One of the most infuriating things I have had since moving my blog to EasyWP has been the inability for me to see my blog posts, pages, or drafts in the WordPress iOS app. Thankfully, after hours of working with both NameCheap (the owners of EasyWP) and WordPress I managed to get a fix for this issue.
After moving my website from Blot.im to EasyWP I noticed that no matter what I did I couldn’t view any of my posts or pages on the WordPress app for iOS. I tried logging in to my WordPress.com account (thanks to connecting my blog with Jetpack) and as a self-hosted website. After trying both ways multiples times I kept running into this issue.
I decided to contact WordPress about the issue in hopes that they might have a support staff that can help me with this. After sending an email to them, a support member offered me a link to a debugging website WordPress uses to detect any issues with Jetpack.
Once I entered my website in to debugger, the error it came up with was an XML-RPC issue. This seemed odd to me as I knew that my XML-RPC was working fine because I could post to WordPress with apps like Drafts and Ulysses without issue.
After more digging from the WordPress support team they confirmed my xmlrpc.php file was perfectly fine. They said they would get back to me after they spent some time looking more into this issue.
Being both impatient and wanting to attack this from both angles, I contacted NameCheap to try and figure out what the problem might be from their perspective. Once I got on to their support chat, a member managed to find in their own notes that the problem could be from within the wp-config.php file. Turns out, all that was needed were two lines of code in the wp-config.php file to fix the issue.
All you have to do is SFTP into your website, download the original wp-config.php file for safe-keeping on your machine, and then edit the file and add the following lines of code below to the file.
Once that was added I was immediately able to load my posts, pages, drafts, etc. on the WordPress iOS app!
Turns out, there were some issues between NameCheap’s configuration and WordPress according to the WordPress support team stating, “we found that Namecheap is also working on a fix for connection issues at their end for Jetpack customers. Hoping they update us soon on this.”
Thankfully, NameCheap fixed this issue in a matter of days as I got a followup email from WordPress on the matter saying, “We’ve heard back from Namecheap and this issue should now be resolved.”
This might be an issue only I can find myself in as I bounce website hosting services more than I change my car’s oil, but if you do find yourself in this predicament I hope this helps.
I also want to say that my experience with both Namecheap Support and WordPress support was absolutely pleasant and both teams seemed to really care about helping me fix this issue. I hope that my issues with WordPress and EasyWP are behind me, but if I run into any more bumps in the road I at least know that I am in good hands to help me fix my problems.
As is often the case, as I use Drafts I find things that I need to do and write a script to fix it for me! In this case, I have a habit of planning to add links later in my text, but find it a pain to go through the whole article to find them and the find function is too darn manual for me. There were already a few actions in the Actions Directory, but they didn’t quite work the way I wanted them to. If you haven’t guessed where this is going yet: I wrote my own!
As someone starting to use Drafts for all of my writing and blog posts, this drafts action is an absolute dream. When I am in “writing mode” the last thing I want to do is bounce from Drafts to find links on the web. Now, I can simply insert a blank link (thanks to this action that Tim Nahumck sent me a while back) and figure it out later once I have a final draft for my blog post.
It’s unclear what exactly destroyed RSS, but Google closing Google Reader definitely didn’t help. Another factor was the rise of aggregation sites like Slashdot, Digg, and Reddit, which seductively took on the burden of surfacing the best content.
One, arguments about the “death of RSS” often cite the sites in that quote as killing it, not to mention Twitter and Facebook. My question is “how big was RSS when Google killed Reader?” Was it as big as the audiences of reddit, Twitter, and Facebook combined? I would humbly guess…no, not even close.
And two, articles like this suggest that RSS has been dead and that it’s time for it to come back. Maybe I’m biased because I never left, but in the wake of Reader shutting down, a bunch of RSS syncing services have cropped up.
I have seen many different posts claiming RSS needs a resurgence. As someone that didn’t even start getting into RSS until after Google Reader was killed I personally don’t understand how people think RSS is dead or dying. Yes, it isn’t handled by the biggest tech company in the world. Personally, I think services like Feedly, Feedbin, Inoreader, and Feed Wrangler have been handling the market just fine after Google killed off its RSS service.
Last month I was sad to report that the new iPad Pro keyboard/trackpad combination from Brydge, the makers of my longstanding favorite iPad Pro keyboard, was just not good enough. The keyboard and price were both impressive, but the trackpad experience itself was poor compared to pretty much any other pointing device you can connect to an iPad.
At the time, I expressed some hope that Brydge might be able to turn things around by updating the trackpad’s firmware. And that glimmer of hope got a little brighter last week with the release of a firmware update app that improves clicking and scrolling features.
Unfortunately, the update that Brydge rolled out along with the app doesn’t really do anything to fix the fundamental failings of the Brydge trackpad experience. Cursor movement and two-finger scrolling is still jerky and unreliable in ways that other trackpads and mice aren’t.
It is a shame that the people who spent hundreds on their Brydge Keyboard are getting probably the worst trackpad keyboard they can for an iPad. I was thrilled with my Brydge 10.2 keyboard, but sadly Brydge seems to have shot themselves in the foot with this keyboard. They knew it was a risk to make a pseudo trackpad made to trick the accessibility trackpad support that showed up in early iPad OS 13. Now that iPad OS 13.4 has come out with full-fledged trackpad and mouse support this workaround Brydge has made is useless and inconvenient.
I hope that Brydge makes a turn for the better, but I am not holding my breath.
With the Magic Keyboard coming out for the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pros, many people–including myself–were left longing to have a better keyboard and trackpad option for their 2019 iPad 7. Thankfully, Logitech didn’t leave people like me out of their lineup, they instead created the Logitech Combo Touch. Does it have a futuristic floating option? No, but it does offer more than any other keyboard on the market for the 2019 iPad 7, iPad Air 3, or 10.5″ iPad Pro.
With 20 years under their belt, Logitech knows what it takes to make a worthwhile typing experience. That said, getting to the point where I could use all of the keys as intended took some time and a trip to the Logitech support website to get there.
Some Keys Weren’t Working
When I first set up this case I decided to test out the keys. After my first Brydge keyboard, I feel like I have to do it to ensure that nothing is dead on arrival. When testing it, I noticed that the apostrophe (‘) key and the backslash (\) key were not functioning. What was more interesting was that when I held down Shift and pressed the quotation mark (“) key, it accurately typed on the screen.
I was perplexed at this; it was obvious the key wasn’t the problem. I did more digging and noticed that Logitech offers an app to update the firmware on this keyboard. Hoping that there was some kind of firmware update, I installed it on the app to see if Logitech came up with a fix. Sadly, there was nothing.
At this point, I felt like the only way for me to get this issue fixed was to either wait for some kind of firmware update from Logitech, if there ever would be one, or contact Logitech in hopes they know a workaround on this. I spoke with Logitech Support about this issue and they had a quick fix for my issues.
According to Logitech, iOS 13.4 has an issue where the hardware keyboard settings don’t recognize all of the Combo Touch’s keys. The fix for this was to open up Settings and go to General>Keyboard>Hardware Keyboard and change the layout from Automatic to the US option. Once I did that, every key worked as expected. According to the Logitech Expert, I chatted with, this is an iOS/iPad OS bug. At first, I felt like this was a Logitech screw up, but after updating from 13.4 to a 13.5 public beta the issue resolved itself without issue. Hopefully whatever caused this issue is fixed with the upcoming iOS and iPad OS update, if not it would be a real pain for people to make this change manually.
Better in Every Way
Once I managed to get the issue with my keyboard fixed, I was finally able to try it out and see how it worked. Logitech has a track record for making keyboards with solid typing experiences, and this one is no exception. The key travel is much deeper than the Butterfly keys on the Smart Folio Keyboard and allows for a much more comfortable typing. The responsiveness to the keys is quick and precise, I never feel like a key isn’t recognized when I type on it. Finally, the size of this keyboard fits even my big hands. Coming from my MacBook Pro, It did take some time to get used to it after working on a full-sized keyboard. That said, I was able to make the switch in a matter of minutes.
There is one thing that I wish Logitech, and really every keyboard manufacturer would change. The egregious arrow keys.
Much like older MacBook Pros, the arrow keys have full-sized left and right arrow keys but have half-sized up and down arrow keys, making a three-key sandwich. As someone that never managed to get used to this kind of setup. I desperately want all four arrow keys to be uniformly half-size–which is also known as the inverted T setup. As someone that writes a lot on my iPad, seeing this bad sandwich-looking arrow keys setup makes me feel as if I am being punished for wanting to quickly move around my text with a keyboard rather than tapping on a screen or using the trackpad. If anyone has any ideas on how I can get used to these arrow keys I am all ears. For now, I will be looking down and placing my fingers on these atrocious arrow keys every time I need to use them.
Logitech Control App
One new thing that came with this keyboard was the Logitech Control app. Turns out, Logitech has listened to their users cry for more control over their keyboard. In the app, you can update the firmware of the keyboard, if they ever send one, as well as change settings to the physical keyboard. You can increase the backlit time on the keys from 10, to 30, or even 60 seconds. Furthermore, you can adjust the fade for the backlight keys making the time it takes to go from lit to unlit slower or faster.
By default, both settings are at their lowest setting, but I personally don’t mind if the keyboard stays lit longer. I decided to make my keys stay lit for 30 seconds instead of the default 10 seconds. Given that this keyboard is powered by the Smart Connector, one can assume the longer you leave your keys backlit the faster your battery will drain. I don’t know by how much, but I suspect LED lights don’t take much power to stay illuminated, and I would rather grab for my charger a few minutes sooner if that means I can see the keys I am typing on in the dark.
The keyboard case is primarily covered in a fabric akin to nylon. It has a heather gray look to it, which makes for an elegant looking computer. My only concern, which is the same as the Smart Keyboard, is that over time your hands will make this clean fabric turn from a heather gray to a smeared brown. Even if I were to wash my hands every time I use it, I know that over time the oils and dirt my hands will dirty this fabric. That said, if Logitech were to use a plastic or metal alternative, I don’t think it would be as inviting and comfortable as the fabric lining they chose is. My hope is that this case won’t be ruined over time, but it is a risk I am willing to take.
One thing I may do in the future is to wipe down the keyboard with a microfiber cloth dampened with water. That is the most common way Apple has instructed people to clean their Smart Folio keyboard. Granted, the Smart Folio Keyboard doesn’t have exposed keys that are susceptible to water damage. If this keyboard does become grimy and dirty looking I will take my chances and try to clean it as best I can.
This keyboard case does allow for you to remove the keyboard itself and have it act simply as a tablet with a kickstand. The Surface-like design allows for the iPad to be angled for any viewing mode you want. You can go from watching a YouTube video to writing notes with your Apple Pencil in a matter of seconds by lowering the iPad and opening your handwriting app. I absolutely love that you can use your iPad in any way you want with this case attached. If we were to compare this to the Brydge keyboard, you would never have been able to use that keyboard case for drawing on your iPad, as it was strictly only for laptop-style work.
If you are hoping this case is slim and sleek, you’re going to be disappointed. This case is a beefy monstrosity. Once you put on the keyboard and the kickstand case on your petite iPad, it more than doubles in thickness. In fact, it is almost as thick as a 2010 MacBook Pro, you know, the one that had a disc drive still in it.
While considering buying this product, I looked at other reviews before making my decision and every single one of them spun this thick case as something about being ultra-protective of the iPad. Personally, I am not here to protect my iPad from a 30-foot fall with half-inch plastic encasing my iPad. That said, the thickness isn’t as blasphemous as it’s previous predecessors like the ironically-named Slim Combo. While I would like this case to be slimmer, I really am not sure where Logitech could slim anything down. The kickstand is a perfect thickness and allows the iPad to be in a wide range of angles without compromise, the plastic going around the iPad is on the thicker side but that will only make the edges thinner, and the keyboard needs to be as thick as t it is because key travel is important and Logitech knows that.
I am not an engineer, nor do I play one on TV, but as I think more about this keyboard case the less I can find a simple way to make it any slimmer without compromise. So, if you want a keyboard with a great typing experience that is smart-connector compatible, you have to sacrifice a few millimeters and a few extra ounces to make that happen, or buy the Apple Smart Keyboard with the inferior, yet slimmer, Butterfly keys.
At the end of the day the thickness doesn’t bother me enough to consider not using it, but if you decide to buy this keyboard know that it is a keyboard that has more to love than most iPad keyboards. Not to mention, it’s the best keyboard case that offers trackpad support for these iPad models.
The most anticipated feature on this keyboard is the built-in trackpad, and it doesn’t disappoint. All of the gestures that Magic Keyboard uses are available for this keyboard, and they work flawlessly.
The trackpad, compared to the Magic Keyboard, is a tad smaller measuring in at 3 3/4″ wide by 2 1/8″ long while the Magic keyboard trackpad for the 12.9″ is 4″ wide and 2 1/8″ long. Both the Combo Touch and the Magic Keyboard pale in comparison to the 2017 13″ MacBook Pro coming in at 5 5/16″ wide and 3 5/16″ long. While it may seem small compared to the MacBook Pro trackpad size, it isn’t a dealbreaker.
I haven’t seen the Magic Keyboard for the 12.9″ in person, but from what I can tell the reason for the both the Magic Keyboard and Combo Touch being close in size is because the Combo Touch doesn’t need room for the keyboard to float atop the case like the Magic Keyboard does. In fact, the only thing keeping this keyboard from bumping right up to the iPad itself is a small section of the case used to keep the plastic keys from touching the glass screen. Logitech did a beautiful job in making every millimeter of this case count, and users like myself are grateful for that.
There is one thing about this trackpad that is different from that of the Magic Keyboard, though. The trackpad for this case is a “diving board” style trackpad while the Magic Keyboard is one solid piece like that of the MacBook and MacBook Pros. To explain, you can click at the very top of a Magic Keyboard without issue, while with the Logitech Combo that top part is cannot be depressed for a click because it depends on that top part as a spring to allow the rest of the trackpad to be depressed. Thankfully, there is an easy fix for this.
If you want to save yourself from worrying about whether you have your hand on the right part of the trackpad to click, just turn on “tap to click” and you can use this trackpad without any of the aforementioned issues. To do this, open the Settings app and go to General>Trackpad and turn on Tap to Click. Once that is enabled, you will no longer need to press down on the trackpad at all to click, you simply tap on the trackpad and all will be well. Once I turned this setting on. my issues with the trackpad were immediately resolved and I have been using it joyfully since then.
If you have an iPad Air 3, 10.5” iPad Pro, or the 2019 iPad 7 and are looking for a keyboard, you should pick up this keyboard immediately. It’s bulky and not as slim-looking as the Apple Smart Keyboard, but it is a hell of a lot better to type on and offers trackpad support when seemingly no one else does. With the price-point less than the Smart Keyboard it is a no-brainer that this is the superior keyboard for anyone looking to use an iPad for their work.