I figured out something that was a bit unintuitive. I have an Apple Wireless Bluetooth keyboard paired with a Mac. I wanted to see if it works on my iPad. I went to Bluetooth->Disconnect on the Mac and the keyboard showed up in the iPad Bluetooth discovery screen but it wouldn’t pair.

I just happened to find a method to get this working:

  • Select disconnect on the Mac.
  • Turn off bluetooth completely on the Mac.
  • Hold down the power button on the keyboard to turn it off.
  • Press the power button once on the keyboard to turn it on.
  • The keyboard will show up in the iPad bluetooth list as before but now when you click it, the keyboard light will start flashing as it pairs.
  • The iPad will tell you to type a code and enter.
  • Good to go!</p>

It works for text areas in the browser and email windows. The on-screen keyboard doesn’t appear. It’s way faster to enter a blog post like this (hehe). It doesn’t seem to work for navigating menus (with the arrow keys or anything). Think of it as a replacement for the on screen keyboard.

Also, be aware that you do have to unpair with the computer. Pairing means 1-to-1. Not 1-to-many. This is how bluetooth (even on PC) works unfortunately. If you want to broadcast keyboard strokes out to many computers you’ll have to use something like VNC. Unfortunately there isn’t a VNC server that I know of for the iPad yet (if ever). The iPhone versions of VNC require you to jailbreak your phone which can be a pain if you like “quick and easy”. I rarely use my bluetooth keyboard on my media center so I didn’t buy a second one. Your mileage may vary.

Hope this helps someone! Post a comment if it did.