If you are looking to buy the best ipad, chances are you’re also considering buying a Magic Keyboard. This iPad Pro accessory, pictured above, holds the tablet up and gives you a keyboard as well as a trackpad, providing many additional features for your tablet.
However, the Magic Keyboard isn’t perfect, and Apple clearly knows that, as it has filed patents for a new version (via Apple obviously (opens in a new tab)).
The most recent patent is a big deal, as it shows two really useful upgrades a new Magic Keyboard could bring – maybe this will launch alongside the planned launch iPad Pro (2022).
The first of these updates concerns the Apple Pencil. Usually you have to store it on top of the tablet, balancing it on a magnetic strip on the tablet’s frame – here it’s easy to knock over, especially if you put your slate in a bag.
The new Magic Keyboard patent shows a hinge (between the keyboard and the raised part that connects to the iPad) that’s hollow, allowing an Apple Pencil to fit inside; which means you can hide it and make sure it’s kept somewhere safe.
It probably wouldn’t charge the stylus, but it’s good that Apple is aware of our Apple Pencil troubles.
The other improvement presented in the patent relates to the suspension angles of the tablet. On current Magic Keyboards you can move the tablet between a range of angles, but they’re surprisingly limited – you can’t be too high above or level with the tablet if you want to see the screen.
The new Magic Keyboard, however, seems to fit a much wider viewing range – one image shows the iPad facing much higher than it can with the current Magic Keyboard, so hopefully that will come to market .
Not only that, but a different sketch shows you can use the new Magic Keyboard as a stand to move the iPad even higher, in what’s called “clipboard mode” – although doing it that way means that you can’t actually access the keyboard itself.
Analysis: A Magic Keyboard fix that won’t be perfect
Apple hasn’t really cracked the iPad’s keyboard accessory yet.
The Magic Keyboard has limited hanging angles, as we said – it also has an overly sensitive trackpad that’s easy to hit with your wrist when typing, and pressing keys isn’t exactly satisfying either.
However, its predecessor (which is still on sale), the Keyboard Folio, isn’t perfect either. It’s more flimsy, so can be easily damaged in your bag, and again only supports two different angles (although they’re farther apart than the two extremes of the Magic Keyboard).
Both keyboards have strengths and weaknesses, and we’d like to see Apple combine the best parts of both to create a super-slate accessory. That doesn’t seem to be what Apple is doing here, though – it’s mostly adding a few more fixes to the Magic Keyboard – but they’re still useful additions.
Maybe if the iPad Pro launches with this new accessory, it will find a place in our list of best tablets.