For a long time I’ve been a huge fan of using Bluetooth keyboards for getting work done on my iPads. The tactile keys feel so much more natural to work with than pressing on glass, and there are plenty of keyboard shortcuts that make it convenient to use.
The one major thing Bluetooth keyboards don’t offer however, are clever little software features like suggested words and autocorrect for spelling and punctuation. This is something Stefan Svartling — a fellow tech blogger who has turned his iPad Air 2 into his daily computer — has touched on regularly. Using the on-screen keyboard works best for him, and he doesn’t feel the need to attach a Bluetooth keyboard at all.
Software features like the ones I’ve mentioned above are particularly useful when you’re working on a device as small as the iPad Mini. With the on- screen keyboard I can type “didnt” and it will automatically convert that into “didn’t”, with the correct punctuation; and equally I can tap double space and it’ll automatically apply the period. These are small — but significant — features that improve my ability to type quickly and importantly, accurately.
You can’t get this on physical Bluetooth keyboards. Everything is manual, and manual, at least in this context, means prone to error. All too often I’ll press the wrong keys, or miss a punctuation mark, and the main reason is usually because the keys are really small.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are some really great keyboards out there. I’m a big fan of the Kensington KeyCover for iPad Mini myself — it’s the one I use when I do want a Bluetooth keyboard — but despite all its great features, the software benefits make using the on-screen keyboard feel more efficient.
Bottom line? I’m not completely for or against either one; I think there’s a time and a place to use either option. But what do you guys prefer typing on and why? Let me know in the comments!