Can you use Apple's Smart Keyboard with the iPad Air (2019)?
Best answer: The 2019 iPad Air has a smart connector, which lets you use the Smart Keyboard cover. In fact, it uses the same Smart Keyboard as the 10.5-inch iPad Pro from 2017.Get the keyboard: Apple Smart Keyboard (10.5-inch iPads) (opens in new tab) ($143)Get the iPad Air: iPad Air (3rd generation) (opens in new tab) ($499 at B&H Photo)
The same Smart Keyboard that works with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will work with the new iPad Air
The iPad Air (2019) is Apple's latest mid-range tablet, with a 10.5-inch display and a smart connector. Both of these factors enable the tablet to use the same Smart Keyboard cover as the 10.5-inch iPad Pro from 2017. In fact, on Apple's website (opens in new tab), the company now refers to the cover as the "Smart Keyboard for iPad Air," though it's compatibility is listed for both the iPad Air and iPad Pro.
What is the Smart Keyboard?
The Smart Keyboard, not to be confused with the similar but technically distinct Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2018 iPad Pros, is a cover for the iPad Air with a built-in keyboard. This cover also utilizes Apple's smart connector, first introduced with the 2015 iPad Pro, a three-contact connector that passes both power and data between the iPad and the keyboard. The connector allows the keyboard to connect to the iPad without a pairing processes, so you can just connect and start using it.
The smart connector also means that the keyboard doesn't need a battery of its own, with the iPad Air providing all of the power that the keyboard needs. This way, you'll never need to charge the cover, and it'll always be ready to go when you need it.
Type to your heart's content on the Smart Keyboard, no pairing required.
Apple's Smart Keyboard attaches to your iPad Air using the smart connector, letting you use it with your iPad without pairing. It also doesn't need a battery of its own, instead drawing what little power it needs from the iPad.
The mid-range tablet with Smart Keyboard support.
The third-generation iPad Air features the laminated 10.5-inch display of the 2017 iPad Pro and is powered by Apple's custom A12 system on a chip, which also powers the latest generation of iPhones. It's got a smart connector for use with the Smart Keyboard, and also supports the original Apple Pencil.
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Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.
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