Does the new iPad Pro (2018) work with your old Smart Keyboard?

How to transfer data from your old iPad to your new iPad
How to transfer data from your old iPad to your new iPad (Image credit: iMore)

Does the new iPad Pro (2018) work with your old Smart Keyboard?

Best answer: No, you're old Smart Keyboard won't work with the new 2018 iPad Pros. Not only is the design different, but the smart connectors are in a different location. If you still want a Smart Keyboard for your new iPad Pro, you'll need to pick up a new one.B&H: Smart Keyboard Folio ($179)

Different form factor

Anyway you slice it, the new iPad Pro models just won't work with any of the old accessories. The new design has made the measurements of the iPad Pro (even the 12.9-inch) different than their older conter parts. The casing size of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is significantly smaller than it's predecessor, measuring 11.04 inches long by 8.46 inches wide, compared to the 12 X 8.68 inches of the previous model. The 11-inch iPad Pro measures 9.74 inches long by 7.02 inches wide, compared to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which measures 9.8 X 6.8 inches.

Size is not the only thing that matters here. The Smart Connector that attachs the keyboard to the iPad Pro has change locations. The new models have the Smart Connector on the back of the iPad near the charging port, so even if your old keyboard did fit (which it doesn't), it wouldn't be able to connect properly. Even a stand-alone smart keyboard (that wouldn't necessarily need a specific case size) is probably not going to work with the new iPad Pro because of that Smart Connector relocation.

New accessories

While your old Smart Keyboard won't work with your new iPad Pro, Apple did make a new version of the accessory called the Smart Keyboard Folio. It's designed to work with the new iPad's, and it's not just a keyboard, but also a slim case that covers the back of your iPad Pro. You can get the Smart Keyboard Folio for the 11-inch or 12.9-inch iPad Pro for $179 or $199 respectively.

Third-party case makers are already on the move. Likely, by the time the holiday shopping season begins, we'll see a handful of Smart Connector supported keyboard cases that are designed for the 2018 iPad Pro from our favorite brands (we're looking at you, Logitech).

In the meantime, Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio is the perfect keyboard companion for the new iPad Pro.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.