Logitech Create's dastardly key-dropping issue fixed in iOS 9.3 beta 2

When I picked up my iPad Pro last November, I went with Logitech's Create Smart Connector (opens in new tab) keyboard: I liked Apple's option, but the Create's function row and backlit keyboard won me over. Unfortunately, with the release of iOS 9.2, a strange thing occurred: the Create stopped being able to communicate properly with the iPad Pro.

This drove me crazy — because when it was working, Logitech's keyboard was my favorite typing experience ever with an iPad. A full-scale keyboard, backlit keys, function keys — even the somewhat-clunky casing and single-screen position for the iPad Pro was overshadowed by great keyboard performance.

But after 9.2, when I connected the keyboard to the iPad, I suddenly felt like I was typing in molasses — the Create would drop keys, repeat keys randomly, get stuck in CAPS LOCK mode, or stop working entirely for a moment or two while iOS caught up.

I wasn't the only one with this problem, either. Dozens of Logitech Create owners{.nofollow} found the same issues upon updating to iOS 9.2; something in the operating system had screwed up the keyboard's firmware.

I continued to use the iPad Pro as my primary computer throughout this ordeal, but often ended up typing virtually. I tried turning off automatic suggestions, switching my software keyboard layouts, and a whole bunch of other nonsense, all to no effect. I even debated going to pick up an Apple-built iPad Pro keyboard, but there were none available from my local store.

Now, at last, this issue has been resolved — at least for those on the public beta. After updating to the second beta of iOS 9.3, connecting the Create will prompt you to download a firmware update; after the download, Logitech's hardware keyboard is back and better than ever.

Ignoring the the customer base

I'm a little irked it took Logitech so long to resolve the issue — almost two months since the keyboard's release — but I imagine a large part has to do with customer base. The iPad Pro has yet to have any huge sales numbers announced, and I suspect only a fraction of Pro users own the Create keyboard. Given Logitech's vast array of other keyboards, mice, and Bluetooth accessories, I wouldn't be surprised if the Create's functionality (or lack thereof) was far down on their priority list.

But it certainly doesn't help sell iPad Pros when one of the few Smart Connector accessories was depressingly sporadic out of the box. If I hadn't experienced the Create pre-iOS 9.2, I would have assumed the keyboard (or the iPad) was buggy and useless, and likely returned one or both.

Apple and Logitech have almost surely lost sales because of this issue, and — thanks to both companies ignoring the issue outside of the occasional tweet until it was fixed — probably irked some potentially loyal customers, too. No one wants to buy an $1000 tablet and a $150 keyboard only to find out that the accessory has a serious software bug that prevents it from working like a keyboard should.

With luck, however, Logitech and Apple have learned from their stumbles. The iPad Pro is still, after all, a very new computer — and there are always going to be bugs to shake out in version one. I just hope the next nasty bug we run across gets taken care of with a bit more speed; if Apple truly wants the iPad Pro in offices and other professional uses, firmware updates can't take 2+ months to arrive.

Serenity Caldwell

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.

  • I'm so glad this got fixed before I bought my iPad Pro and Create keyboard. I'd be so ticked off if I had to deal with this issue. Thanks Serenity. :)
  • Glad this is fixed! Huge pain in the ****. When I hooked he keyboard back up after the update it downloaded a software update for my accessory or something. I'm guessing this was the fix it needed. Sent from the iMore App
  • Apple actually fixed a problem?! Wow. Now can they fix the USB connection issue between my $600 iPad and $2000 iMac?
    How about the new Podcast app? - full screen on iPad and random crashing on iPhone (brand new restore).
    Etc etc etc. Sent from the iMore App
  • Oh yeah, and how about the atrocious network connectivity to other computers or servers over AFP, SMB & FTP?! (Even over 1000b/t Ethernet or 1300Mb/s AC Wi-Fi) TimeMachine backups at 50kb/s is grounds for execution.
  • Get a Zagg. I tried the Apple keyboard as well as the Create, but stuck with the Zagg Slim Book. Best of the 3. Sent from the iMore App
  • I just looked at Zagg's offerings. One is a universal keyboard+ stand, and then the Slim Book.
    Which do you use?
    The "Slim" Book looks very functional, but very bulky. Also, it connects via Bluetooth, instead of the Smart Connector. Seems like a waste, I wonder why they didn't use the SC?
  • As I stated, I use the Slim Book. Here's my post on the subject in the forums: http://forums.imore.com/ipad-pro/352395-logitech-create-keyboard-case-vs... The Slim Book does add bulk and weight. It's basically like carrying a Apple Laptop, so if you're looking for keeping the iPad Pro as light as possible, it's not for you. The Smart Connector vs. Bluetooth issue is a non-issue. Bluetooth works fine. There's a pro review link in my post for more on that, too. Good luck!
  • I've had the Zagg folio for my iPad Air for years. It has had bluetooth connectivity issues since iOS 9.0! Zags customer service acknowledges the problem but don't predict a fix anytime soon. Of course they say it is Apple's fault. Their only solution is to send a replacement - which has the same problem. I'm not inclined to buy another Zagg keyboard anytime soon.
  • As I said, I've had no issues with the bluetooth connectivity with my Zagg Slim Book and iPad Pro.
  • I use an Apple Wireless Keyboard with my iPad Air 2 and have had the repeating-keys-randomly problem since iOS 8.4 and the Cap Locks problem in iOS 9.2.
  • This is very interesting, actually! I recently purchased an iPad Pro last week and went with the Logitech CREATE because there were no Apple Smart Keyboards in stock anywhere in my state. Bought the set up to take notes on in class and honestly it was as atrocious as you're describing. Thankfully, the Smart Keyboard came in stock at my local Apple Store a few days later, so I purchased it and returned the CREATE. I don't Love the Smart Keyboard, but at the very least it does its most basic function. I don't like it's lack of backlit keys, I don't like the omission of the iOS-specific short key key row. I sure as heck don;'t like the design of the thing, and I think it's utility as a Smart Cover with the keyboard flipped in the back is pathetic. It's an objectively poor product from Apple, but it does satisfy the bare minimum. While I am not thrilled with the size/bulk of the CREATE, there was a lot to like about it, in theory. However, in practice it was rendered absolutely unusuable.
  • Yeah, this was a big issue for me as a potential iPP buyer. Glad to see it was fixable.
  • I had the same thing happen with my iPad Air 2 and its keyboard cover, but the problem is still not resolved. No bluetooth connection. Don't have the 9.3 Beta, however. Hope that does it. We're (my wife and I) are seeing more and more of this kind of thing with Apple products. Seemed to start or get worse when iOS 7 came out, and it hasn't stopped.
  • When does this update come out or is it only with iOS 9.3?
  • I noticed you called Logitech out on this when in fact it is Apple that broke the communication between the two devices. Apple change their protocol and then the keyboard stopped working. Logitech can only inform Apple of the problem and hope that Apple pushes out a fix. The fact that there is no fix in the current version of the OS and you have to install a beta version to correct the problem, is very disconcerting and smacks of more Apple using their exclusive iOS API to make or break a device. I am assuming their keyboard continued to work properly (but it appears that is not the case from one commenter), if not then again it is the ongoing problems with software testing (which could be very valid since a number of the testers & test writers are contract workers in constantly rotating door). As a developer of a yet to be announced product, we have run into a number of issues with things breaking or just not working up to their potential in iOS. I am also still scratching my head on all the issues still in SceneKit, like it was just another half-baked or abandoned project from Apple. One of the reasons we are seriously looking our own build of Android 6.01 for our needs.
  • Thank so much for writing and your experience. I have noticed the same problem with my iPad when it is connected to the Bluetooth keyword. It gets stuck on caps. So I just end up turning off Bluetooth keyword and use the on screen keyword instead.
  • I bought for my father in law the iPad Pro 12" as a replacement for his older 9" iPad. And I bought the Create keyboard. I updated the iPad Pro to iOS10 and everything works fine. But afrer a couple of minutes the Create keyboard drops out. A kind of sleep mode. We had to reconnect the keyboard to get the key get on working again. This happend a couple of time so I am afraid that this 84 yeaes old man has an irritating problem. Does anybody if this is an iOS 10 issue or is there something else that troubles the communication between Create and iPad?