Use Your Mac as Keyboard for iPhone, iPad & Apple TV
Type2Phone: Virtual Bluetooth Keyboard
Use your Mac to type on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV.
Type2Phone emulates a Bluetooth keyboard and is just as easy to set up. No extra app is needed.
Why waste money and desk space on a second keyboard?
You already have a keyboard connected to or build into your Mac.
- Text faster by using your Mac’s full-sized keyboard
- Paste passwords, addresses, etc. from your Mac to your mobile device
- Reply to emails on accounts configured only on your iPhone
- Control your Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation)
- Use a single keyboard with all your devices
- Connects automatically as you start typing
- Disconnects when idle or sent to the background (optional)
- Command-Tab in and out of Type2Phone
- Customizable keyboard shortcuts for all your devices
- Copy-paste text from Mac to iPhone, iPad or Apple TV
- AppleScript to automate text input
- Support for Mac OS X dictation (10.8 or later)
- Support for TextExpander on Mac
- Support for iOS Voice Over
Get Started in 3 Easy Steps
- On your Mac, open System Preferences > Bluetooth. Make sure Bluetooth is on and discoverable. Leave System Presences open.
- Start Type2Phone. Leave it running and frontmost.
- On the iOS device, go to Settings > Bluetooth. Tap the name of your Mac to start the pairing procedure.
Please note: If your Mac and iOS device had been previously paired, you first need to undo the pairing on both ends. Have each device forget the other. Then go through the above procedure.
KeyPad is a Mac app that lets you use your Mac keyboard and trackpad as a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You can use it to type text messages on your phone, type to siri, control your TV…anything that you can do with a combination of a keyboard and mouse.
You will get a list of devices that are discoverable on the mac, Please ignore this window, you must initiate the connection from the Device you want to control. This window is the only way to make the Mac discoverable on the device.
Connect KeyPad to your Phone, TV or Tablet
Please refer to your device instruction on how to connect to a keyboard. These instructions vary from device to device. The example here shows what works on the iPhone.
To connect, click on the bluetooth name of your Mac in the device bluetooth settings.
Accepting the connection on the Mac
This popup message varies from device to device. You may need to accept the confirmation message on your device too.
If you do not see this connect dialog, there is some other issue. (please see our support page)
Completing the connection
Please wait for this screen. If it does not show up the setup is not yet complete.
KeyPad setup is complete
Once it is setup any key you type will go to the connected device. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself on how the device is responding to keypad. Not all buttons work on all devices (for example Volume buttons work on a phone, ipad, but not on an Apple TV).
Click on any other window, or press command tab to close the KeyPad window.
Launching KeyPad when you need it next
You can setup additional devices, and their hotkeys in the preferences screen. Go to the toolbar menu and click preferences.
Sometimes the toolbar icon gets hidden behind the menu. If this happens, move to another application (like finder) to make the toolbar visible, and while pressing the command key on your keyboard drag the KeyPad Icon to a better location on the toolbar.
Let me know what you think of KeyPad. Especially if you have any issues.
Any features/improvements that you would like to see in KeyPad? Let me know: [email protected]
If you like KeyPad, I could use some help. I get about 35 downloads a day worldwide. This is depressingly low. I need your help in getting KeyPad visible. I would really appreciate it if you would give KeyPad a rating, and share it with your friends and family. I am a one man development team, help me get the word out.
1.90 – Changes default handling of hold connection
By default KeyPad does not hold the connection with the device. That default has changed now.
- Hold connection on by default
- Hold connection moved to a per device setting in the app
- Changed images for buttons to align with Apple Buttons/icons
1.85 – Update mouse response, Add command tab processing
A lot of updates in this release. Working my way up to a 2.00 release. Stay tuned. Want to make KeyPad compete with Universal Control.
This Mac app can turn your Mac keyboard into a Magic Keyboard.
Matt Elliott, a technology writer for more than a decade, is a PC tester and Mac user based in New Hampshire.
Along with its new iMac lineup , Apple has released new versions of its Bluetooth keyboard, trackpad and mouse (see them in pictures and video ). Before you shell out for Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, you may already be typing on a magical Bluetooth keyboard and not realize it.
For significantly less than the new Magic Keyboard, you can use your Mac’s current keyboard as a Bluetooth keyboard. Mac app Typeeto is all that is required. Typeeto costs $6.99, £4.99, AU$8.99 in the Mac App Store.
After installing Typeeto, make sure you have Bluetooth enabled on your Mac and pair it with your other Bluetooth devices as you normally would (you do not use Typeeto to make this connection). Remember, you’ll need to initiate contact from iOS and Android devices to connect via Bluetooth to your Mac.
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET
In no time, I was up and typing with Typeeto on my iPhone, iPad, Android tablet and Apple TV. (According to Typeeto, the app also works with game consoles.) I found it particularly useful to use my MacBook to navigate iTunes and Netflix on my Apple TV. Not only was I able to perform searches faster, but I was also able to use the arrow keys to navigate menus, and the Esc key even worked as a back button to jump back a menu level.
Typeeto could not have been easier to use. From the menu bar icon, I was able to choose which device to connect to. When you are connected, an icon appears in the middle of your Mac’s display, letting you know you are connected. Simply click anywhere outside of the icon on your desktop to disconnect from a device.
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET
In settings, you can set up keyboard shortcuts to connect to your devices. And you can choose either a light or dark theme for the icon that appears when you are connected.
While lots of people aspire to have a Bluetooth keyboard to use to type on their iPhone or iPad, not everyone has a pocket deep enough to go out and purchase another peripheral.
Fortunately, an app called Typeeto lets you use the keyboard built into your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro to type on your iOS devices.
If you have an iMac, Mac Mini, or Mac Pro, then you’re probably already used to being able to pair your keyboard to your iOS devices, but the keyboard on Apple notebooks has never really worked the same way.
After installing Typeeto on your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro from the Mac App Store, you can pair your computer with your iOS device and start using it in as little as a few seconds. There’s no need to install any additional software on your iPhone or iPad.
The pairing process
You will need to make sure Bluetooth is enabled on both your Mac and your iPhone or iPad to continue. If it is, just open the Bluetooth settings on both devices and pair them after they’ve been discovered.
On the Mac, it should look like this:
And on your iPhone or iPad, it should look like this:
Once you’re all paired up, you’ll see a momentary HUD from the Typeeto app that lets you know you’re connected, and you should also hear an audible chirp sound from the app.
At this point, you’re ready to start typing, so open up a text-editing app on your iPhone or iPad and start typing from your Mac’s keyboard.
There’s next to no delay between typing on my Mac and the text appearing on my iPhone, so the user experience is no less than great.
The app on the Mac is pretty bare-bones, but it does have some settings you can configure. An icon is added to the Menu Bar so you can interact with the Typeeto app:
Going into the Preferences option takes you to the app’s configuration settings. From here, you can see how many devices you’ve paired, set up some keyboard shortcuts, and choose whether or not the app runs when you first log into your computer.
Another useful option here is the ability to past your Mac’s clipboard text to your iOS device with the use of a special keyboard shortcut, which is another essential for text-editing if you’re using your iPhone or iPad to compose something longer than a simple text message.
Typeeto is a really nifty way to use your Mac’s keyboard as a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPhone or iPad, but it can also be used with your Apple TV or game consoles too. In situations where you don’t want to buy a whole new keyboard to type on your mobile devices, this app comes in handy.
If you want to give Typeeto a try, you can download it for free from the Mac App Store.
Text entry is a frustrating process using the Apple TV on-screen keyboard and the Siri Remote. While there are alternative ways to make your interaction with the Apple TV a little easier, you can use your Mac keyboard, thanks to the Typeeto utility. Typeeto is an app that makes it easier to enter text into the search box on an Apple TV.
The Typeeto App for Mac
Typeeto is a Mac utility developed by Eltima Software. With it, you can use your Mac keyboard to type text to an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Android device. It was initially launched in 2014 and attracted positive interest from the beginning. You can find Typeeto at the Mac App Store.
While it may seem less useful if you already use a wireless keyboard with Apple TV, it is helpful if you want to use your Mac laptop to enter text on other devices. It is also convenient if you don’t want to dedicate two keyboards to the task: one for your Mac and another for Apple TV.
What Typeeto Does
With Typeeto on an Apple TV, you can search for topics by typing a term in the search field, use media key controls, and copy and paste text from the Mac, which comes in handy when you want to perform a complex search.
You can also use Typeeto with other devices. That makes it useful when you need to type lengthy amounts of text into your iPhone, Android, or iPad. It may make it a little easier to use one of your mobile devices as an extension of your Mac desktop. You can choose between light and dark themes.
Typeeto doesn't recognize the virtual Touch Bar buttons on the MacBook Pro models, which means you can't use those shortcuts when you type from a Mac to another device using the app.
Using Typeeto With Apple TV
Typeeto is available for download from the Mac App Store. You install the software on your Mac. There's no need to install it on your Apple TV. After you install it, an app icon appears in the Mac menu bar.
Open the Bluetooth Settings on the Mac.
Open the Bluetooth Settings on the device you want to use (Apple TV, in this case). Both devices should be visible to each other.
Connect your Apple TV with your Mac directly in the Apple TV Bluetooth Settings. A small window with the name of the Apple TV and a dialog urging you to start typing appears.
Using Typeeto With Other Devices
To use Typeeto with another iOS or iPadOS device, tap the Pair button next to the iOS device's name in the Bluetooth Settings on your Mac. A code appears on the screen of the Mac and the iOS device.
After you confirm the codes are the same, the app is ready to use. A small floating window appears with the name of the device you want to type to and a dialog instructing you to start typing.
To make it a little easier to use Typeeto with multiple devices (your Apple TV and iPhone, for example), you can assign a keyboard shortcut for each of those devices, enabling you to toggle between them quickly when you type.
After installing Typeeto on your Mac, you can set it to launch automatically as a Startup Items app in System Preferences; otherwise, you must launch it manually when you need to use it.
When it comes to the Apple TV, the app provides a feature that should already be possible. It is strange that a person cannot use a Mac to type to Apple TV without it. While the app isn't free, it is easy to install and easy to use, making it a valuable addition to any Apple TV owner's toolkit. The app is compatible with OS X 10.9 or later.
If you don’t have Typeeto, you aren’t limited to using the Apple TV’s on-screen keyboard. If you have an iPhone with iOS 12 or later or an iPad with iPadOS 13 or later, you can enter text using the Apple TV Remote in the Control Center of the iPhone or iPad, as long as both devices are signed in using the same Apple ID and Wi-Fi is enabled on the iOS device. You can also interact with the Apple TV by giving Siri voice instructions.
Universal Control is one of the most exciting features of macOS Monterey, letting you control multiple Apple Macs and iPads with a single keyboard and mouse.
That means you can drag files from one device to another, or type on your Mac and then on your iPad with the same keyboard, all in a way that feels incredibly smooth and frictionless.
The feature was first announced at Apple’s WWDC show in June 2021 but only entered beta in early 2022. Better late than never, though. In this article, we’ll guide you through the set-up process and how to most effectively use Universal Control on your Mac and iPad.
1. Check your devices are compatible
Universal Control only works on certain Apple hardware, so make sure you have a compatible device. Here’s what Apple says will work with Universal Control:
- MacBook Pro (2016 and later)
- MacBook (2016 and later)
- MacBook Air (2018 and later)
- iMac (2017 and later)
- iMac (5K Retina 27-inch, Late 2015)
- iMac Pro
- Mac mini (2018 and later)
- Mac Pro (2019)
- iPad Pro
- iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
- iPad (6th generation and later)
- iPad mini (5th generation and later)
You also need to be running macOS Monterey 12.3 and iPadOS 15.4 or later. To check if you have the right versions, open System Preferences > Software Update on your Mac and Settings > General > Software Update on your iPad. Make sure to back up first.
2. Set up your Mac
On your Mac, make sure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on and you’re signed into iCloud with two-factor authentication enabled.
Now open System Preferences, click ‘General’, then tick the checkbox next to ‘Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.’ Once that’s done, click System Preferences > Displays > Advanced and ensure all the checkboxes are ticked.
3. Set up your iPad
Now for your iPad. As with your Mac, make sure it’s connected to Bluetooth and on the same Wi-Fi network and iCloud account as your Mac. Next, open Settings and tap General > AirPlay & Handoff and turn on the ‘Handoff’ and ‘Cursor and Keyboard (Beta)’ toggles. Your devices must also not be tethered to each other.
You can connect your Mac and iPad using a USB cable as well as wirelessly. Just make sure to say you trust the Mac on your iPad when prompted after the cables are connected.
4. Move your mouse across your devices
Place your iPad next to your Mac (they need to be within 30 feet of each other). Now move your Mac’s mouse pointer to the edge of the screen nearest your iPad. You should see a white bar appear on the edge of the screen, and a corresponding bar appear on your iPad.
On your tablet, this bar will contain a circular mouse pointer as a raised bump ‘breaking out’ of the bar. Move your mouse a little further and it should move across fully onto your iPad. You can now freely move your mouse pointer from your Mac to your iPad and back again. The successful connection is indicated by a blue monitor icon in your Mac menu bar (more on that in step 7).
5. Drag and drop files
Now that you can control two devices with one set of inputs, that means you can easily drag files across your Mac and iPad.
For example, try opening the Photos app on your Mac and a Notes document on your iPad. Click and drag a picture from Photos over to the edge of your screen and it will appear on your iPad.
Now just drop it into place in the Notes document. You’ve moved a file from one device to the other without needing to email it to yourself or use a tool like AirDrop or Dropbox. Simple!
6. Keyboard control
Universal Control works with keyboards as well as mice. Once you’ve established a connection between two devices, a keyboard connected to one will automatically work on the other.
This includes your MacBook’s keyboard as well as third-party offerings like iPad keyboard cases. As well as that, some Mac keyboard shortcuts, such as Command + Tab to switch windows, will also work on your iPad.
7. Mac menu bar icon
After you’ve paired your devices, you will see a blue monitor icon in your Mac’s menu bar. Click this and it will show which devices you are able to move your mouse between under the heading ‘Link keyboard and mouse to.’
Click on the name of one of these devices to connect it, or click the name of one that’s already connected and it will disconnect from your Mac; click it again to re-establish the connection. You can also click ‘Display Preferences’ to change the arrangement of your devices (see step 8).
8. Rearrange your screens
If you move your Mac or iPad to a new position, Universal Control won’t currently notice the change, meaning you have to move your mouse to the wrong window edge to break through to your other device.
If that happens, open System Preferences > Displays on your Mac and you will see a graphic showing your Mac and iPad windows next to each other. Simply click and drag one and move it to the correct position.
You can also adjust the vertical placement of your iPad’s window relative to your Mac – useful if your iPad is placed high up next to your Mac, for instance, and you want the mouse pointer to appear at the right height.
9. Adding more devices
If you want to add another device – such as a second iPad in addition to your Mac – just place it alongside your other devices and it should connect automatically (providing it meets the requirements for Universal Control).
If it doesn’t show up, go to System Preferences > Displays on your Mac and click ‘Add Display’, then click the name of the new device.
When you have multiple devices connected, your mouse pointer will move to the most recently used one. Tap an iPad and then move your Mac’s mouse pointer and it will travel to the tapped iPad first, for example.
10. Troubleshooting the connection
At the time of writing, Universal Control was still in beta and had some bugs. One of the most notable was that Universal Control did not always recognize one or both of our devices.
If you’re moving your mouse to the edge of your screen but it’s not detecting your iPad, try opening System Preferences > Displays > Advanced on your Mac and untick the top checkbox, then tick it again. Alternatively, you might have to restart your Mac and/or your iPad before a connection can be established.
I f you have recently moved from using PC to a MacBook, you might be wondering how you type special characters such as #, , or @, or how you introduce accents while typing several letters.
Many PC users may have been accustomed to their former device and find it frustrating that certain keyboard keys are not in the same place anymore, but it’s only a matter of time to get used to your new Mac.
How to enter characters with accent marks on Mac
Typing an accent on your Apple device is not as complicated as you may have thought after switching from you PC to Mac. According to the Apple, you just need to use the accent menu by following some simple steps:
- In an app on your Mac, press and hold a key on the keyboard-for example, a-to display the accent menu.
- The menu isn’t shown if a key doesn’t have any possible accent marks.
- Select a character in the menu-for example, �.
- You can also press the number key shown for the character, or use the arrow keys to move to the character, then press the Space bar.
How to type special characters on MacBook keyboard
In case you are yet to find out how to type special characters such as #, , or @, here’s a guideline on where you can find each of them on your Mac keyboard.
A pple have officially introduced a new feature called Universal Control for users who need to use their MacBook trackpad to control what they do on other Apple devices.
Universal Control can be used with up to three devices for users who have updated their operating systems to macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15, both of whom will be introduced this autumn.
For those who decide against upgrading their machines, they can take part in the beta testing process from July, 2022.
How to Use Universal Control on your Apple devices
For the Universal Control to work, your devices have to be upgraded to the aforementioned operating systems and they also must be connected to the same iCloud account.
Easy steps to activate and use Universal Control
- Click the Apple icon on your Mac.
- Click Preferences and then General
- Click Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices box.
- Then, open Settings on your iPad
- Tap General.
- Tap AirPlay & Handoff.
- Turn on Handoff toggle.
- Tap the Cursor and Keyboard toggle to turn it on.
- Place your iPad near your Mac and move your mouse pointer horizontally until a bar appears on the side of the display and it appears on the iPad screen.
- Your keyboard and mouse will now work on the iPad.
What can you do with Universal Control
After activating Universal Control, you will be able to move your mouse between your devices in the same way as you would do in the event you’d use two monitors.
With the new Apple feature, you also have the option to use your keyboard once you move your mouse pointer to the iPad screen.
This way, you can also drag and drop files between devices in the event you are interested in transferring items such as documents, images, or media.
macOS 12.3 and iPadOS 15.4 have been released and at long last Apple added Universal Control, the much-anticipated feature that was revealed at WWDC 2021. Late last year, Apple announced that the release of Universal Control would be delayed to this spring, and now it’s finally here.
For the uninitiated, Universal Control allows you to use an iPad as a companion display for a Mac that can be controlled with the same keyboard and mouse. During the demo in the WWDC keynote, Apple VP Craig Federighi merely placed the iPad next to his Mac, and it worked. No cables to connect, no restarting, no need to click anything or say “please.” After some brief setup, it really does work like magic.
Watch Universal Control in action
Connecting the iPad and Mac
Before you can get to the magic, there’s a little bit of setup involved on the Mac. Universal Control is turned on by default on the Mac and the iPad, but you’ll need to head over to the Display pane in System Preferences and select Add Display to select your iPad. You don’t have to do anything else on the iPad, but Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Handoff need to all be turned on. There are a few options as well that you’ll find by clicking the Universal Control button.
The whole operation is extremely easy—you don’t really need to pay attention to the iPad at all.
Once it’s all set up, you simply bring the iPad close to the Mac; Apple says they need to be at least 30 feet of each other, essentially Bluetooth range. Then you move your Mac’s cursor past the edge of the display and a bar appears on the iPad’s screen edge to let you know that magic is about to happen. Move the cursor a little more, and voilà! You’re using the iPad via your Mac’s mouse or trackpad.
A sidebar appears when you’re making an initial connection between the Mac and iPad.
Once you perform the initial interaction between the Mac and iPad, you can move between the two effortlessly—the sidebar that appeared at the initial connection doesn’t even appear anymore. And that’s it, you’re good to go. I didn’t run into any problems whatsoever in the first couple of hours I used Universal Control.
You can use your iPad as you usually do without a Mac. Then, when you want to reconnect to the Mac, just tap the Universal Control icon in the iPad’s Dock and your iPad will instantly reconnect to your Mac, no muss, no fuss.
During my testing, I was able to easily reconnect if I moved the iPad beyond 30 feet of the MacBook Pro, or if I put the iPad to sleep by pressing the power button quickly. However, when I turned off the iPad and turned it back on, I couldn’t connect by simply placing the iPad next to the MacBook Pro. I had to go into the Display preference pane and add the iPad as a display. It was there where I found the setting I had missed and need to turn on: “Automatically reconnect to any nearby Mac or iPad.”
Controlling the iPad using Mac input devices
When you’re using the iPad via Universal Control, a dot represents the cursor you are controlling with the Mac’s trackpad. The shade of the dot changes color depending on what it is moving over—the dot becomes white if it moves over dark colors or icons, and it becomes darker when it’s over lighter colors. You can use the iPad just as you regularly would with the touch interface. It’s basically the same experience as if you were using a Magic Keyboard with an iPad Pro.
A file being dragged from a Mac has to be dropped into an iPad app.
I was able to drag a file from the iPad’s Photos app to the Mac Desktop. However, when I dragged an image from the Mac to the iPad’s Home screen, the icon disappeared and I couldn’t find the file anywhere. Here’s why: what you have to do is drag the file from the Mac to an open app on the iPad—so for an image, you must drag it to Photos, Files, or any other app you want.
Universal Control vs. Sidecar
Configuring the iPad as an additional Mac display is also done through the Displays preference. You can choose to either mirror your Mac or expand your desktop. This feature is actually called Sidecar and is separate from Universal Control. As you can see below, they’re quite different.
Apple provides a touch UI bar on the side of the iPad’s screen that you can use if you want to perform touch input. For example, with the iPad set up to mirror the Mac, I launched Pages, and then I was able to type in the document using the touch keyboard provided by the sidebar. It has buttons for Shift, Control, Option, and Command, and buttons to make the menu bar and Dock hide or appear. There’s also a button to disconnect the iPad from the Mac.
When using the iPad as an external Mac display, a UI sidebar appears.
In all, my initial experience with Universal Control was great. During my testing over a couple of hours, the connection never dropped unexpectedly, there wasn’t any lag, and I didn’t run into any odd behavior. This is a beta, so Apple is still working on it, but so far, so good.
How to use Universal Control and Sidecar at the same time
If you connect two devices at the same time, you can actually control one with Universal Control and use the other as a display via Sidecar. For example, in the setup in the instructions below, we have a desktop Mac as the main computer, a laptop as a secondary display via Sidecar, and an iPad Pro being used through Universal Control. You can also do this with two iPads and a Mac. Here’s how to set it up.
1. Set up Universal Control between your devices.
2. Now that Universal Control is set up, you’ll assign roles to the devices. Open the Displays system preference.
3. Click Add Display. The drop-down menu that appears lists the displays available and their roles. The Link Keyboard and Mouse section are devices that you want to use with Universal Control. Select which device you want.
5. Click Add Display again. In the drop-down menu, look at the “Mirror or extend to” section. This has the devices that you want to use as an additional display. The iPads and Macs listed here will use Sidecar to acts as an additional display to your Mac. Select which device you want.
6. Close the Displays system preference.
You should be all set to go. You can return to the Displays system preferences to change the Sidecar and Universal Control assignments or rearrange how the displays are laid out by clicking and dragging their iconic representations at the top of the settings. If you have the iPad set up with Sidecar, you can switch it to Universal Control by going to the Home screen and tapping the Sidecar app in the iPad’s Dock.
Make any space minimalist and modern with a design-forward mouse and keyboard designed to work with your Apple devices.
The compact K380 Multi-Device for Mac offers comfy and quiet typing, while the Logitech Pebble M350 delivers silent clicks and scrolls—plus a smooth organic shape that fits in your pocket.
It’s the multi-tasking and matching duo that goes wherever you like to get to work.
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Minimalist, mobile, and ready for your Mac. The slim, lightweight K380 Multi-Device for Mac keyboard and M350 Pebble are easy to carry and outfitted with Bluetooth so you can multitask wherever you like to set up. You can even track your Pebble mouse on bed covers. Type and click on a MacBook ® or iPad ® to truly own your space.
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K380 Multi-Device for Mac is Bluetooth-enabled and connects to all your Apple devices—so you can work seamlessly on macOS ® , iOS and iPadOS ® . The Apple-specific layout gives you dedicated mac keys on F and A rows, so you can use all your favorite shortcuts.
Get the comfort and ease of desktop-style typing on your MacBook, iPhone ® , and iPad.
Thanks to the Easy-Switch Technology, you can pair up to three devices simultaneously and switch typing between them by the tap of a button.
Start typing a report on your iMac then switch and type a message on your iPhone.
Logitech Pebble mouse connects via Bluetooth or USB receiver to your desktop, laptop, or iPad.
Lock the keypad of your device Macbook may sometimes be necessary, although it is not always clear how to do this. Yet it is very simple. This article gives you the keys so you can block, verrouiller, deactivate your macbook keyboard (for cleaning reasons for example). It should be noted that although most mobile phones have a keypad lock option (to prevent accidental calls or unwanted text messages), this is not the case for them. Macbooks. If you are using a Macbook device, then you do not have the option to disable or block the keyboard through a program included in OSX. You will need to use free software (called a keyboard stripper) in order to temporarily disable your keyboard. Thus, in this article you will find keyboard cleaning applications to download, such as Keyboard Cleaner for example. In addition, We also give you the method to follow to lock your Macbook via the classic method (the drop-down menu Apple your Apple device), or by using shortcuts in order to lock your device more easily and quickly Macbook. Good reading !
Clean the keyboard of your Macbook without pressing the keyboard keys: lock the keyboard
There is no specific mac keypad lock key in order to get a Macbook Air or Macbook Pro locked. To avoid pressing keys on the keyboard while washing the keyboard, you can either turn off your Macbook, or download an application. Of course, this kind of application will be useful for people using a laptop (Macbook Air, Macbook Pro…).
theapplication Keyboard cleaner, the best keyboard clean tool on the market
keyboard cleaner Mac is an application that can be very useful when you want to clean your computer keyboard. Keyboard Cleaner made sure to disable your Macbook keyboard during cleaning and that you do not delete or modify any element contained in your Macbook inadvertently, by pressing keyboard keys for example. This application will have a function bouclier for your desktop de Macbook and will block any keystrokes that you might accidentally press during the cleaning session of your Macbook. Once the cleaning operation is complete, you can unlock your Mac keyboard.
The Little fingers application to block typing on the keyboard
little fingers is a software allowing to bmomentarily stop typing on the keyboard of your Apple device, but not only: it also blocks the click of the Trackpad or any action on the Touch Bar if your Mac has one. This application is ideal for moments such as cleaning, watching a movie, the time of a Zoom video conference or a Face Time call.
You will need to use a keyboard shortcut in order to deactivate ou reactivate control of keyboard or Trackpad. You must first ensure that you have checked the option ” Launch Little Fingers at Login So that the program starts automatically each time you start your Mac, then use the following key combination: Shift key + Control key + Command key + L key.
How to lock and unlock your Macbook?
Now that you know how lock keypad from your Apple device, here are the different ways to lock your Macbook Pro or Macbook Air.
The classic way to lock your Macbook
You can verrouiller your Apple Macbook device by scrolling down the menu Apple (the little black apple located at the top left of your screen). At this time, you can click Lock screen.
Your device Macbook is now ” locked ” (Locked). If you want to unlock it, all you have to do is enter your user password.
Creating a keyboard shortcut to lock your Macbook
- Control key + Command key + Q key
Lock your Mac using an app
You will find a multitude of applications (Lock Me Now for example) which will allow you to lock your Macbook. The icon will be installed in the Mac menu bar. You will just have to click on this icon to lock your Macbook device.
Lock a Macbook automatically
You will have to click on the menu Apple (the little black apple at the top left of your screen) then select System Preferences. You can now click on the icon Security and confidentiality, to finish by selecting the tab General. You just have to unlock the padlock which is at the bottom left. Your user or administrator password is required. You can then schedule a duration to lock your Macbook screen.
Lock your Macbook with the Touch Bar
If you have the touch Bar on your Macbook Banco Pro, just tap on the padlock icon and the screen will lock. Nothing’s easier !
How to Automatically Unlock a Macbook Using an iPhone or Apple Watch
You can unlock your Macbook automatically through other devices Apple such asiPhone or Apple Watch for example. The use of an electronic key can also have this function. The application near Lock will allow you to lock and unlock your Macbook: when you are not near your Apple device, your Macbook will automatically lock. As soon as you get closer to your device, it will unlock. Convenient !
Dust, crumbs, and gunky build-up are all bound to find their way onto your MacBook keyboard at some point. If you’re having trouble with a specific key or simply feel it’s time to give your keyboard a good cleaning, there are some dos and don’ts for the process.
Here, we’ll walk you through how to clean a MacBook keyboard using compressed air. We’ll also include what Apple recommends for getting build-up off your keys and which types of products to avoid.
What You Need
MacBook, Can of compressed air, Optional: lint-free cloth, disinfectant wipes
How to clean a MacBook keyboard
Step 1: Before you clean your MacBook keyboard, you should turn off, unplug the computer, and detach any accessories.
If you’re using an external keyboard that you want to clean, turn it off and remove the batteries.
Step 2: Be sure to insert the straw that comes with the can of compressed air. Remember to keep the straw approximately one half of an inch from the keyboard when you spray.
Also, be sure to keep the can of compressed air at its normal angle. Do not turn it upside-down. You can review the instructions on the can as well.
Step 3: Make sure you have a good grip on your MacBook as you’ll be turning it at different angles to clean the keyboard.
First, open the MacBook and turn it about 75 degrees facing the screen downward. Then, spray the compressed air in a zig-zag motion from left to right across the keyboard and back again.
Step 4: Turn your MacBook to one side and use the same swiping motion to spray the compressed air on the keyboard. Then, turn your computer on its other side and do the same thing.
If you have an external keyboard, you can follow the same process for turning it as you spray the air.
Additional tools for cleaning your keyboard
If you have a particular key or two on your keyboard that has a grimy build-up, you may want to clean those keys specifically. You can use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe the keyboard, but if you need something stronger, Apple suggests you can use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe, a 75% ethyl alcohol wipe, or a Clorox disinfecting wipe on the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple devices, like the display and keyboard. Just make sure not to use anything with bleach of hydrogen peroxide in it.
What to avoid when cleaning your keyboard
Here are a few things to stay away from if you plan to clean your keyboard a further.
- Do not use aerosols, bleach cleaners, or anything abrasive.
- Do not get moisture or liquid in the openings.
- Do not wipe too aggressively or you could damage the keyboard.
- Do not spray any cleaner directly on the keyboard.
- Do not use products that contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
If after cleaning your MacBook keyboard, you’re still experiencing problems with certain keys, you may need to contact Apple for keyboard repair information.
Cam Bunton, Contributing editor
· Updated 17 March 2022 ·
– We've gathered together our selection of the very best keyboards around
– Not sure how to choose the right keyboard? We explain what to consider
(Pocket-lint) – Looking for a new keyboard? You’ve come to the right place. This is our roundup of the best keyboards we’ve tested out.
As you’d expect, there are options for all requirements, from people who type all day to those who use them primarily for shortcuts.
There are also options for a range of different budgets, whether you’re prepared to buy something more premium or just want a cheap utilitarian keyboard. We’ve put together a handy guide at the bottom of the list where you’ll find some useful tips and tricks to find the perfect keyboard for your needs.
And, if you’re looking for something more adept at handling intense PC gaming sessions, check out our alternative guide to the best gaming keyboards.
Best Keyboards in 2022
Our Top Pick: Best Keyboard
Logitech MX Keys Mini
- Small, wireless and portable
- Multi-computer switching
- USB-C fast charging
- Not the most ergonomic
You’ll notice this list is dominated by Logitech, and rightly so. The MX Keys Mini shows all of why it’s so good at keyboards.
It’s a smaller version of the MX Keys, just like the name implies, bringing easy device switching, Bluetooth connectivity and some of the comfiest keys for typing that we’ve ever used.
All this in a lightweight design that still manages to have good key travel and lovely backlighting that reacts to the ambient light around you. It’s a premium keyboard, but one that’ll elevate your work.
I’ve been having this issue for the past few months, where my Mac will echo type whole/partial words while I’m typing. This isn’t the same issue as double typing keys, but rather whole phrases will appear again in the middle of me typing. It looks something like this:
“Hello ello world!”
Sometimes it will execute a command to close a window twice.
This goes away when I’m in “Safe Mode”. Does anyone have any clue where this is coming from?
I don’t think this is a keyboard issue, honestly. Well, maybe a buffering issue? I contacted Apple Support and they didn’t have much to say. I reinstalled the operating system, and it still comes up. Though, it did seem to largely go away for a few days.
Additional Details: Running Catalina 10.15.1 (Happened on previous versions of Catalina too) MacBook Pro 2017 13inch
5 Answers 5
There appear to be many variations on this question, that I have found.
However the problem addressed in this question is the one that I was experiencing.
So I’d like to try to post here a comprehensive answer that addresses the best possible solutions that have come up so far, starting with all the most common, simplest and least likely to work suggestions up to the ones that seem to address this problem specifically.
Note: If you’ve done your research, you’ll note already an enormous amount of overlap with multiple pages linking back and forth to one another, in regards to this issue. My attempt here is simply to aggregate as many of the key factors involved into one place.
So for a long time now, MacBook users have reported a ‘double typing’ issue, most especially with the most recent MacBook Pro’s to hit the market. There have been many reports of this problem occurring on 2015, up to 2019 edition MacBook Pros, from the 13′ to the 15′ Touch Bar, and every thing in-between.
There appear to be multiple similar problems, that may or may not have more than one possible solution. The most common reported issues I have seen are:
- single keys such as b or n being pressed and outputting doubles like bb or nn in their place. Space bar is also commonly reported to be double typing.
- some people may also be irked by the default setting of a double space autocorrecting to a period . .
- instances of multiple repeated strings or sequences of keystrokes, at seemingly random intervals, for example whole words, or even multiple words appearing twice, and also modifier commands such as: ⌘ + w or ctrl + tab .
In my case the problem was the latter. I’m sure other variations of this problem exist, these are the ones I’ve encountered most frequently in my search for a solution.
This is a summary of most of the answers that I have come across so far, hopefully one of them will work for anyone who is experiencing this problem.
- System preferences -> keyboard = Slide the bar left to turn ‘key repeat’ to off. This is one of the most common solutions as it is by far the simplest and quickest to try. It’s also the least likely, from what I’ve gathered.
- cleaning your keyboard, as per these instructions there’s even an app to help you do this the period autocorrect option = System preferences -> Keyboard -> Text: Uncheck "Add period with double space"
This problem has become so substantial that Apple has released an extended service specifically for this problem, whereby they are replacing keyboards free of charge for anyone who’s device falls within their approved list, which as of Jan 2020 includes all Mac products using the butterfly keyboard.
Like many others however, it seems to be increasingly clear that for most people (though not all) this is not a hardware issue. Many users, including myself, have testified that this occurs not just on the Mac keyboard, but external keyboards also, wired, wireless and bluetooth alike.
Most significantly this problem appears to have started for many, only after installing Catalina.
Users have reported that the problem disappears when:
- Running their Mac in ‘safe mode’
- In other user accounts on their machine (this is true in my case)
So a number of other suggestions have also popped up. For those who believe that their problem is software related, the following solutions may work for you.
- Install an app called Unshaky
- Reset your NVRAM as per a comment from this other question
- option + ⌘ + P + R
For anyone who has Wacom tablet software installed
this Reddit post appears to have isolated a fairly specific problem, but it appears to have fixed the problem for a lot of people, and makes intuitive sense to me, for anyone who has Wacom Driver software in their system.
the most recent Catalina compatible Wacom software from their website —(This is what solved the problem for me)
- Uninstall any Wacom drivers you may have installed on your system. Official instructions can be found here
- disconnect tablet from USB
- Navigate to: Finder -> Applications -> Wacom table -> Wacom Tablet Utility
- Click the ‘Uninstall’ button
- Restart your machine
- Find and delete all related folders as per the linked instructions
Finally, I’d like to acknowledge the multiple posts and pages that I have drawn on to find this solution. I can’t take credit for any of the solutions posted here, I found them all in my efforts to fix my own frustrating problem. I hope that anyone experiencing this problem finds a solution in this answer.
Since 2012, Apple has developed two kinds of keyboards for its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air machines – one that uses butterfly switches and one that uses scissor switches.
alt=”scissorbutterfly3″ width=”700″ height=”219″ />
Many people are aware of the problems with the butterfly keyboards that resulted in a huge recall program and many frustrated customers, but may still be confused by what exactly a butterfly keyboard is, how it’s different from a scissor switch keyboard, and why Apple elected to ditch the butterfly key mechanism to return to the tried and true scissor switch mechanism. This guide explains the differences between the two keyboard types.
How a Scissor Switch Keyboard Works
With a scissor switch keyboard, the keys are attached to the keyboard using two plastic pieces that interlock together in an X shape like a pair of scissors, hence the name.
alt=”scissorvsbutterfly” width=”800″ height=”414″ />
The two pieces snap to the keyboard and the key, and when you press down, the two pieces close together like scissors. Scissor switch keys don’t have quite as much travel as some other key types, but there’s more travel than a butterfly keyboard because there’s more space when the scissor mechanism compresses.
How a Butterfly Switch Keyboard Works
The scissor switch keyboards have a scissor-like operating mechanism, while the butterfly keyboards use a mechanism that features components that work together like the wings on a butterfly rather than overlap.
alt=”butterflymechanism7″ width=”1200″ height=”507″ />
The two halves of the butterfly switch attach to a hinge in the middle and when pressed, the two sides compress down in more of a V or U shape.
alt=”butterflykey4″ width=”1200″ height=”651″ />
Apple swapped to a butterfly design for a thinner keyboard that allowed for thinner devices, but also advertised the butterfly keys as being more stable because of the way that a butterfly mechanism more evenly distributes applied pressure from a finger press.
Butterfly keys generally have less travel than scissor switch keys and there’s less squish and less movement, plus there’s a more space for debris to accumulate, which is what led to Apple’s issues.
Butterfly Keyboard Problems
The butterfly keyboard design, where the two halves of each keyboard switch attach to a middle hinge, allow a lot of space where dust, debris, and other particulates can accumulate, gunking up the mechanism and preventing it from working properly.
Apple attempted to improve the butterfly keyboard over the course of several years through various improvements such as the addition of membranes to block particulates, but no improvement method was successful.
So many people ended up running into problems with the butterfly keyboard that Apple implemented a recall program.
Mac Notebooks That Had Butterfly Keyboards
The first Mac with a butterfly keyboard was released in 2015, and the last Mac with a butterfly keyboard was released in 2019. A full list of of Mac models with butterfly keyboards is below, and all of these Macs are eligible for Apple’s butterfly keyboard repair program.
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016)
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)
- MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)
- MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2019)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
The repair program covers Macs for four years after the first retail sale of the machine.
Why Apple Ditched Butterfly Keyboards
There was a huge amount of criticism levied at Apple for its decision to continue using the butterfly keyboard for four years after people first started experiencing issues with the design, and dissatisfaction had ramped up to such a degree that there was no other choice for Apple but to adopt a new design.
alt=”scissorbutterfly2″ width=”1300″ height=”470″ />
Apple also had to implement a repair program for the butterfly keyboard that was undoubtedly expensive, another factor necessitating a switch to the more reliable scissor switch mechanism.
The New Scissor Switch Keyboards
Apple in the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the 2020 13-inch MacBook Air introduced a redesigned “Magic Keyboard” that uses a scissor switch mechanism instead of a butterfly mechanism.
Have a question about Apple’s butterfly or scissor switch keyboards, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.
This is the ultimate guide for working with MacBook keyboards, including accessing special functions, characters, accents, and using keyboard shortcuts in Mac OS system. Click on the list below to jump to an appropriate section.
MacBook Keyboard Diagram / Map
MacBook keyboard has few distinctive sections: Function keys (in light blue), which provides access to various functions in MacBook itself or Mac OS system. By combining them with the FN key, you’ll get access to F1 – F12 keys, which can be associated with particular application features (useful in Photoshop for example).
The second section is the modifier keys (in light yellow). Shift allows to type uppercase letters and other additional characters. Command and Alt/Option are used in keyboard shortcuts, as well as the Control key, which is used almost exclusively by Mac OS X and Apple programs.
Return and left Shift has two variants, one used in the US and Eastern Asia (horizontal Return and long Shift), and second, used in Europe, Middle East and Africa (vertical Return and short left Shift). On the diagram, this is shown by dashed lines. Of course, MacBook keyboards have lots of localizations, the most common – US English – is shown above. If you’re unsure about the localization you have, go and check it with this guide.
MacBook Air 11″ has slightly different keyboard, with smaller top and bottom row keys to accommodate smaller laptop size. Newest MacBooks Pro with TouchBar don’t have upper F keys row, instead, they have a touchscreen which changes displayed options based on context.
In 2015, with the release of the 12-inch MacBook, Apple debuted what would turn out to be one of their most controversial hardware “upgrades” ever. The new “butterfly switch” keyboard featured thinner keys with hardly any key-travel and immediately polarized the Mac community. While the design allowed for the MacBook to ultimately have a thinner profile – which was presumably the driving force behind the keyboard redesign – many MacBook users rightfully complained that it compromised the typing experience. Key-travel is the distance the key moves up and down when you press it to type. The butterfly switch reduced key-travel to “maybe a millimeter or two, as opposed to a few millimeters” on previous generation keyboards. It might not sound like a lot, but typing on them ends up feeling like “slapping your fingers on a vinyl counter” ( The Outline ), which is… not ideal to say the least.
Unfortunately for Apple, the story doesn’t end there. It turns out the new butterfly design also made their keyboards more susceptible to break than the previous generation. Plus, repairs became more expensive than ever thanks to the fact that you could no longer just replace a single key. The only way to fix a malfunctioning key now is to replace the entire keyboard… which means sending your MacBook to Apple so they can replace the top case . So while MacBooks are thinner than ever now, without a MacBook keyboard cover , a single piece of dust can lead to a broken keyboard, hours at the Apple Store, and potentially hundreds of dollars in repair costs. Is it worth the trade-off? Apple users tend to love the portability and svelte profiles of the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, but how much are we willing to compromise to achieve that?
Unfortunately, we are all forced to succumb to the whim of Apple’s design choices. If you want a new MacBook or MacBook Pro, you’re going to have to use their new keyboard. But, luckily there are some precautions you can take to help fix the problem, like getting a MacBook keyboard cover . While it won’t magically change your keyboard back to the previous generation, using a MacBook or MacBook Pro keyboard cover can help with some of the biggest issues the new keyboards have. Read on to find out how.
Dust is everywhere. It’s in all our homes and especially prevalent in offices and workspaces. And most of the time it’s imperceptible – unless you’re in a hermetically sealed room, it’s floating in the air around you even now. It’s a nuisance, but it’s unavoidable. And up until Apple’s latest keyboard redesign, dust was just that: a nuisance. It would accumulate on a keyboard over time, and sometimes get annoying, but after a quick wipe, it was gone. Never to be given a second thought. Until now. Now, without a MacBook keyboard cover , a single piece of dust can render the entire keyboard (and computer) useless. If a single piece of dust lodges itself in the right (or wrong) spot under a key, you could lose hours of your life and get hit with a $700 repair.
In a first-hand piece from Casey Johnston for The Outline , titled “The New MacBook Keyboard is Ruining My Life,” he chronicles his numerous trips to the Genius bar after his keyboard failed him time and time again. Johnston’s most recent problem seemed unique. He writes:
“The problem was not that its logic board was failing, that its battery was dying, or that its camera didn’t respond. There were no mysteriously faulty inner workings. It was the spacebar. It was broken. And not even physically broken — it still moved and acted normally. But every time I pressed it once, it spaced twice.”
After speaking at length with the Genius and an hour’s worth of diagnostic tests, they discovered the issue was probably due to a single piece of dust. And to further exacerbate the issue, there was no way to replace the spacebar itself. According to Johnston, “In fact, all of Apple’s keyboards are now composed of a single, irreparable piece of technology. There is no fixing it; there is only replacing half the computer.” If he had been using a MacBook Keyboard cover , he might have been able to save himself the headache.
Dust becomes a problem for the new keyboards when it finds its way underneath one (or more) of the keys through the tiny openings created by the space between the key itself and the aluminum top casing. When you install a MacBook keyboard cover over the keyboard, all of those openings are protected. Since the MacBook keyboard cover itself is a single piece of silicone that goes across the entire thing, dust no longer has the opportunity to make its way underneath the keys and into the butterfly switch mechanism. Plus, each Kuzy MacBook keyboard cover is thin enough so that it can stay installed all the time. This protects your keyboard no matter how dusty your surroundings are (though we still don’t recommend using your MacBook on a windy day in the Sahara!).
If you’ve used one of Apple’s new butterfly switch keyboards before, or if you’ve been to a coffee shop in the last year, then you know first hand that the sound they make when someone types on one is… unmistakable. While the sound bothers some more than others, it’s undeniable that the new keyboards make a distinctive “click-clack” that the previous generation keyboards did not. If you’re looking for a way to make your new keyboard quieter, a MacBook Keyboard cover might help. Each Kuzy MacBook keyboard cover is made from a single, durable piece of silicone. By placing the MacBook keyboard cover over your keyboard, you are essentially adding a layer of sound insulation in between the keyboard mechanism and the rest of the world. While it won’t make the keyboard completely silent, it will have the effect of muting the signature “click-clack” typing sounds that the new butterfly switch keyboards have become famous for.
What to Do If Your Keyboard Is Already Broken
If you didn’t have a MacBook keyboard cover installed on your new MacBook and your keyboard is already showing signs of dust damage or any other problems, you do have some recourse. In a rare, albeit quiet, moment of admitting fault, Apple went from denying that the keyboards had any issues at all, to offering free repairs. This is huge! Apple almost never offers free… anything! According to a page on their website, a “small percentage” of MacBooks and MacBook Pros exhibit the following (infuriating) behaviors:
- Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
- Letters or characters do not appear
- Key(s) feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner
Check here to see if your device is eligible. If it is, Apple will fix it for free. Additionally, if you already paid to have your keyboard repaired, you might be able to get Apple to retroactively pay you back. Way down at the bottom of the service page on Apple’s site it says, “If you believe your MacBook or MacBook Pro was affected by this issue, and you paid to have your keyboard repaired, you can contact Apple about a refund.” Good luck.
After first being announced at WWDC last June, Universal Control has finally arrived with the release of iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3. Despite delays and some people questioning whether the feature might meet the same fate as AirPower, Universal Control is here and is equally as impressive as its original WWDC demo.
How Universal Control works
If you haven’t been following the news, Universal Control is Apple’s feature that lets you control multiple iPads and Macs using a single mouse, keyboard, and trackpad. You can move the cursor and keyboard seamlessly between the devices, and iCloud infers the positioning based on your cursor activity.
One of the most impressive aspects of Universal Control is that there is no setup required. Once your devices are updated to the latest iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3 releases, the feature is enabled by default, and the only requirement is that the devices be signed into the same iCloud account.
If you want to enable or disable Universal Control, you can do so via the Settings app on your iPad by choosing General then “AirPlay & Handoff” and looking for the “Cursor and Keyboard” toggle. On the Mac side of things, you’ll find Universal Control settings in the “Displays” pane of System Preferences.
In System Preferences, there are some customization options:
- Allow your cursor and keyboard to move between any nearby Mac or iPad: Your cursor and keyboard can be used on any nearby Mac or iPad signed in to your iCloud account.
- Push through the edge of a display to connect to a nearby Mac or iPad: Allow the cursor to connect to a nearby Mac or iPad by pushing against the edge of the display.
- Automatically reconnect to any nearby Mac or iPad: Allow this Mac to automatically reconnect to any nearby Mac or iPad you’ve previously connected to.
In the real world
On paper, Universal Control can be tricky to explain – that’s part of what made Craig Federighi’s demo during WWDC so impressive. Here’s how I’m using Universal Control so far.
My setup consists of 2021 MacBook Pro connected to single external display, so I’ve been using Universal Control with an iPad — either my iPad Pro or my iPad mini — placed next to that external display. My favorite setup so far here is putting my 11-inch iPad Pro in the TwelveSouth HoverBar Duo off to the left-hand side of my display.
With this setup, I can use the Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, and Logitech MX Master on my desk to control not only my MacBook Pro (which is off to the side in clamshell mode), but also my iPad Pro. All I have to do is push my cursor to the far-left edge of my display, and the cursor seamlessly jumps to the iPad Pro.
Once the cursor is on the iPad, it works just like any other cursor that would be connected to the iPad, including Apple’s Magic Keyboard for iPad. The cursor turns into the round, circluor iPadOS cursor instantly, then when I move back to the MacBook Pro, it turns into the classic Mac cursor.
This makes it incredibly easy to control the iPad Pro without having to reach up and interact with the display. I can quickly jump over to the iPad and check an app, start playing a video, and even drag files between the MacBook Pro and the iPad. It’s incredibly impressive in just about every way imaginable.
People are rightfully skeptical when Apple announces a feature that is incredibly technically ambitious and doesn’t provide a firm release date. Over the years, Apple has promised different features and products that ultimately didn’t ship or didn’t ship in their originally promised form.
I’m happy to report that Universal Control has absolutely not met this fate. In my opinion, Universal Control is perhaps one of the best software features Apple has shipped in years. The feature fundamentally underscores the deep integration between Apple’s hardware and software.
Dragging a file saved on my iPad mini to my MacBook Pro 🤯 pic.twitter.com/JWj8NZcag4
— Chance Miller (@ChanceHMiller) January 27, 2022
Not everyone will have a use case for Universal Control, and that’s totally okay. But if you do work in a way that Universal Control makes sense, it’s incredibly impressive. And for now, it’s still technically a beta feature that could get even better as time progresses.
Universal Control has already changed how I work and it’s only been available for 24 hours. It’s making the iPad Pro a bigger part of my day-to-day workflow and further expanding my screen real estate, but in a way that’s different and more powerful than adding a separate external display.
I’m going to keep testing multiple different Universal Control setups, but for now I’m pretty happy with this one. Have you given Universal Control a try yet? If so, how are you using it and what do you think? Let us know down in the comments!
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We use a wide range of gadgets on a daily basis. The Apple iPad is undoubtedly one of the best ones to own. Besides doing some casual browsing, playing games and watching movies, there’s a lot more the iPad is capable of doing. For instance, did you know that you can use your iPad as a wireless keyboard or mouse for your laptop or PC? Yes, that’s possible and there are plenty of apps available in the app store that let you do that. Let’s take a closer look at one of these apps.
To use your iPad as a wireless mouse and keyboard, you’ll need an iPad, the free TinyMouse app, a laptop or desktop PC that you wish to control, an active Wi-Fi network connection and a software called Desktop Streamer.
You can download the app from: https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/tinymouse/id668386102?mt=8\ and the desktop program from here http://www.elinasoft.com/en_index.html Available for both Windows PC and MAC, the software called Desktop Streamer acts like a host and lets you wirelessly connect your iPad to the PC.
Using the TinyMouse app you can use your iPad or iPhone as a wireless mouse and keyboard. The touchscreen acts like a touchpad with dedicated buttons for left and right click along with a scroll key. There’s also a full size QWERTY keyboard with access to function buttons and the Windows key.
After you download the TinyMouse app on your iPad or iPhone, you need to enter the PC or laptop details. On the upper-right corner, you will find a “+” button. Tap it and enter the computer name, IP address and port number for your PC. You’ll get these details on the Desktop Streamer program.
Once the Desktop Streamer program is downloaded, just double-click and install it. It will create a shortcut on your desktop. When you want to connect your iPad as a wireless keyboard and mouse, just start the Desktop Streamer and it will display the details of your IP address and computer name, whereas the port number will be displayed on the settings tab. Remember that both, the PC and the iPad / iPhone needs to be connected to the same Wi-Fi router. Once this is done, you will be able to use your device as an extension of your PC.
We are often caught in a situation where we wish to control our MacBook from our iPhones. Be it a movie night on your cozy couch or music playback at your house party. Not everyone uses those big and expensive Bluetooth speakers but we still always need to have control of the media. So I found just the app that some of you might find really handy as it is all solutions under one name. Let’s see how it works.
Use iPhone as Mouse For Mac
To use the iPhone as a trackpad on your Mac, we’ll use a simple app called Remote Mouse. The app has both free and paid versions which differ in services. Services like mouse controls, app launcher, portrait keyboard are available in the free version. While the landscape keyboard, media controls, and system control are all part of the pro version of the app. But for most parts, you can perform all necessary actions in the free version itself.
Download Remote Mouse iOS | macOS (free, $2)
Step 1: Download the apps on both the devices
To use your iPhone to control your Mac you’ll need to install Remote Mouse on both your iPhone as well as Computer. Links are shared above and both the app versions are available natively on the app store.
Step 2: Connect via Wi-Fi
Once you’ve downloaded the apps on both the devices, open the app on your iPhone and look for connections on top of your screen. Initially, it will say ‘Connection Failed’.
Tap on the marked section and you should be able to see your MacBook’s name. Remember to keep both the devices on the same Wi-Fi network. If you still don’t see your device name, launch the macOS app again. Once visible, simply tap on it to connect.
Step 3: Connect via IP address or QR code
If you’re not on a Wi-Fi connection you can simply tap on the ‘+’ sign on the top right corner to explore more options. You’d still need to be on 3G or 4G network though.
Here you may tap on either option. Click on history to connect to the device you have previously connected. Or if you are a new user head to the other options.
To connect the devices via IP address, first head to your macOS application. If the app is launched it’s probably sitting on your menu bar as it has no such interface.
Click on Show IP Address and you’ll see a small pop-up window with the address.
On your iPhone app where you tapped on the ‘+’ sign. Now select the IP address option and insert the IP address shown on your macOS app.
To connect via QR code, click on ‘Show QR code’ on your macOS app. A small pop-up window will appear with a QR code.
On your iPhone app tap on ‘Scan QR code’. Allow the camera permission and scan the QR code on your Mac’s screen.
Step 4: iPhone as track-pad
Once your devices are connected simply open your iPhone app. The empty screen is your trackpad with a scroller on your right and mouse buttons at the bottom. You can move around the cursor, scroll pages and click links via your iPhone itself. You can even make swipe gestures as you do on your Mac’s trackpad.
Step 5: iPhone as a keyboard
While your devices are connected you can access the keyboard on your iPhone to input data on your MacBook. Just tap on the keyboard sign at the bottom of your iPhone app and a keyboard will pop-up on your screen. If you’re on a paid version you can even use the keyboard in landscape mode.
Step 6: iPhone as a media controller
On your iPhone app tap on the media button at the bottom to access the media controls for your MacBook. You can play/pause, rewind/forward and control pretty much all basic functions via this remote.
Step 7: iPhone as an app launcher
You can launch almost all the apps on your MacBook that are visible on your launchpad. Click on the app window like icon at the bottom of your iPhone app and you’ll see all the apps on your Mac’s launchpad. Click on any app to launch it on your Mac and navigate through the trackpad and keyboard.
Step 8: Operate Mac’s browser controls via iPhone
Although you already have so much control of your MacBook with the mouse and keyboard controls. But the app on your iPhone gives you furthermore control of your browser by giving you some quick control options in a special tab. Click on the browser tab of your iPhone app to the options. You can access the back button, zoom in / zoom out web pages and even tap on some quick website links that you frequently use.
Step 9: MacBook system controls on your iPhone
As if it wasn’t already more than enough, you can even take control of your Mac’s system controls from your iPhone itself. Meaning that you don’t have to get up from that couch even after the movie is finished. You can Log-off, sleep or even Shut-down your system from your iPhone app itself. It’s a paid feature again, but worth it.
You and I have the same thought right now, this app should probably work on changing its name. It does more than what the name suggests and so I ended up telling you more than I intended to. But these are some gaps between iOS and macOS that most of us were looking forward to filling. Well, go ahead and try the app. Start with the free version and if it proves to be good for you, a $2 purchase will make it even better. As always let us know your thoughts and experience in the comments below.
While the MacBook keyboard is a consistent performer and one of the best keyboards on a non-desktop machine, a full-sized keyboard complete with a numeric keypad has its uses. In most cases, you’re able to set up a generic USB keyboard with your MacBook.
In this post, we show you how to set up a generic USB keyboard with your MacBook. We also look at some resolutions if you can’t get things up and running.
Also read: How Much Storage Do You Need on Mac?
How to Set Up a Generic USB Keyboard with Your MacBook
In most cases, keyboards will “plug and play.” In other words, they should just work right out of the box. Note that most modern MacBooks – certainly those released in the last couple of years – will only have USB-C ports. If you’re using an older USB keyboard, you may need an adapter, though the process we outline below will be the same.
Once you plug in your keyboard to the USB port, you’ll see the Keyboard Setup Assistant.
Click Continue. Your Mac will then map out the rest of your keyboard by asking you to hit the keys beside each Shift key.
The last pop-up will ask you to select your preferred type of keyboard, and in most cases, you can choose the default.
At this point, you’re almost done, though you’ll need to make sure your modifier keys are set correctly.
Also read: 13 of the Best Typing Games and Apps for Everyone
Setting Up the Modifier Keys
If you skip this step, you could have problems using the shortcut keys you’re accustomed to that use Command – for example, the copy and paste shortcuts.
To begin, head to “System Preferences -> Keyboard.” From this panel, open the “Modifier Keys … ” screen from the bottom-right corner.
The modifier keys on Mac are Shift , Control , Option (Alt), Command , and Caps Lock . From the next dialog, choose your USB keyboard.
Here you can quickly assign Command from the drop-down menu under Control Key.
You can leave the rest of the defaults or set more modifier keys, depending on your needs. Once you’re done, click OK to save your settings.
After this, you’re all set. You can detach your USB keyboard at any time and still preserve your settings, though you’ll be prompted to configure your keyboard’s settings if you attach a new one.
How to Fix a Generic USB Keyboard that Isn’t Detected by Your MacBook
In some cases, your generic USB keyboard won’t be detected by your Mac. If this happens to you, Apple has a few tips to get things working again:
- Get the fundamentals right and ensure the keyboard is plugged in correctly. With USB-C connections, they often don’t run flush to the port like older ones. As such, you may misjudge the connection.
- If your keyboard needs drivers, you’ll need to make sure they’re installed.
- If you’re running one USB device into another, check them both individually before continuing.
- Remove all of your other devices in order to test your keyboard alone.
- Restart any apps you have open and reboot your computer if necessary.
You may also want to take some advanced action. Resetting the System Management Controller and PRAM could be an option if you’re desperate to get your USB keyboard working.
However, it’s going to be rare for a keyboard not to work on your Mac. We’d suggest getting a professional to give your machine a once-over if you’re encountering any issues.
Also read: 11 Best Docking Stations for MacBook Pro
In most cases, the default MacBook keyboard does a great job. It could be the best keyboard on the market, although it’s not the best solution in many cases. The good news is you can connect a generic USB keyboard to your MacBook, and most of the time it will work without a hitch.
If you’re looking to become more efficient on macOS, regardless of your keyboard, we’ve published a cheatsheet for all the major macOS keyboard shortcuts. Then, if you’re looking for a little bit of fun, check outt the best Apple Arcade games you can play on the Mac. Will this article help you use a generic USB keyboard with your MacBook? Let us know in the comments section below!
Every iMac and iMac Pro comes with a specially designed, Apple-branded Magic Keyboard, and you either love it or hate it. There are plenty of third-party keyboards on the market that can vary quite a bit from Apple’s. The keyboards on this list are specifically for those of you who like the Magic Keyboard’s general design but are looking for something slightly different.
Easy multi-pairing : Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard – Dark Grey/Off White/Rose
This little ditty is an iMore favorite. It’s a compact keyboard perfect for your Mac that has plenty of useful additional features. It has the added benefit of being specially designed to control features on your iPhone or iPad, like navigating to the Home screen or switching apps. With one button, you can switch between three different devices, including Windows and Android products.
- From $30 at Amazon
- From $30 at Best Buy
- $34 at Walmart
Comes with numeric keypad : Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
If you love everything about the Magic Keyboard, but you really want a numerical pad, this model’s nearly identical to the Magic Keyboard except that it has a 10-key number pad, a couple of additional function keys, and dedicated control keys. It’s the perfect solution for Mac users that need more keyboard functionality.
- $129 at Apple
- $129 at Amazon
- $130 at Best Buy
Clever look-alike : iClever BK10 Bluetoooth Multi-Device Keyboard
Available in various colors, including Silver, which looks very much like Apple’s, this Bluetooth keyboard will work with your Mac and your iPad, iPhone, and even non-Apple devices. The slim design and low-profile scissor-switch keys make for smooth, quiet, and comfortable typing.
Mouse included : FENIFOX Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
FENIFOX’s keyboard looks very similar to the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, but it also comes with a mouse. The set is available in the Pink color shown here as well as Silver. The sloped angle makes typing more comfortable.
Solar charged : Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard for Mac — Solar Recharging, Mac-friendly Keyboard, 2.4GHz Wireless – Silver
The K750 is a hugely popular alternative to Apple’s Magic Keyboard because it’s a full-sized keyboard, complete with a very similar spacing pattern. Though it’s called “solar,” it actually charges up using any light, including a desk lamp.
- $55 at Amazon
- $55 at Best Buy
- $60 at Apple
Backlit : Arteck HB030B Universal Slim Keyboard
Arteck’s well-priced Bluetooth keyboard is slim, portable, and it can be used with your Mac or iOS device as well as non-Apple computers. You can choose from seven backlight colors and two brightness levels on this keyboard. The rechargeable lithium battery can go up to six months on a single charge.
- $20 at Amazon
- $33 at Walmart
Which Magic Keyboard alternative should you choose?
If you love the look of the Magic Keyboard, but you want something just a little bit different, you’re sure to like one of the keyboards on this list. They all have a similar design but offer something a bit different. An iMore favorite is the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard. It’s great to be able to switch between your Mac, iPhone, and iPad quickly. You can’t go wrong with any of the Logitech keyboards. Of course, those of us who need to type a lot of numbers love Apple’s Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad and find it worth the upgrade.
However, if you want something inexpensive that you can toss into your bag when you’re on the go, then pick up an Arteck HB030B Universal Slim Keyboard. It’s compact, just 9.7-inches-by-5.9-inches-by-0.24-inches. The battery will go six months between charges with typical use. Plus, you get backlighting in all of those fun colors.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something else besides Apple-style keyboards, we’ve rounded up some other great keyboards for Mac for you. That list includes a variety of different styles, something for everyone.
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Karen S Freeman
I’m a travel enthusiast, teacher, writer, and an early adopter who has stood in more release-day lines than I can count. I’m a former Apple retail store Specialist and I’ve been writing Apple-focused product reviews and how-tos since 2010. You can find me on Twitter as @KarenSFreeman and Instagram as @Karefree2.
Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books. If she’s not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).