If you’re looking to buy the best iPad, there’s a good chance you’re also considering buying a magic keyboard. This iPad Pro accessory, pictured above, holds the tablet high and offers a keyboard and trackpad, providing a lot of extra functionality for your tablet.
However, the Magic Keyboard is not perfect, and Apple knows this clearly, based on the fact that it is filing patents for a new version (via patented apple (opens in new tab)).
The newest patent is important as it shows two really useful upgrades a new Magic Keyboard can bring – perhaps this will release alongside the much-anticipated iPad Pro (2022).
The first of these updates concerns the Apple Pencil. Typically, you have to store this on top of the tablet, balancing it on a magnetic stripe on the tablet’s frame – here, it’s easy to drop, particularly 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 is hollow, allowing an Apple Pencil to fit inside; which means you can hide it and ensure it is kept in a safe place.
This probably wouldn’t charge the pen, but it’s good that Apple knows about our Apple Pencil annoyances.
The other update shown in the patent is about the tablet’s suspension angles. On current magic keyboards, you can move the tablet between various angles, but they’re surprisingly limited – you can’t be too far above or on tablet level if you want to see the screen.
The new Magic Keyboard appears to accommodate a much wider viewing range – one image shows the iPad much higher than it can with the current Magic Keyboard, so we’re hoping it hits the market.
Not only that, but a different sketch shows that 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 you can’t access the iPad. keyboard itself.
Review: A Magic Keyboard fix that won’t be perfect
Apple hasn’t broken the iPad keyboard accessory yet.
The Magic Keyboard has limited suspension angles, as we’ve said – it also has an overly sensitive trackpad that’s easy to hit with your wrist when you’re typing, and actually pressing keys isn’t satisfying either.
However, its predecessor (which is still on sale), the Keyboard Folio, isn’t perfect either. It’s more fragile, so it can easily get damaged in your bag, and again, it only supports two different angles (although they’re farther apart than the two ends of the Magic Keyboard).
Both keyboards have strengths and weaknesses, and we’d love 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 – it’s mostly adding some extra fixes to the Magic Keyboard – but they’re still useful additions.
Perhaps, if the iPad Pro is released alongside this new accessory, it will find its way into our list of the best tablets.