Typing on the IPad in Portrait

Last year I spent a lot of time studying and writing up assignments for a teaching qualification I was undertaking. This was one of those projects where I really benefited from using the iPad thanks to its simplicity and useful apps for writing and collecting research notes from downloaded PDFs.

At this time I was using my iPad Air and a Logitech keyboard case and took up a strange habit that I hadn’t planned on doing. I typed with my iPad in portrait.

Why type on an iPad in portrait ?

Up to that point I had more often than not typed in landscape. After all, that provides more space for each key when you have a software keyboard and most hardware keyboards assume that you want to have your iPad in landscape view to mimic a more traditional laptop view. That is exactly what I had thought, but with switching between reading research in PDFs which necessitated reading in portrait mode and typing, I found that I ended up leaving my iPad in portrait mode when typing for extended periods.

The advantages of Typing on an iPad in Portrait

I soon felt like this was a more natural way to type on the iPad as I could see the exact layout that I would get in the final product. It also brings the iPad closer to my eye level which is valuable considering the low position that an ipad adopts in landscape, leading to issues of bad posture.

As I already mentioned, when you are switching between a PDF or other document that you really need or ought to read in portrait position, then you don’t want to have to keep rotating your iPad, keeping it in portrait can make a lot of sense here.

Finally, typing in portrait is useful for when you are on the move in a small space such as a busy train or bus and wish to thumb type. In portrait, you can get a firm enough grip on the iPad and still type. Well at least on the 10.5 iPad Pro, I can’t testify if this is true on the larger 12,9 iPad Pro.

It is even more true on the iPad mini as I had to do so on my wife’s this weekend and was blown away by how comfortable it was to type in this way. I can easily see why Federico started his iPad journey with a mini.

The SmartKeyboard KILLED my portrait typing

However, all that ended when I picked up my iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard cover. That’s because the Smart Keyboard cover is only designed to be used in landscape orientation.

I understand this decision, after all my first keyboard case was also designed with this way as the primary consideration, but also supported other options. It is also possible to use a Bluetooth keyboard while the Smart Keyboard cover is on and so have the iPad in portrait while you type on it…but in reality, that just isn’t what I choose to do. After all, the keyboard case is there, why would I choose to get another keyboard out?

Do you like typing in portrait as well?

I’m willing to bet the vast majority of iPad Pro users won’t care. Landscape typing is the way that the vast majority of people use their iPads, which is why the decision was made for the smart connector and keyboard to work in such a way. But for me, I’d like that flexibility back.

I’d like a keyboard case that could switch round and be used in portrait as well and yet still have the smart connector. I know it’s a tough ask, but maybe something could come along.

iPad Pro 10,5 2017 review

After three years of using an iPad Air (the original one) I finally upgraded to the new iPad pro 10,5 along with the Apple Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. I hoped that this would finally be the device that would become my exclusive device. The advantages of the portability and flexibility of the iPad but the power and multitasking of a modern computer. While iOS 11 isn’t out yet (apart from the public beta) I’ve found the new iPad pro 10,5 to be a great device. check out the review. [P.s. I know I’m late to the game but I wanted to give it a proper test first]

Pro-motion and wider colour gambit

The new iPads feature the “pro-motion” screen along with the P3 colour gambit that was in the last iPad pros. This leads to a much smother experience but also helps with the battery life as it will use the refresh rate it needs, when it needs it (watch a film at 24 frames a second, it’s at 24 frames a second, scroll a screen or use the Apple pencil, 120 frames a second. Just have some text on screen, 30 frames a second.)

TouchID second generation and speed bump

The second generation of touchID sensor along with the faster processor and 4gb of ram make the device really snappy and fast as well as powerful for multi-tasking and switching between applications.

The Apple Smart Keyboard

The apple smart keyboard isn’t a perfect keyboard for writing for long periods of time, but it is a great portable keyboard that packs away well. It has a surprisingly good bounce and makes a pretty pleasant sound as well.

The Apple Pencil

The apple pencil is an exceptional stylus with amazing control that is even enjoyable for non-designers. That’s because you can use it to scroll pages on the web or navigate through apps. This can be relaxing and nicer than poking with a finger. It can also be a lot of fun to mess around making some sketches and doodles as well.

If you are a designer then there are some powerful applications you can use as well.


The new iPad Pros (both the 10,5 and 12,9) are a big step forward, and with the new features coming to iOS 11 later this year, they will gain an extra step forward still. This is my main device now (though the iPad Air was basically my main device before I had it). Maybe it can do the same for you, or maybe there are still some tasks which it isn’t best suited too.

What do you think of the new iPads?

Featured apps.

What Google Search Results Suggest About iPad Growth (or Lack of Growth)

Every quarter Apple releases sales figures of its devices in the previous quarter which provide an indication of how its business is going and what is growing or declining. One of the big stories from the last few years has been the slow decline of the iPad’s sales and if this means the iPad (and tablets) are a thing of the past like netbooks rather than the future of computing as Apple claims.

While it is impossible to tell how well the current iPad Pro’s are doing after the latest refresh, we can get some idea from search results.

If searches go up, so do sales (in general)

In generally, the search results for apple devices reflect the interest in them over time and can be used to predict the growth or decline of sales of those devices. This is not an exact science, after all people search for things when they already have them to find out tricks and tips, or out of aspiration to one day buy something. But in general, if there is more interest, there will probably be more sales. This is reflected in the same declining trend in sales as decline in searches for the iPad with peaks each year around the holiday time when they tend to sell better.

As such, we can expect that if the searches for the iPad have gone up (since the iPad Pro 2 was released) then there will be a bump in sales and that will be approximately the same as how many devices get sold. This is where things turn not so good.

What do the search figures show about iPad growth?

The figures do show a bump in searches for iPad following the release of the iPad Pro 2, but not back to the levels we saw in 2014. Instead they are hovering (or slowly declining) at the same numbers of the last couple of years. If this is accurate and the methodology holds up, then the iPad Pro 2 should sell about the same as the iPad Pro 9.7″.

That’s still significantly more than laptops and Apple’s MacBooks sell but it doesn’t look like the iPad is going to sell the numbers that it initially did for a long time if this is accurate. Time will of course tell and as an iPad power user I’ll happily be proven wrong but I’m not expecting it now. (For the record, before I did the search I expected it to show a bump and it didn’t but that is exactly why I’m reporting this, as to not report it would show bias).