Microsoft website reveals Touch Cover keyboard for Apple's iPad

Posted:
in iPad edited August 2017
A reference to an iPad keyboard accessory from Apple rival Microsoft was discovered on the Windows maker's website, suggesting the company may have a new wireless accessory in the works for the market's top tablet.




Whether the hardware is forthcoming or was a scrapped project, it's openly mentioned on Microsoft's site, on a page listing products with integrated lithium batteries. The inclusion of a battery in the Microsoft Touch Cover for iPad would suggest that the keyboard accessory is Bluetooth, and does not sync over the Smart Connector port.

The page offers little else on the so-called "iPad Touch Cover" aside from a model number: 1719. It was first spotted by WinFuture.

The Touch Cover branding was first used for a 3-millimeter thick keyboard created for Microsoft's own iPad competitor, the Surface tablet. The unique offering was a flat piece of fabric that lacked real keys, striving for thinness but achieving mixed reviews.

Since then, the derided Touch Cover has been rebranded the Surface Type Cover, offering more proper keys for a better typing experience.




The fact that the apparent iPad product uses the older Touch Cover name might suggest that the listing is an outdated, unreleased reference. Or, conversely, perhaps Microsoft plans to explore the concept once again, creating an ultra-thin text input accessory for Apple's iPad.

Apple offers its own thin Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro, achieving a battery-less design thanks to the use of the magnetic Smart Connector port. It sports a woven nylon key cover that prevents slippage, is sealed against liquid spills, and provides a rebound effect that replaces the need for physical springs when pressing the keys.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,092member
    Awesome. Microsoft being reduced to the role of an accessories supplier to Apple. LOL!
    metrixsphericjony0
  • Reply 2 of 12
    maccadmaccad Posts: 62member
    I'm using a Microsoft pencil loop. Intended for an MS pencil on a Surface, it works great to keep my Apple Pencil attached to my Apple Smart Keyboard Cover for my iPad Pro. They do make good accessories.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,092member
    maccad said:
    I'm using a Microsoft pencil loop. Intended for an MS pencil on a Surface, it works great to keep my Apple Pencil attached to my Apple Smart Keyboard Cover for my iPad Pro. They do make good accessories.
    Apple not including a very standard, very unexciting (but completely functional) pen loop designed to hold the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro covers and keyboards was a total blind spot for them. "Gee, why would anyone want to have a convenient way to carry the Pencil with their iPad Pro?"
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 4 of 12
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,563member
    maccad said:
    I'm using a Microsoft pencil loop. Intended for an MS pencil on a Surface, it works great to keep my Apple Pencil attached to my Apple Smart Keyboard Cover for my iPad Pro. They do make good accessories.
    Apple not including a very standard, very unexciting (but completely functional) pen loop designed to hold the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro covers and keyboards was a total blind spot for them. "Gee, why would anyone want to have a convenient way to carry the Pencil with their iPad Pro?"
    Not really. I carry my ipad in a satchel or backpack — and these are loaded with pencil holders. At home the Pencil resides in my desk’s pencil cup until needed. 

    How do you transport yours that you don’t have a similar place to keep it?
  • Reply 5 of 12
    No Smart Connector, no deal.
    jony0
  • Reply 6 of 12
    I wish that Apple's iPad keyboard were better, for the price ($170). Could have provided backlighting, better responsiveness (I feel like I am tapping my fingers on a desk), and a few more functional keys (e.g., vol up/down, brightness up/down, pause/fwd). It's no wonder is gets a 3/5 on Apple Store.

    That said, I own two... :-(
  • Reply 7 of 12
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    What these and iPad knockoff idiots fail to acknowledge is that if they were to team up with Apple they would make more money. Instead of trying to be Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    textbookfabertextbookfaber Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Battery could be for recharging the iPad via those connectors. There’s currently no keyboard that does that, but some stands that do.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,092member
    I wish that Apple's iPad keyboard were better, for the price ($170). Could have provided backlighting, better responsiveness (I feel like I am tapping my fingers on a desk), and a few more functional keys (e.g., vol up/down, brightness up/down, pause/fwd). It's no wonder is gets a 3/5 on Apple Store.

    That said, I own two... :-(
    Congratulations... and I'm sorry?
  • Reply 10 of 12
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 197member

    Microsoft will collect everything you are typing on that keyboard! 

  • Reply 11 of 12
    mr omr o Posts: 1,043member
    The Smart Keyboard is an anomaly. It belongs in the realm of the PC and laptop computer.

    The Apple Pencil feels more natural with the iPad. Imagine the following scenario:

    1. Draw a rectangle with the pencil (or your finger)
    2. Double tap the rectangle to convert it to a text frame.
    3. Start writing with your Apple Pencil in the text frame.
    4. With a tap, convert your handwritten text to a typeface of your choice.
    5. Change the font size, appearance, etc.

    With a small software update, Apple could make the Apple Pencil their primary input device. There's no need for a Smart Keyboard:
    Compared to the Smart Keyboard, the pencil is much smaller to carry around with you. It also fits perfectly in the iPad's ethos as you can still use the iPad in your lap.

    >:x 

    EDIT: layout

    edited August 2017 bancho
  • Reply 12 of 12
    Apple offers its own thin Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro, achieving a battery-less design thanks to the use of the magnetic Smart Connector port. It sports a woven nylon key cover that prevents slippage, is sealed against liquid spills, and provides a rebound effect that replaces the need for physical springs when pressing the keys.
    Physical springs?! It’s been years since a  keyboard designed by Apple used physical springs! 

    The Smart Keyboard uses the same key switch design as the MacBook, confirmed in iFixit’s teardown. 
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