How to share a mouse, keyboard and trackpad between iPad and Mac

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iPad, share keyboard, and trackpad
Tap a switch to use your Mac's trackpad and keyboard with your iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro — the one with the built-in trackpad — looks amazing. But it costs $350. That’s very pricey for a keyboard. Plus, it’s a keyboard that will only be useful for as long as it can attach to your iPad Pro. That means it might not fit your next tablet if Apple tweaks the iPad Pro design.

Compare that to a USB or Bluetooth keyboard, which will remain compatible with every computer that gets made in the foreseeable future. Toady we’ll see how to share your Mac’s keyboard and mouse or trackpad with your iPad. We’ll also learn how to instantly switch between the two, both with USB and Bluetooth.

No, it’s not as portable as the new Magic Keyboard case, but it’s less messy on your desk. And you will likely have a better keyboard, and a better trackpad.

Flick on your iPad’s keyboard to type numbers and symbols

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wooden hand on yellow background keyboard flicks
Flick your keyboard.
Photo: Charles Deluvio/Unsplash

One of the disadvantages of smaller iPads’ software keyboard is the lack of a numbers row. The 13-inch iPad displays a full keyboard with a numbers row and separate Caps Lock and Tab keys. But to type numbers on smaller iPads — the 10.5- and 11-inch models, and the mini — you first hit the symbol/number shift key to convert the top row of letter into numbers.

It’s a minor inconvenience, but if you do a lot of number entry on your iPad, then it becomes a major usability problem. The good news is that there’s an excellent workaround: keyboard flicks.

6 iPad trackpad gestures you need to know

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iPad trackpad gestures
Trackpad gestures transform the iPad into something entirely new.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The trackpad and mouse support Apple added in iOS 13.4 is just amazing. It’s like getting a whole new computer, just by updating your iPad. I’ve been using it for a week for so now, and I want to share my favorite trackpad gestures.

If you use a trackpad with your iPad, these gestures will change the way you use your tablet.

2020 MacBook Air teardown reveals new keyboard and better repairability

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2020 macbook air
The guts of the 2020 MacBook Air on full display.
Photo: iFixit

The 2020 MacBook Air has been put under the knife by the folks at iFixit, revealing some subtle and important changes that make Apple’s thinnest laptop more repairable.

Headlining the list of changes is the new Magic Keyboard with scissor-switch keys. iFixit found that the new keys don’t need a silicone barrier to keep dust out like the previous generation. The butterfly keyboards were supposed to enable MacBooks to be thinner, however, iFixit says going back to old scissor switches only adds .5mm to the device’s thickness.

iPadOS 13.4’s Full Keyboard Access offers incredible touch-free control

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tab key Full Keyboard Access
You will come to love the Tab key with iPadOS 13.4's Full Keyboard Access.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Did you know you can control your iPad using just a keyboard? You can use the arrow keys to move between icons on the Home screen. You can use the arrow keys (again) to scroll lists. And you can even tap and toggle buttons using the space bar. Apple added this capability via iOS 13.4’s new Full Keyboard Access feature, and it’s wild.

How wild? How about offering system-wide, custom keyboard shortcuts for running actual Shortcuts? And that’s just the beginning.

When it comes to quiet keyboards, MacBook Pro lags only behind Pixelbook Go

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When it comes to quiet keyboards, MacBook Pro lags only behind Pixelbook Go
Apple's new MacBook Pro keyboard won't disturb your colleagues.
Photo: Apple

One of the downsides of Apple’s previous MacBook butterfly keyboard design was how loud it was. That’s something Apple has tried to rectify with its new quiet scissor switch keyboard on the MacBook Pro.

But how does its volume stack up against both the previous MacBook keyboard, and other laptops on the market? A new report from the Wall Street Journal set out to find an answer.

2019 MacBook Pro teardown reveals minimal keyboard changes

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2019 MacBook Pro keys
What’s inside a 2019 MacBook Pro key.
Photo: iFixit

Apple just dropped a new MacBook Pro with faster Intel processors that deliver even greater performance. But more importantly, it features “new material” that Apple hopes will fix its keyboard woes.

The machine now been pulled apart by iFixit so that we can see exactly what’s changed under the hood. Don’t expect anything too dramatic or you’ll be sorely disappointed.

How to turn on Mac Bluetooth without a mouse

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Dust off any old USB keyboard and get your Bluetooth back in action.
Dust off any old USB keyboard and get your Bluetooth back in action.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You wake up or restart your Mac, and nothing is connected. Your Bluetooth keyboard does nothing. You wiggle your Bluetooth mouse or trackpad, and the on-screen pointer refuses to wiggle in response. The problem? You Mac’s Bluetooth is switched off. But how do you switch it back on without a mouse?

Today we’ll see how to activate Bluetooth on an iMac, Mac Pro or Mac mini 1 without having to touch a mouse or trackpad. All you need are a USB keyboard, Spotlight and one clever trick.

Apple unleashes barrage of fun new iPad Pro videos

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IPad Pro
You’ve never seen iPad tricks like these.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s campaign to convince everyone that the iPad Pro is a true PC replacement continued today with a barrage of six new videos extolling the tablet’s many uses.

Everything from wedding planning to music making has been highlighted in Apple’s new series of iPad Pro videos. Most of the new video are how-to videos, but there is a fun new ad that features a ton of fancy iPad Pro twirling and keyboard flipping as one iPad Pro lover takes his beloved device on an important trip.

Watch all six right here: