Connect with us

Tech

Apple’s Magic Keyboard for iPad: Still Excellent, but Time for a Revision

Published

on


iPad Air 2022

The Magic Keyboard has been Apple’s iPad-transforming keyboard case for years. It has its pros and cons.


Scott Stein/CNET

I’m typing, right now, on a 12-inch iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard, alternating with the iPad Air and the same keyboard, but smaller. I’ve done this, off and on, for a while. Sometimes I forget I’m on an iPad at all. You can indeed make an iPad feel very laptop-like, and there are several keyboard case accessories that get you there. Apple’s $300 case might be the best, but it’s also a product that’s oddly imperfect — and expensive. 

I love the Magic Keyboard. But I sometimes get annoyed by it, too. Though the angled, hovering iPad stand design makes it a great iPad-as-laptop or desk-typing accessory, it still lacks some features you’d really expect for this price. Who knows… maybe Apple will give it an update when the next iPad Pro arrives.

What I like

The keys

The best thing about Apple’s keyboard case is the feel of its keys. For me, the key travel is perfect, and it mirrors the feel of Apple’s most recent MacBooks. I write fast and instinctually, and the positioning of the keys is pretty good for my muscle memory. The trackpad beneath is just the right size. Sure, it could be bigger, but it’s big enough.

I’m talking about the 12-inch version of the Magic Keyboard — the 11-inch model is a little more compressed. It works, but I also get that “typing on a Netbook” old-fashioned feeling I had years ago on 10-inch laptops. The side keys (Tab) and the edge-oriented keys (Return, some symbol keys) suffer the most. All the keyboard cases made for the 11-inch iPads have some sort of key compression like this, though.

The backlit keys are subtle and work well in low light or darkness, although sometimes the lights take too long to automatically turn off. And Apple has no key backlighting adjustment controls on the keyboard (which other keyboard cases often have).

magic-keyboard-usb-c

The Magic Keyboard adds an extra pass-through USB-C charge port that can be used while the iPad’s USB-C port is connected to other things.


Scott Stein/CNET

And the extra USB-C charge port

The Magic Keyboard has one little bonus that’s been super handy — there’s a pass-through charge port for USB-C on the side of the hinge. It’s on the left side, while the USB-C port on the iPad is on the right. This means I can charge from either side at a desk, which is really important to prevent the iPad from becoming incredibly annoying. That port can’t output to things like monitors (you need to use the iPad’s own USB-C/Thunderbolt port for that), but it’s a useful charge-up aid.

And the portability

The Magic Keyboard folds smaller than most other keyboard cases, wrapping tightly around the iPad. But it lacks protection for the iPad sides, and the magnets can detach when inside a bag or if you drop the iPad, knocking the entire case loose. 

What needs fixing 

No function keys

Some iPad keyboard cases have extra rows of dedicated function keys, including volume control and play/pause buttons. I love these, and Apple oddly left them out on the Magic Keyboard. Apple has a lot of keyboard shortcuts in iOS, but dedicated function keys would be a great addition.

iPad Air 2022

The iPad (left, with the Smart Keyboard) vs. the iPad Air (right, with the Magic Keyboard). The floppy old smart keyboard cover isn’t as good, but it does fold back flat.


Scott Stein/CNET

It can’t fold flat as a folio case

The Magic Keyboard’s odd design means it can’t fold all the way back, with the keyboard parked behind the screen. You either use it as a laptop-thing, or fold it shut. iPads are sketchpads and readers, too, and you can’t use the iPad easily for those purposes with the Magic Keyboard on. That means popping the case off (it attaches with magnets), and then you’re left holding a naked iPad. Surely Apple can figure this out? The old Smart Keyboard cover isn’t as good for work, yet was more flexible as a folio case solution. But it doesn’t work with the Magic Keyboard-compatible iPads (Air, Pro).

And that price

At $300 (or $350 for the 12.9-inch version), this is just a lot of money for a keyboard case, especially when the entry iPad costs about as much. It’s half the price of the iPad Air! It’d be lovely if a new model split the difference and became at least somewhat more affordable, because having a good keyboard on the go is increasingly useful with iPadOS.

I still love the Magic Keyboard, and it tends to stay on every iPad I’ve used it with. But it sure can be weird sometimes.



Source link

#Tech News

Tech

Overwatch 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow: Start Time and What to Expect

Published

on


Overwatch 2 starts its second beta on Tuesday, June 28, for PC and console players. The beta begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and runs through Monday, July 18. Sign-ups are still open for a chance to participate, and you can still get guaranteed access if you’re willing to spend some cash.  

The next beta will be our first look at Junker Queen, a new tank hero who first appeared in posters on the Junkertown map that was released in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we’re finally getting the chance. The new beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance. 

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard’s class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be free to play and will launch in early access on Oct. 4. The first beta injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that’s plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.

How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta

Anyone can sign up for Overwatch 2’s second beta, but it’s not technically an open beta. The game will add people gradually as it ramps up server capacity, and the first big wave of beta access will happen on July 5, according to the beta FAQ page. Even if you were in the previous beta, you’ll need to sign up again. 

Here’s how to sign up:

1. Go to the Overwatch 2 beta site.
2. In the top right corner, log in to your Blizzard Account.
3. At the bottom of the Overwatch 2 beta page, choose your platform (and region for PlayStation players).
4. Then hit Request Beta Access.

If you want guaranteed beta access on June 28, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40). In addition to beta access on day one, you’ll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

Blizzard hasn’t released details on downloading the second beta, but it should follow the same process as the first beta. Here’s how that worked:

1. Log in to your Battle.net account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Junker Queen spinning her axe

Junker Queen’s ultimate ability helps her close distance and end fights quickly.


Blizzard

Junker Queen abilities

The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we’ve all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here’s what we know about Junker Queen’s abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:

New Hybrid Map: Paraiso

The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio’s home, including the DJ’s Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload. 

An underground club with light-up floor

Clube Sinestesia is where support hero Lucio found fame as a DJ.


Blizzard

For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the Overwatch 2 reveal event.



Source link

#Tech News

Continue Reading

Tech

Icebergify: How To Create an Iceberg of Your Most Listened to Spotify Artists

Published

on


Been on social media today? Seen those bizarre musical Icebergs floating around in your feed? You’re not alone. Screenshots like this have been doing the rounds today, particularly on Twitter. 

It’s all created via the magic of a website called Icebergify.

Using the data from your Spotify listening habits, Icebergify creates an Iceberg of your most listened to artists ranked by popularity. At the tip of the iceberg? Your favourite “mainstream” artists. Your Taylor Swifts, your Beyonces, your Drakes, etc. The further down you go, the more obscure it becomes. It looks a little like this…

If you want to see your own iceberg, you can head to the website directly. Be warned: it does require your Spotify log-in. 

The Icebergify website was developed by Akshay Raj, a freshman studying Computer & Data Science at Rice University. He says he has no plans to monetize the site or use the data collected — which is limited to your username, Spotify account ID and the top 50 tracks and artists listened to over the past few years. 

How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Icebergify takes your most listened to artists and sorts them according to popularity rankings. Streams, shares, saves, likes, and followers are all taken into account. This is why Beyonce might be at the top of your iceberg, but lesser known artists are at the bottom, beneath the ocean. Also worth noting: It seems like Icebergify is being flooded due to its surprising popularity. Head back later if it doesn’t immediately work.





Source link

#Tech News

Continue Reading

Tech

Apple’s First Mixed-Reality Headset May Sport New M2 Processor

Published

on


Apple’s first mixed-reality headset could come with the company’s flagship M2 processor, just one of the “deluge” of new products the company is expected to unveil in the next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Sunday.

The M2, unveiled in June, features redesigned central processing units and a significant memory increase, which would provide a significant boost to the much-rumored headset over the previous M1 chip.

The much-rumored headset incorporating both virtual and augmented reality environments is expected to provide a boon to the gaming industry. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier week that the headset — expected to be announced in January 2023 — would be the most complicated product Apple has designed yet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about his excitement about AR. Earlier this week, he explained that the tech industry is still in the “very early innings” of this technology’s possibilities.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer,” Cook told China Daily.

Other products Gurman expects to debut in the next 12 months include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod, and an upgraded Apple TV. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read moreApple AR, VR Headset Rumors: WWDC, Release Rumors, M1 Chip and More



Source link

#Tech News

Continue Reading

Trending