With introduction of 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the software keyboard was totally reworked. You no longer need switch between characters and special keys like “/ ( % =” or even numbers. Now we have full computer keyboard with keys like tab. But this keyboard is only available on big iPad Pro, smaller iPads still use that old annoying keyboard, which I personally hate. But hopefully, in iOS 8 and later we can use 3rd party keyboards. The best computer-like keyboard I found was ProType by NCODX. This article is little old, originally written on iPad Air 2 with mentioned ProType keyboard, but I still think it’s useful if you are finding better keyboard experience on older iPads.
How to install 3rd party keyboards?
First, you need download keyboard app from App Store. Then go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Keyboards -> Add New Keyboard and find ProType. Then, when you are typing text, you can switch between keyboards via switch button (it has Earth icon) in bottom-left area of keyboard. You can even disable built-in keyboard and use ProType as the only keyboard layout.
And now, welcome ProType!
See? Real computer keyboard for iPad! You can use arrows to move cursor in text, and option to move text cursor via swipping your finger on spacebar is available too, just press Settings button at the bottom-left corner.
Now look at special keys, how it looks. You need to press switcher, which is located at the bottom-left area between icons of mentioned Settings and Earth.
After typing special character, ProType turns you back to “normal” character board. I’m from Slovakia, so I used czech layout, because slovak layout was not available and czech layout from our czech brothers is closest to slovak. If you want to write with diacritic and you are missing needed character, like “ň” on czech layout, use diacritic sign (red characters on keyboard, the top one can be choosen via Shift, like on classic computer keyboard) and then type needed character, like “n”. Some other diacritic options may be at “special” tab, like ^ and °.
Some apps add extra row of special button, like Pages. Don’t worry, it works. Just see:
Unfortunately, you can’t use trackpad feature with ProType.
ProType is simple amazing keyboard for older iPads. If you are typing a lot on your iPad, ProType is great solution. Please note, that ProType only works with iPads, iPhones and iPods touch are not supported. Of course, you can use ProType on iPad Pro too, but don’t forget that this keyboard is little larger and you will have lesser space for content on screen in compare to built-in keyboard.
You can download reviewed app(s) here: