The 9.7″ iPad Pro is an amazing portable business device — at least when it’s paired up with a great keyboard. iPads (and tablets in general) are such a great way to consume content, but where they have traditionally fallen behind laptops is in the productivity department. That’s because creating content on the iPad — even the iPad Pro — can still be just a bit frustrating for many users.
Arguments rage between iOS devotees and those who can’t peel themselves away from the MacBooks or other laptops. But many of the issues business users have with the iPad Pro can be addressed with a proper keyboard (many, not all). Some of my biggest complaints against the official Apple iPad keyboard (the Smart Keyboard) include no backlighting on the keyboard for typing in dark spaces, a cramped typing space on the 9.7″ model, a lack of shortcut keys and no adjustable viewing angle (and especially that last one). Plus, the Smart Keyboard frequently falls off if I pick up the iPad (or the keyboard) the wrong way.
And so this article is turning into a bit of a “3 Best Alternatives to Apple’s Smart Keyboard” list. And like many of my lists this one has been born out of my own desire to find the best replacement keyboard. Because while the Smart Keyboard is usable, I’m just not thrilled with it. I want a better iPad Pro keyboard experience because the truth is I’m really starting to love getting some serious work done on this device.
For me, the iPad Pro 9.7″ is ideal for firing off emails, writing articles and video scripts, sketching, taking notes (both handwritten using the Apple Pencil and typed), some spreadsheet work and maybe someday soon video editing (I want to edit video on my iPad Pro so badly, but iMovie just isn’t powerful enough and an iPad version of Final Cut Pro is still nowhere to be found).
The creative/creation focused apps I am using most on my iPad Pro at the moment are: WordPress, iA Writer, Twitter, various email apps (I’m always testing new ones), Trello, Apple’s Notes app (I’ve completely migrated from Evernote at this point), Safari, Paper by FiftyThree and OmniFocus. I use several other apps as well, but they are more focused on consuming, rather than creating, content.
Before we get into my top 3 iPad Pro 9.7″ keyboard ...