Lately I have had conversations with a couple friends after I expressed
rage frustration at how quickly my Apple Wireless Keyboard chews through a pair of Eneloop AA's1. Naturally, once I began to resent one thing, I began to notice the rest of its flaws compared to the modern state of other Bluetooth keyboards. What follows are my gripes with the Apple Wireless Keyboard, and how they should be fixed.
Tim Cook, if you're reading, I would give my kingdom for this keyboard.
AA's, while fairly universal, are ridiculous in this day & age of Apple devices. The iPad and the MacBook Air get amazing battery life. I'd like to see Apple bring their expertise in battery tech to their peripherals. Ditch the tube shape on the back that holds batteries, and go to a MacBook Air-like wedge shape with a good sized internal battery. Recharge it via a Lightning cable when needed, and have it still usable while plugged into your Mac.
Also, I imagine moving to Bluetooth 4 would help with energy usage, and every new Apple device in the past couple years has come equipped with that.
If you've been paying attention to any of Apple's portable Macs in the last few years, you'd know that the white keys of the Apple Wireless Keyboard look like a turd compared to the elegant black keys of portable Macs. Can you imagine how mismatched this keyboard looks next to the new Mac Pro?
Another thing Apple could borrow from the MacBook line is backlit keys. My proposed wedge shape, which could accommodate a nicely sized rechargeable battery, with a more energy efficient Bluetooth 4, could hopefully handle powering backlit keys. It's darn near 2014, it is time to have black, backlit keys on a wireless keyboard.
Easy to Use Multiple Device Support
The Logitech K811 keyboard is almost the keyboard of my dreams, except it is a little on the ugly side with that black stripe across the top. It has black, backlit keys, an internal rechargeable battery (but over the sucky micro-USB), and this amazing ability to switch between a Mac, iPhone, & iPad with the press of a button. They call it EasySwitch for a reason.
When one of Apple's main goals is to get you to own a Mac, iPhone, & iPad, they should be selling a keyboard that gives extremely low friction in using it with all three devices.
There are some really great keyboards out there that are close to my dream keyboard, the aforelinked Logitech K811 being the closest, save for being a bit on the ugly side. I want Apple to step into this decade of technology with their keyboard, and utilize many of the technologies they've been pushing forward.
So let's recap what the next Apple Keyboard should be like.
- Wedge shape, like the MacBook Air
- Good-sized internal battery
- Lightning port for recharging from an outlet or Mac.
- Bluetooth 4
- Black keys
- Backlit keys
- Ability to switch quickly and easily between Mac, iPhone, & iPad.
And hey, while we're at it, let's update the Magic Trackpad with the wedge shape, internal battery, Lightning port, and Bluetooth 4.
Again, I'd give my kingdom for peripherals like this.
It is widely believed Apple uses relabeled Eneloops for their rechargeable battery kit. ↩