This cute, rubberized keyboard packs proper piano-style keys

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Arturia MicroLab
Looks small, feels big.
Photo: Arturia

This is the new MicroLab from Arturia. It’s a USB MIDI keyboard you can hook up to your Mac, your iPad or your iPhone. It’s tiny — but how does it differ from the zillion other portable MIDI keyboards littering the pages of Amazon? Two ways.

One is that it has a bunch of clever design features that make it great for travel or small desktop setups. The other is that it has big, proper, velocity-sensitive keys, instead of the stupid junky keys on almost every similar MIDI keyboard.

Patterning’s new shortcuts transform iPad keyboard into drum kit

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Street drummer with buckets
This guy makes better music with buckets than I can manage with any app.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Patterning is probably the best drum machine app on the iPad, and one of the best iOS music apps, period. Which makes it criminal that we’ve never written a dedicated post about it. That can change today, because the developer, Olympia Noise Co., just added keyboard shortcuts.

Wait, come back! These aren’t just any keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts let you use your iPad’s Smart Folio Keyboard, or any Bluetooth keyboard, to fingerdrum on the iPad.

Learners will love Roli’s colorful, light-up piano keyboard

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musician playing roli lumi
Look at how much fun it is to play. Just look.
Photo: Roli

Roli is best known for its squishy, multitouch, pressure-sensitive music keyboards and controllers. Those are great. But the new Roli Lumi goes in a different direction. It’s a small portable keyboard with light-up keys. And not the kind of light-up keys you might see in a movie set during the 1970s disco scene: These light up keys help you learn to play the piano.

Piano lessons will never be the same.

Apple Pencil and QuickPath floating keyboard revolutionize iPad typing

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What can't the iPad do in iPadOS?
What can't the iPad do in iPadOS?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Were you ever drawing a diagram in the Notes app, and then realized you needed to type a note? Did you then find yourself frustrated at having to drop the Apple Pencil and type on the huge, half-screen QWERTY keyboard?

With iPadOS 13, Apple has removed that frustration. You still can’t do Newton-style handwriting and have it turn into text. But you can shrink the keyboard to a tiny floating panel, and use the Apple Pencil to swipe-type on it.

Wildly customizable keyboard unleashes iPad creativity

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The new Buchla Thunder layout for the Sensel Morph.
The new Buchla Thunder layout for the Sensel Morph.
Photo: Sensel

The Sensel Morph is a different kind of “keyboard” for the iPad or Mac. It’s a pressure-sensitive panel onto which you can slap various silicone overlays, turning it from a QWERTY keyboard into a piano, a movie-editing controller or many other specialized interfaces.

It’s a customizable, wildly imaginative input device designed for musicians, video editors, illustrators, writers and other creative types.

These are the best accessories for your 2018 iPad Pro

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The awesome new iPad Pro deserves some awesome accessories.
The awesome new 2018 iPad Pro deserves some awesome accessories.
Photo: Andrea Nepori

You’ve got your new iPad Pro, and it’s all set up. Now, you might want to start tricking it out with accessories. The bad news is that most of your old accessories won’t work. The good news is that some of them will, and the rest can be replaced, or hooked up with dongles. Let’s check out the best accessories for the new 2018 iPad Pro.

Satechi’s new extended keyboards gives you Apple looks on a budget

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Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard
Satechi's Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard is the perfect match for your Apple setup.
Photo: Satechi

Accessory maker Satechi has been around for years, offering a wide range of charging solutions, headphones, dongles, and computer peripherals for both Mac and PC. Their newest Mac accessories, the Aluminum Bluetooth keyboard and Aluminum USB keyboard offer Apple-inspired design at a fraction of Apple’s keyboard prices.

Creative Block: Roli’s expressive MIDI keyboard goes portable [Review]

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Roll seaboard block review
That's the Seaboard sat on a 12-inch iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Imagine a piano keyboard that is also a multitouch surface, like the screen on an iPad. Now imagine that this is a tactile silicone surface with bumps and dips so you can feel the keys, just like a piano. Hold that image in your mind — you are currently imagining the Roli Seaboard Block, backpack-sized Bluetooth MIDI keyboard that will change the way you play music.

How to get the iPad’s keyboard shortcut cheat sheet on Mac

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CheatSheet
Press and hold…
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

One of the iPad’s handiest features is its keyboard-shortcut cheatsheet. Whenever you have a USB or Bluetooth keyboard attached to your iPad, just hold down the Command key and wait for a second. An overlay will pop up showing you all the keyboard shortcuts available for the current app.

Did you ever wish you could do the same with the Mac? After all, you always have a keyboard connected the Mac, so a cheatsheet overlay should be even more useful. Then you need CheatSheet, an app that does exactly that.