The Apple iPad is a wonderful machine, but the default virtual keyboard makes word processing–at least for this writer–a bit tedious. Talk about non-ergonomic! There are a number of Bluetooth enabled keyboards out there that web talk says will work on the iPad, but knowing how difficult Apple can make it on non-Apple hardware, I decided on the Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad made by Apple.
This was not the one in the package marked as an iPad keyboard bluetooth enabled containing the dock; this was the older wireless number. The dock works well enough but it makes for an awkward package in your briefcase and I like to move the keyboard around without attachments…why else use a wireless keyboard? Besides, the price was the same.
But one question worried me: Would the virtual keyboard still appear when the Bluetooth keyboard was attached? If it did, it would make for an awkward appearing redundancy and still continue to block out and darken the screen. When asked, two of the Apple specialists at the local BestBuy could not answer the question. A stupid question? Ah, but then this writer harkens back to a time when cursive was still king!
And the answer is… No, it will not appear unless you hit the special key on the Bluetooth keyboard for iPad. The Bluetooth keyboard is smaller than usual and takes some getting used to, but is still head and shoulders better for typing of any volume than the one that appears when summoned on the iPad screen.
There are other issues, of course. Google Docs didn’t want to cooperate with the keyboard and I will probably have to purchase an application specially made for the iPad whether I like it or not. But the answer to the question posed by the title is, yes, the Apple wireless keyboard does replace the virtual default keyboard on the iPad. And, even more important, it is a pleasure to use.