Brydge has announced a new firmware update for the Pro Plus iPad keyboards that promises to greatly improve the trackpad experience. The update brings “native” multitouch to the trackpad, which means you can use the same type of multi-finger gestures on a Brydge device as Apple’s own Magic Keyboard.
Brydge Pro Plus was subjected to unfortunate timing. It was originally announced as a power utility product designed to support Apple’s experimental cursor function, but then Apple turned it into a consumer level with iOS 13.4 and released its own keyboard / trackpad accessory, the expensive but excellent Magic Keyboard. At launch, the Pro Plus trackpad was usable for basic tasks, but it did not have full gesture support and could not compete with the smoothness of Apple̵
I’ve spent a few days with a beta version of Bridge’s new firmware using the company’s keyboard designed for the 11-inch iPad, and the news is so good. Although the trackpad on this model is quite small, and its lever mechanism means that there is not much room to click, the cursor movement is much smoother and movements work well. For example, you can swipe between apps with three fingers, or swipe up to get to the multitasking interface. Easy scrolling with two fingers is also much better, and works at the steady speed that you expect in different apps.
I have to test Pro Plus’ new firmware further before I give a final verdict, but my first impressions are positive. Pro Plus looks like it will soon be a much more viable product than it was at the original launch, especially since Brydge sells it today; The 12.9-inch model gets a reduction of $ 60 to $ 169.99, while the 11-inch version is available for a $ 40 discount of $ 159.99.
Brydge also announces a new iPad keyboard with trackpad, the first product to come out of a collaboration with OtterBox that was announced last year. 10.2 Max Plus is designed for seventh and eighth generation iPads with 10.2-inch screens, and includes a removable case that Brydge says provides 4-foot fall protection. It ships in late March and will be available for pre-order today for $ 129.99.
If you already have a Pro Plus keyboard, Brydge opens registrations for a public beta of the new firmware. You can register here; The site notes that the firmware will require an iPad running Apple’s public beta of iPadOS 14.5. The program starts on March 3, but 500 users will have earlier access on February 24.