KEY POINTS

  • Apple is working on new keyboard shortcuts for iPads
  • This is evidenced by references inside the iPadOS 13.5.5 beta code
  • The shortcuts will allow users to adjust iPad display brightness, and more, easily

Apple is working on adding new keyboard shortcuts in iPadOS to allow Magic Keyboard users to do things easier on their iPads.

Apple's push for compact, clean designs have resulted in sleek looking devices. This, of course, has some trade-offs. The Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard, for example, are very compact yet lack some keys that would've been very useful if included.

These include function keys that are normally found on most keyboard accessories. These keys allow users to access things or adjust settings with just a press of a button. Certain settings such as brightness levels, volume and more can be changed using these.

The lack of such keys on the Magic Keyboard means iPad users will need to do more than just tap one button to adjust the display's brightness. Users will need to go to Settings to brighten the screen when in a brightly-lit room, or to darken the display at night.

The iPadOS 13.5.5 beta code, however, reveals that this will change soon. 9To5Mac reported that the code contains references to new keyboard shortcuts that will allow the keys on the Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard to work like the aforementioned function keys.

The code includes references to keyboard shortcuts meant to adjust the iPad's display brightness. Other references point to shortcuts allowing users to tweak the keyboard's backlighting as well. 9To5Mac indicated that while the shortcuts are there, it wasn't able to test whether they work or not because it wasn't able to “activate” them.

It's also unclear if the shortcuts will be customizable or not. Currently, Apple allows users to remap modifier keys on iPadOS 13. This allows users to change the way keys work, such as remapping the Caps Lock key to function as an Escape key. The site believes that the brightness keys will be adjustable like modifier keys, but will need to use shortcut combinations.

The presence of the shortcuts in iPadOS 13.5.5 indicates that Apple is looking to add the feature to a future iPadOS version. Those who use an iPad keyboard with brightness controls won't likely need them, but those who don't will appreciate the addition of such features.

2020 iPad Pro 2020 iPad Pro with the new Magic Keyboard. Photo: Apple