iPad Pro Smart Keyboard issues are still troubling users
Last year, an internal Apple memo got leaked, revealing a newly launched extended repair program for iPad Pro Smart Keyboard units plagued with functional issues. As part of the program – which covered Smart Keyboard for both 9.7-inch (early 2016) and 12.9-inch (late 2015) iPad Pro models – Apple said it would offer repair/replacements free of charge.
That made it seem the matter has been settled, and nobody from the tech media apparently pursued it any further. We at PiunikaWeb did a bit of digging recently and were surprised to find that there’s more to this story. What came to light is that even most of the replaced units have had the same issues, and some of the problems (especially connection issues) affect Smart Keyboard for last year’s iPad Pro 10.5/12.9 inch models as well, which were never added to the extended repair program by Apple.
Let’s talk about these case by case.
Replacement/repair didn’t resolve problem
Most users confirm they were indeed offered Smart Keyboard replacements under the program, but sadly, that didn’t resolve the issue. Apple Support seems to be clueless, as several users say they were even offered iPad replacements, but that didn’t work as well. Following are complaints form some of those who faced connection glitches even with the replaced units:
I had my 2015 iPad Pro 12.9’s ASK replaced under this program, and now my iPad Pro is rejecting the replacement keyboard
Funny, I had the keyboard cover for my 9.7 giving a lot of connectivity issues. 2 weeks before the 1 year warranty was up (in March, few months before this supposed program) I brought it in and they gave me a new one. Now the new keyboard is starting to exhibit the same problem
It did occur to me with iOS 10 back in May of 2017. At that time they replaced the keyboard. The problem became consistent with iOS 11. And receiving a third keyboard didn’t solve anything
Just had my Apple smart keyboard replaced 2 days ago under the extended warranty and I and still getting the intermittent issue of the keyboard not responding. Although this time I am not getting the not supported accessory message, it just fails to type and the onscreen keyboard is displayed. If I lift the Ipad away from the keyboard while it’s still connected and place it back down onto the keyboard it will work again
I have this problem as well. My iPad Pro is about 20 months old as is the keyboard. No problems until the last month or so, then failing to connect, not being recognized etc. I contacted Apple support and was eventually told to go to my dealer – which I did and to be fair they gave me a new keyboard with no quibbles. Only problem is that although the new keyboard is recognized, it is very unstable in that it keeps disconnecting then reconnecting. Detaching and re-attaching the keyboard seems to work, but nothing completely solves the problem. in addition when the iPad is in my bag it will go into a cycle of disconnecting and reconnecting (I realized this when I could here the “chime” noise you get when you plug in the power source going off over and over again – and this is draining the iPad battery
Hi everyone, I’ve had my iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard for 18 months… since updating ios11…my Smart Keyboard was working on and off, went to Apple Sydney, they changed it…the new one worked for the first day, then stopped working, ….went back in, they gave me a new one and we tested it before leaving Apple store, it worked fine….the next day….it’s stopped working again! I‘m pretty sure it’s got to be the new ios11 system?!…Can’t see how 4 smart keyboards, with a different batch number on them, would be the issue….Apple really needs to get this sorted and get to the root of the problem because my next option offered to me is to replace the iPad Pro, and I don’t want to have to do that, though I’m covered under Apple care
Sadly, there are some cases where users were not even provided replacements, saying there was no such known extended warranty program. The following experiences were shared by users months after the leak revealing launch of the warranty extension program:
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but has anyone confirmed this policy? I just went to the Apple Store because my 12.9 keyboard won’t connect (says accessory not supported). They said it is out of the one year warranty and I just have to buy a new one. Asked specifically about the 3 year replacement and they said that doesn’t exist
This post just saved me the cost of a repair or new keyboard. My warranty expired a little over a month ago. I went to Apple’s support app and the first person told me that she could help me set up a repair and it wouldn’t be covered. I asked her about the 3 year replacement and she didn’t know anything about it. It’s not posted under their official guidelines. I sent her the link to this page and was immediately routed to a senior member who quickly and without hesitation set up a free replacement sight unseen and extended the warranty on the new one an additional 90 days. They are shipping me a new one with a hold on my credit card and when I send mine back they are removing the hold
I went to apple store in California in March 2017 with TWO keyboards experiencing problems described in this thread. ONE was purchased in Japan and the other in california. Only the california purchased keyboard had become unusable. At the apple store, they denied any issues existed and because I had bought it 13 months prior, that it was out of warranty. Now the Japan purchased keyboard is also malfunctioning. I was about to buy a logitech product and saw that apple has finally recognized an issue and has a ‘program’ to fix it ( http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/05/08/apple-offers-free-ipad-pro-smart-keybo ard-repairs-in-wake-of-functional-issues ) as long as it is within 3 years. Just 5 minutes ago I got off the phone with “nathan” a “senior manager” on the phone support. He declared that they do NOT currently have a program and that they will only deal with issues if it was within 12 months of purchase (i.e. the warranty). I highlighted the websites and this forum to them and they said that they do not acknowledge any issues
Similar issues with 2017 models as well
Moving on, while the memo only talked about 9.7 and 12.9 inch iPad Pros from 2016 and 2015 respectively, if you take a look at Apple’s help forums, even those with Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro 12.9″ or 10.5” (2017 models) have also been complaining about similar, connection-related issues.
Following are a few user comments explaining the problem with iPad Pro 10.5″ Smart Keyboards:
I have an ipad pro 10.5 with the smart keyboard that is only 3 ish months old. Ever since i started coming to my new college, the keyboard would quit working at random times and i could not figure out why. I brought it to my apple store and they replaced the keyboard no questions asked. The new keyboard worked until two days later when i got to school and tried to use it. I’ve realized over time now that the keyboard only stops working when i’m at school and connect to my schools wifi network. It’s really annoying because i have to restart my device after connecting to the wifi just to get the keyboard to work
Yes, the problem arises on my iPad 10.5-inch as well. It happens when I turn on the iPad and then connect to a wifi network. Before connecting to the wifi network, the keyboard works fine. After I connect, the keyboard stops responding to keystrokes, although the iPad does recognize that the keyboard is connected. Seems like it must be some sort of software issue. Apple should fix it!
I have a new iPad Pro 10.5 and Smart Keyboard bought at the end of October, all was well to start but I’m getting same keyboard problems – had to reboot to type this. I find switching apps can cause the issue – so, for example, working in Mail then switch over to Pages or Numbers and I have to revert to on screen keyboard or reboot. Doesn’t happen all the time but often enough to be very frustrating, especially if in a meeting like last week where I had to reboot three times!
I have verified this bug to be true, it is consistent and repeatable – whenever you must log in to a WiFi network, even if the Smart Keyboard is removed from the iPad and the login is accomplished with the on-screen keyboard, the Smart Keyboard then mated with the iPad 10.5, for some reason, in iOS 11 through 11.2.5, the Smart Keyboard will become disabled, requiring a restart to be recognized again
I’m experiencing this as well on my 10.5″ ipad pro and smart keyboard. However, my problem is slightly different. I’m seeing this issue on my home wifi. Just out of the blue, the keyboard will stop responding, even cntl+tab doesn’t work. I have to reboot my ipad by holding down the power + home key to bring it back. This is happening a couple times a day now
This is a long standing issue for me. i previously had the 10” iPad with the previous keyboard. On all versions of the iOS i had this same problem. The keyboard would work and then just stop working. the only way get to it working was to reboot. Then i bought the iPad Pro 10.5 and the new smart keyboard. i had the same issue, before and after iOS 11. i went to the genius bar and had them replace my Smart Keyboard. i have the exact same issue. Nothing helps except rebooting the iPad
I recently upgraded to iOS11 on my 10.5 IPP, and am now running into an issue that seems to be occurring quite frequently. The keyboard will just decide to stop working, and when this occurs, it occurs in all apps. I have tried troubleshooting it by popping it off the smart connector, force closing the apps its not working on, etc. etc. but still no fix. The only way I am able to get it working is to restart the iPad
I’ve been meaning to save this for a blog post, but I’ve bought another 10.5” iPad Pro – worth bringing up because I keep having issues with connection the Smart Keyboard in certain apps.
— Michael Ouzounian (@michaelouz) February 8, 2018
With iPad Pro 12.9″ Smart Keyboards:
I see this is a 6 month old post, but I can vouch for the fact that the Smart Keyboard still has issues as of Nov. 22. I bought one with my new iPad Pro 12.9 a few weeks ago that works perfectly, so recommended a similar setup with a friend, who just purchased her iPad Pro 12.9 and Smart Keyboard five days ago. Her keyboard bounced when in typing position, enough to inhibit efficient typing, so we took it back for an exchange this morning. The new one not only bounced, but could not be detected by her iPad at all. I tried my Smart Keyboard with her iPad, and it connected and did not bounce, but certain keys (like an “m”) produced bad characters (typing an “m” produced “,” comma). When I reconnected my Smart Keyboard to my iPad, it worked flawlessly with no bounce, as it had previously. So, there is an issue not only with her faulty keyboard, but with her iPad not correctly connecting to a good keyboard – these were all identical models of iPad Pro 12.9 and same Smart Keyboards. I did a search on this and came up with this site’s link as well as several others. We have set up an appt. with the Apple Store from which she made her purchases for resolution. We’ll see. My Pro and keyboard (which work fine) came from a different Apple Store, making me think the one she visited had a slew of bad deliveries of the products
I have an iPad Pro 12.9, with keyboard, purchased in December. I have just had the opportunity of trying a switch with someone who has an identical setup, purchased last September and who has never seen the problem. So trying their keyboard with my iPad and their iPad with my keyboard. Results were conclusive. The problem is hardware in my case. Problem gone, on my iPad, when using their keyboard. Time to call Apple for a replacement
Ok so I have read a lot of replies to this issue. I bought a brand new 12.9 iPad Pro second generation for my wife and I along with 2 Smart Cover Apple Keyboards. Ever since update 11.1.2 my Smart Cover Keyboard not not work at all. When I connect it the on screen keyboard still shows. When I tried my keyboard on my wife iPad it also didn’t work. So I called Apple and we figured its a hardware issue with the keyboard. Easy fix right? NOPE. Juts went and exchanged the keyboard at the Apple store. Tried the new one and it also doesn’t work. Issue must be my iPad right? NOPE. I use my wife keyboard on mine and it works just fine. I am now doing a complete wipe on the iPad then restoring it and will see what happens. I have no idea what else to try. Didn’t have this issue before the update
Brand new iPad Pro 12.9″, just got the keyboard yesterday and already having this issue as I did with the iPad Pro 9.7″ i just gave my wife. Constant reloading of iOS whatever, rebooting and resetting is ridiculous. Apple, fix the issue!!! If I wanted to spend my time performing tech support I’d get a job in the field
I started getting the maddening “Accessory Not Supported” error message after installing iOS 11. 2 on my 12.9 inch iPad Pro Gen2. This is actually my second Smart Keyboard. Apple replaced my first one in May of this year. Not only did the error message occur multiple times but when typing it would hesitate and then would come a burst of all the characters I had typed. After a text chat with Apple Support, they agreed to send me a replacement Smart Keyboard. (I could have gone to the Apple Retail Store for an exchange but things are crazy there this time of year.) Of course, I had to ship them the offending keyboard after receiving the replacement or they would charge me another $169. So the “Accessory Not Supported” no longer appears and there is no hesitation — when it is working. Seems that it is not always detected by the iPad Pro. And when it is detected, in the middle of typing a sentence, the virtual keyboard pops up and the Smart Keyboard no longer responds. I’ve tried connecting and reconnecting. I’ve tried rocking it back and forth. I’ve tried cleaning the contacts. I’ve growled at it. Eventually it starts working again. I’m beginning to think there is an issue with iOS 11.2
I have this issue as well. Brand new iPad Pro 12.9. Brand new Smart (not so Smart) Keyboard. It may be a software issue, but it could coincidentally be a hardware issue too. I have found that ‘rocking’ the iPad itself, whilst it’s sitting in the keyboard, will sometimes make the keyboard come and go (the software keyboard appears/disappears). If the Smart Keyboard is not recognized and gentle rocking doesn’t work, I’ve found that lifting it away, at one corner, from the magnet ‘grip’ will make it return when the magnets slam back together. Sometimes it seems that the keyboard needs to be on a flat surface, other times not. This all suggests to me that there is something going on with the connectors. As I say, maybe it’s a combination of software and hardware issues
I just got a 12.9 iPad Pro and the Smart Keyboard for Christmas and was confounded by how the keyboard wouldn’t “register” each time I went to use it. Tried restarting with and without the keyboard in place, turning WiFi on and off, nothing would work for long. Saw this video on YouTube and it seems to have done the trick: iPad Pro 12.9″ Smart Keyboard Fix – YouTube. Basically, scooch the keyboard a little and voila. Hope this helps someone
Just got a new 12.9 iPad Pro gen 2 to replace my gen 1 which only had 128 gig memory. Had a smartkeyboard with the first gen IPP, but it stopped working before apple announced the extension of the warranty on the original smartkeyboard last spring. So I purchased the Logitech IPP smartkeyboard last year. I tried it on the new IPP and it worked immediately. Then, I reconnected the new apple smartkeyboard and it worked. But then when I went back to it later, it stopped again. This time, it would respond to removing and reconnecting ,but today, even that failed. So, I did what you said (tilt and reconnect) and that worked. I think it is a software issue, since simply shutting the iPad off and letting it sit and then restarting it seems to cause problems….if it were a connection issue, it should work if we don’t move the ipad. Either way, it *****
And here are complaints from some users who did not mention exact model details, but just said their’s are newly bought units facing similar issue:
I have the same problem, after updating my ipad pro the keyboard is not connection anymore. Really frustrating. My Ipad is new and I am testing to see if it is worth it. Now I see the amount of people that have problems with the keyboard, What should I do? Already tried all the steps mentioned. Should I get replacement? Got al 2 weeks ago. (ipadpro, i pencil, smart keyboard)
My iPad Pro just arrived yesterday, and my keyboard today. It will not pair. I’ve checked connection, rebooted, hard rebooted with it connected, not connected, laying flat, and in type position. It never pairs. There is no apple store where I live. This is annoying
I’ve been having the same issue since I got the new iPad and smart keyboard Christmas Day. I tried all of the so called simple fixes that you find on YouTube and such but none of them were working. Since I was off work for a week I ended up taking it the the Apple Store. They tried to be helpful but all they could do was look up threads like this and offered no solution. First time they simply gave me a new keyboard and it worked for part of the day. Then it stopped all together working. Second time they ended up giving me a new iPad with 10.2 version of iOS. It’s been working since then. I’m hoping to hold out until Apple sends out a bug fix because I really do like the keyboard not holding my breath. I would like to upgrade to iOS 11 I did like some of the features on my first ipad but again not holding my breath
The 3 year warranty is old news and does not address the current issue which began with iOS 11. My Smart Keyboard has been replaced twice under warranty. The latest one is one month old. I don’t get the “unsupported” message but it still doesn’t activate unless I keep rocking it back and forth. Eventually it starts working. I’m starting to call it the Rockin’ Keyboard
An interesting point worth highlighting is that a large section of affected users blame WiFi for their Smart Keyboard connectivity issues. Some of them specifically said they face such issues while using public WiFis only.
I travel with my iPad Pro 10.5” everywhere…multiple clients, multiple locations, all day long, everyday. It works flawlessly, as does the pencil and the Smart Keyboard. However…whenever I go into Starbucks and connect to the wifi, the Smart Keyboard just stops working. I remove it and connect it again to the iPad…no change. The only way I can get it to work again is to reboot the iPad. If I do that it immediately starts working like a charm
Yes!! I have been studying at Starbucks for the past two weeks and I need to restart my iPad every time! I thought it was my iPad that was crazy. I’m glad I’m not alone
This happens at McDonals and other Wifi services also
My smart key board has been replaced and my ipad pro is barely two weeks old. Keyboard does not work with public WIFI with splash screen. I do not know if it will work with cellular service yet. I am very disappointed. I bought the ipad pro to use as a tablet-like laptop but now I have to make a choice between using the keyboard or using WIFI and having email/internet functionality. Apple should address this software bug as soon as possible
I just got an iPad pro 10.5 with the smart keyboard. Usually it works just fine. However, I’ve noticed that whenever I have the keyboard plugged in (with it working) and I connect to a public wifi which requires me to put in some credentials, the keyboard then stops working. The iPad still registers the keyboard as being connected as the software keyboard will disappear if I try reconnecting it but I won’t be able to type. It’s happened to me about 7-8 times already; it’s easily repeatable. Typically I’d have to disconnect the keyboard and wait upwards of 15-25 minutes and when I reconnect it, it’ll work
Finally figured it out. I have been having intermittent Smart Keyboard connection issues with my iPad pro10.5 and the problem started after upgrading to iOS 11. First to describe the problem, the keyboard is always recognized since the electronic keyboard does not pop up on the iPad screen yet when you try to type nothing happens. Apple has changed my keyboard twice and my iPad once and the problem has not gone away. The good news is I have finally figured out when the problem actually arises. In my case every time I connect to Starbucks WiFi where you get a splash screen that is what is causing the problems with the keyboard. So for the last two days I have been testing this out. If I walk in to Starbucks with the airplane mode turned on (WiFi and Bluetooth turned off) all is fine. I then turn off the airplane mode and connect to WiFi which throws up the splash screen where you have to accept there terms and get a connection. Then the keyboard becomes non respondent. If I turn the airplane mode back on which disconnects me from the WiFi and turn it back on again which allows me to connect back to the Starbucks wifi without the splash screen all is fine And everything works. I have tested this theory at two different Starbucks four time alrady and every time the same result as explained above. Obviously I was rebooting my iPad before which essentially was doing the same and restoring my connectivity. Hope this helps…
Similar reports can be seen on micro-blogging site Twitter as well.
It’s a weird iOS 11 bug – if you connect to a public WiFi with an interstitial login page, smart keyboard on my 10.5” iPad Pro becomes unresponsive. Only cmd tab back to app fixes for me.
— nickhx (@nickhx) December 4, 2017
I’m sitting here in Starbucks rebooting my iPad Pro like some Windows user, just to get my keyboard to work. It Just Works, @AppleSupport ?
— J.P. Wing (@ThatJPWing) November 20, 2017
Weird Starbucks side-effect on my 10.5” iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard https://t.co/85XHPe5O31
— Iphone Paradise (@iphone_paradise) December 17, 2017
While the use-case where WiFi causes Smart Keyboard connectivity issues is being widely reported, there are also a number of reports that reveal users have run into Smart Keyboard connection-related issues in other scenarios as well.
To conclude, these are serious issues, but Apple hasn’t yet said anything officially about them. Considering the number of those affected, we hope the company address the problems sooner than later.
Stay connected with us on Twitter (@PiunikaWeb) to hear about all related developments as and when they occur