Senior’s iPad Keyboard


Senior’s iPad Keyboard: a reader asks…

Ok, so I’ve got my elder parents a new 5th generation iPad to replace their old Macbook. got it all setup for them and it’s all great except they are having trouble with the touch keyboard. Are there any good add-on physical keyboards that would be good for them?

There are several excellent keyboards on the market. Since they’ve used a Mac keyboard before, I’d suggest you get them one that’s closest to what they’re used to. I find that to be the Brydge 9.7 (get it here: It costs about $110 US. Here’s why I like it better than others:

  1. It slides onto the iPad and remains with it, turning the iPad into the same form as the Macbook. Close the lid and the iPad goes to sleep. Open the lid and the iPad wakes up. The keyboard also serves as a screen protector (from drops and bumps).
  2. brydge-keyboard-layoutThe keyboard layout is very Mac-like, both in where the various control buttons are and in the chicklet-style keys that are very similar to the Macbook.
  3. There is plenty of surface to make a few arrow stickers to point to keys on the keyboard for special functions, like the microphone button at bottom-left to let them dictate, and the power button at top-right to put the iPad to sleep (without shutting the lid). I like the Brother P-Touch label makers for this, as I can make any size labels I want and cut them to point towards the most-used keys.

The goal here is to not subject your parents to a lot of change all at once. Just switching from the Macbook to the iPad is a huge adjustment for them, and you want to keep them on familiar ground as much as possible. When I give deskside coaching, I will often tell folks the new function and compare it to what they used to do on the old computer, to help them bridge the learning gap. You can help them best by pointing out how similar the new function/feature is to how they did it the old way. The Brydge 9.7 keyboard will be much more familiar to them, hence easier to use.

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