Why it matters to you
Microsoft may soon offer iPad owners yet another option to consider when searching for a portable keyboard.
Microsoft builds some great keyboards for its Surface tablets, but what if you are not a Surface owner? There is the company’s Universal Foldable Keyboard that will work with fine with iOS and Android tablets, but beyond that, Microsoft saves its best accessories for its own devices.
However, that may be changing. A page on Microsoft’s site concerning lithium battery documentation lists a device titled “iPad Touch Cover” with the model number 1719. The listing was discovered by WinFuture and was published on April 17.
The document tells us nothing, outside of the fact that the device contains a lithium battery and complies with safe transportation laws. We don’t know what it looks like, what it does, which iPad it is for, or whether it will even ever see the light of day.
The name “Touch Cover” implies a lack of physical keys, though the inclusion of a battery indicates it may not actually be all that thin. The battery itself could be used simply to power the keyboard, if it connects wirelessly, or as an external power source for the iPad, which would imply a physical connection. Apple’s own Smart Keyboard connects to the iPad Pro via its proprietary Smart Connector.
Microsoft could go with the Smart Connector, as it is capable of passing along power — though that would prevent compatibility with the standard iPad. Back in the early days of the Surface, the company sold a Touch Cover for its own devices, complete with a trackpad and a fully pressure-sensitive multi-touch surface for the keys.
Given the document’s age, it is equally possible the Touch Cover is still in development, or has been canned, and really shouldn’t have made it to the list in the first place. The site contains entries for a wide range of products, some of which date back a couple of years. However, this is the first time this particular product has been noticed.
Only time will tell if Microsoft’s iPad accessory sees the light of day. Fortunately, there are lots of excellent options out there for every item in the iPad range, and you can check them all out for yourself with the help of our handy guide.