Experiences with editting text on iOS with a bluetooth keyboard?

iOS & iPadOS

Hi all,

I'm considering getting a bluetooth keyboard to use with my iPhone and hopefully a PC a bit later down the line. Thanks to an excellent review here, I'm thinking the keys to go keyboard from logitech might be the way to go for me. Too bad I can't get my hands on one to see it first though.

It looks like it is a lot easier to edit text with a BT keyboard than with a Braille display because once you are in an edit field, you can use regular mac-like commands to move the cursor, provided of course that you don't have quick nav turned on. I went to my college's bookstore the other day and tested this with a sample document in Pages on their demo iPad Pro since it has the smart keyboard (although I really hate it lol). I was able to use all the familiar commands to move by word, line etc. that I know from macos. I can't seem to find a way to do it with my Braille display though since it always acts like quick nav is on.

A regular BT keyboard would, at least in theory, make it easier to do longer writing on my iPHone without having to cary around my MacBook. Obviously spell checking is quirky for now, but it could probably work.

Any thoughts?



Submitted by Remy on Friday, May 19, 2017

I say that to let you know I do a lot of writing, and some of that is on my Iphone/Ipad. I've only used a regular Bluetooth keyboard, but it is a great deal easier than on a Braille Display. The only issues I've run into are when writing in either Pages or Word. There's really no way to reliably jump around in document sections. SO if you're at the beginning of a chapter, and you want to go ten or so paragraphs in, it's not the most intuitive. There is a command to read by paragraph, but it works about as often as it doesn't for me. Often it will skip past whole paragraphs. Aside from that though, typing is responsive, Selecting text is very easy, and the whole experience is just so much better. Hopefully others have more positive thoughts, as I'd love to find out I'm really missing something.

Submitted by Morgan Watkins on Saturday, May 20, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

A few thoughts:

I own several of the Keys-To-Go keyboards. I have bought and tried other makes and models and still prefer the Logitech Keys-To-Go. I keep one next to my easy chair, one in our car and one next to the bed. It only pairs to one device at a time, which works out for me as I do all my writing on my iPhone. Do make sure that you order the model that is specific to the iPhone and iPad.

Text editing with a BlueTooth keyboard is pretty good on an iPhone, but there are some irritating difficulties which you may find. Prior to iOS 9, if memory serves, all of the documented iOS text editing shortcuts for BlueTooth keyboards worked very well. Then, several of them broke and have not been fully addressed by Apple. I have reported them to Apple in the past. Once you get used to those short-comings, and discover work-arounds, you can still get real work done.

I tend to use Voice Dream Writer, in part, because of the delightful spell checking feature. I continue to look for even better text processors for my iPhone and Keys-To-Go keyboard. Perhaps, some day, all the little hiccups will be addressed and the writing experience will become even smoother.

Submitted by Remy on Saturday, May 20, 2017

I really like voice dream writer as well. The only problem I have with it comes when you want to work on a project on multiple devices. If I want to move from my PC to voice stream writer, I can't. Until they allow for the import of Microsoft Word and similar formats, they are unfortunately useless to me. Which is unfortunate because I really like their interface.

Submitted by John Farina on Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hello all,
I have used a bluetooth keyboard to edit text on an iOs device, and also have helped students to learn this process. One thing to be aware of is that if you for instance are using google docs as a part of a classroom experience for sharing documents, editing using a bluetooth keyboard can be problematic. I have a logitech k760 keyboard and can not edit within google docs. One of my students can do this with the keyboard attached to her iPad pro's folio case. If you need to use google docs and are thinking of a keyboard you might do well to try before you buy.