Support for PC keyboards coming to iPad
What you need to know
- You can now remap modifier keys in iPadOS.
- The feature was spotted in the new beta for iPad 13.4.
- It means you'll be able to reassign modifier keys like Caps Lock, Option and Command.
The iPadOS 13.4 beta includes settings to remap modifier keys, signaling that you'll soon be able to properly use PC keyboards with the iPad.
The feature was spotted on Twitter by a couple of users following the release of the iPadOS 13.4:
Hello hardware modifier key remapping — this seems new in iPadOS 13.4? pic.twitter.com/sGUhXJFFOZHello hardware modifier key remapping — this seems new in iPadOS 13.4? pic.twitter.com/sGUhXJFFOZ— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) February 5, 2020February 5, 2020
Previously, only Mac or iPad keyboards have really worked with the iPad, because keys like Option and Command couldn't be remapped. On a PC keyboard, this would mean they were the wrong way round.
Now, in the Settings App on the new iPadOS beta, you can head to General, Keyboard and then Hardware Keyboard. You'll see a new option called 'Modifier Keys', which is only available if you've got a keyboard plugged in.
Within that field, you can select five modifier keys, including Caps Lock, Control, Option, Command, and even the loathsome Globe key. Once you've selected one of the keys, you can change which function it performs. The options aren't massive, you can choose to reassign from one of the other options, swapping keys around, or you can add the escape function. You can also assign 'No Action' if you just want to disable a key.
This is great for two reasons. First, you'll be able to reassign keys on any keyboard to your liking. Secondly, you'll be able to use any compatible PC keyboard with your iPad and customize the Option and Command keys accordingly.
As mentioned, this feature is present in the latest iPadOS beta, so it's not available to the general public just yet. However, it will likely make its way to the public build of iPadOS in the next few weeks.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9