back out to try it.
  • Reply 2 of 56
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member

    While I don't want to see the Mac and iPad merge, I do appreciate when they share paradigms like this, or share data and processes like with Continuity.

  • Reply 3 of 56
    curtis hannahcurtis hannah Posts: 1,746member
    john.b wrote: »
    While I don't want to see the Mac and iPad merge, I do appreciate when they share paradigms like this, or share data and processes like with Continuity.
    This is what people don't get, IOS and Mac sharing features is good, sharing OS is bad.
  • Reply 4 of 56
    appexappex Posts: 687member

    Nothing like a real computer: MacBook Air.

  • Reply 5 of 56
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    appex wrote: »
    Nothing like a real computer: MacBook Air.

    you seem confused. iPad, like the iPhone, is a real computer. it is not, however, a laptop running an intel chip or a desktop OS.
  • Reply 6 of 56
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,115member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppeX View Post

     

    Nothing like a real computer: MacBook Air.


     

    Thanks for the incredible insight. What is this magic factor that suddenly makes something a "real" computer? Just wondering. Cause most people can accomplish pretty much everything on an iPad that they could on a "real" computer. 

  • Reply 7 of 56
    appex wrote: »
    Nothing like a real computer: MacBook Air.

    Both run a multithreaded operating system.
    Both have LED displays.
    Both have flash storage.
    Both execute code.
    Both have wireless and cameras.
    Both have I/O.
    Both run a NeXTSTEP derived operating system.

    I mean, I can keep going...

    And a computer does NOT have to have a keyboard; I haven't seen people arguing that stuff like the Altair isn't a computer.
  • Reply 8 of 56
    thud71thud71 Posts: 1member
    The hardware keyboard support split-screen multitasking in iOS 9 is really fantastic. I am wondering about the "trackpad" text-selection mode that you get with the on-screen keyboard - obviously it's not available with a hardware keyboard. What are the odds that Apple will introduce support for a hardware pointing device in iOS (ForceTouch Magic Trackpad, anyone?)
  • Reply 9 of 56
    jce10jce10 Posts: 35member
    Just give me "ENTER to send" in Messages and I'll be happy. Anyone tried this?
  • Reply 10 of 56
    staticx57staticx57 Posts: 398member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    Both run a multithreaded operating system.

    Both have LED displays.

    Both have flash storage.

    Both execute code.

    Both have wireless and cameras.

    Both have I/O.

    Both run a NeXTSTEP derived operating system.



    I mean, I can keep going...



    And a computer does NOT have to have a keyboard; I haven't seen people arguing that stuff like the Altair isn't a computer.

    While most of this is true, you ignore the fact that a Mac affords so much more flexibility than what an iPad can do.

    A Mac has unlimited multitasking in which you decide what is allowed to run in the background.

    Not all Macs have LED displays, in fact, not all Macs have displays. You have the choice of what display to use with your Mac.

    While both have some form of flash storage, a Mac and iPad of the same year differ vastly in the power and speed and the storage amount

    Calculators execute code, are they computers?

    Not true

    Don't even begin to compare a Mac's extensive I/O to an iPad's single lightning port

     

    Do keep going. I have both a MBP and iPad Air 2, but I never mix the use of either.

  • Reply 11 of 56
    staticx57 wrote: »
    While most of this is true, you ignore the fact that a Mac affords so much more flexibility than what an iPad can do.
    A Mac has unlimited multitasking in which you decide what is allowed to run in the background.
    Not all Macs have LED displays, in fact, not all Macs have displays. You have the choice of what display to use with your Mac.
    While both have some form of flash storage, a Mac and iPad of the same year differ vastly in the power and speed and the storage amount
    Calculators execute code, are they computers?
    Not true
    Don't even begin to compare a Mac's extensive I/O to an iPad's single lightning port

    Do keep going. I have both a MBP and iPad Air 2, but I never mix the use of either.

    He specified MBA. I supplied the relevant comparisons.

    Bluetooth and WiFi aren't I/O now? Or is that just to fit your narrative? You realize we have a Mac with two ports just like an iPad now, right?

    Some calculators are indeed computers, given that you can run Doom on them.

    The Mac only gained full multitasking relatively recently, for the first half of its history it either didn't have it or had cooperative multitasking.

    The iPad Air 2 is processor comparable (and in some cases, better) than the CoreM chip in the MacBook.

    Apple spends a good deal more on the flash storage in a Mac; this is like how a Mustang is faster than a Kia Rio.

    As you say, do keep going.

    BTW: all display equipped Macs have LED displays.
  • Reply 12 of 56
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Good move by Apple. My only use for a laptop is writing in Scrivener when away. When the iOS version comes out, my current iPad can easily replace my aging white MacBook.
  • Reply 13 of 56
    staticx57staticx57 Posts: 398member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    He specified MBA. I supplied the relevant comparisons.



    Bluetooth and WiFi aren't I/O now? Or is that just to fit your narrative? You realize we have a Mac with two ports just like an iPad now, right?



    Some calculators are indeed computers, given that you can run Doom on them.



    The Mac only gained full multitasking relatively recently, for the first half of its history it either didn't have it or had cooperative multitasking.



    The iPad Air 2 is processor comparable (and in some cases, better) than the CoreM chip in the MacBook.



    Apple spends a good deal more on the flash storage in a Mac; this is like how a Mustang is faster than a Kia Rio.



    As you say, do keep going.



    BTW: all display equipped Macs have LED displays.

    If you want, I can take back half the stuff I said if you want to limit it to just the MBA.

     

    Here i'll start a new train of thought. In this case i'll consider OSX to constitute the class real computer and iOS to constitute the class of mobile device.

     

    The new MB is, in a lot of ways, underwhelming. The CoreM is too soon and does under-perform. Even the slightly larger MBA is quite a lot faster. 

     

    In a "real computer" I expect to get PCI-E based flash storage or at the very least, SATA 3. Even now SATA3 is considered out-dated. And as you say, it does cost more, but that is what I expect when I buy a Mac. 

     

    No, I do not consider WIFI and Bluetooth to be I/O in the same sense I consider USB and Thunderbolt. Little nuances aside, generally things happen over the network which happens over WIFI. With USB, it is one step closer to the system.

     

    Yes, all display equipped Macs do have LCD displays. LED is a backlight technology, not a display technology. Unless you want an OLED display, like I do.

     

    However recent Macs gained full multitasking, I still prefer to have it over iOS which doesn't have it to the same degree.

  • Reply 14 of 56
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    By making use of a Bluetooth keyboard, ...

     

    ... users will completely miss out on iOS 9's cursor-control keyboard gestures.

    I've tried the cursor-control keyboard gestures on an iPad and they're exactly what I wanted.

    No more "magnifying glass," precise control, no finger blocking the text field.

     

    Come to think of it, maybe the new MacBook's ultra-low keycaps are paving the way 

    for cursor-control keyboard gestures on physical keyboards on all Macs.  We'll see.  Eventually.

  • Reply 15 of 56
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

     

     

    I've tried the cursor-control keyboard gestures on an iPad and they're exactly what I wanted.

    No more "magnifying glass," precise control, no finger blocking the text field.

     


    It may be the single greatest improvement to iOS text input since iOS 1.

     

    Such a relief to have, and to be able to abandon the old way.

  • Reply 16 of 56
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    trying out the keyboard now with iPad...actually never done this before. Its really cool, but damn do they need even more shortcuts.

     

    Why no Command + W to exit an App? Or Command + Q to Force Close an App?

  • Reply 17 of 56
    chiachia Posts: 694member
    staticx57 wrote: »
    In a "real computer" I expect to get PCI-E based flash storage or at the very least, SATA 3. Even now SATA3 is considered out-dated. And as you say, it does cost more, but that is what I expect when I buy a Mac. 

    So by this rationale no Windows PC or Apple Mac was a "real computer" until they shipped with PCI flash storage.

    Apple, Dell, HP etc. must all have been making toys before the advent of PCI flash storage.
  • Reply 18 of 56
    inkling wrote: »
    Good move by Apple. My only use for a laptop is writing in Scrivener when away. When the iOS version comes out, my current iPad can easily replace my aging white MacBook.

    I am about to buy Scrivener for my Mac. Do they have an iOS version that synchronizes with my OS X version?
  • Reply 19 of 56
    staticx57staticx57 Posts: 398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChiA View Post





    So by this rationale no Windows PC or Apple Mac was a "real computer" until they shipped with PCI flash storage.



    Apple, Dell, HP etc. must all have been making toys before the advent of PCI flash storage.

    Yawn. Don't twist words so far out of context. Are we talking 2005 or 2015? If you want to argue 2015, then yes, computers shipping now-a-days with slow storage are closer to toys.

  • Reply 20 of 56
    awalawal Posts: 66member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JCE10 View Post



    Just give me "ENTER to send" in Messages and I'll be happy. Anyone tried this?

     

    Dreams do come true.

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