A Keyboard Is Always Better
Steve Jobs said “no” to a physical keyboard when he created the iPhone. Prior to that declaration (and the technology involved), people managed to work around big fingers and slow thumbs on Blackberries and Palm Trios and a host of other smartphones that featured small KWERTY-styled keys. That these keys occupied a lot of the phone’s real estate was obvious, but that they could be eliminated through an onscreen keyboard representation took some getting used to. And contrary to Jobs’ proclamation, many still find using the onscreen keyboard more pain than profit. Especially when it comes to gaming — despite those saying onscreen makes answering emails and writing reports hard — ignoring the fact that pushing physical buttons just does the fun better.
So that can be applied to iPhones and iPads and even their Apple TV: finding a way to use physical keys will make doing things better (gaming controllers aside, you know it’s true). Only problem with that is how difficult it is to manage to mate a keyboard and mouse to Apple’s devices. At least that was true until IOGEAR’s Keymander 2 Mobile showed up. Because it not only makes integrating these devices with a keyboard and mouse easy, but also lets you take the whole thing “on the road” so that those fast fingering you’re now known for doesn’t get hammer smashed at a friends. That means you can be using that keyboard/mouse you’re used to — just unplug it from the PC and bring it over, no buying a new set to have to get used to.
Mobile Gaming Gets Better Control
The Keymander 2 Mobile is, first of all, mobile — it’s in the name because it’s not a big ugly box that has to be plugged into a wall outlet and dropped on the floor and kicked under the table. Say about the size of 2 paperback books side by side and maybe a bit heavier. And it has a built-in shelf for holding a tablet nicely too. There’s obviously tech inside with outside LEDs, but what we care about is that it’s got Bluetooth so that it can connect with low latency between what’s being pressed and what’s to happen on the screen. You plug the USB keyboard and mouse into it, do the pairing biz and make sure Keymander is plugged into a wall outlet.
How It All Works
Now one of the big deals with keyboard gaming (and other uses) is that you can modify how those keys work through software. Apple doesn’t let you directly modify their guys, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it to the Keymander. So you can — provided you’ve downloaded the app to your iPhone. This lets you create/use profiles, modify sensitivity of your mouse, map keys (the best part) and add macro functions, among other stuff. Just cause you play as Ming the Merciless doesn’t mean pulling out some help to make for a more customized results will spoil your cred one bit (we admit a lot better response/better play on Call of Duty (mobile) now that we’ve a keyboard working - making up for our older-aged reflexes). And there’s two modes — KM mode which expects the keyboard/mouse and Controller, which seems self-explanatory but just in case it means a gaming controller is being attached (compatibility requirements mentioned last paragraph).
Keep in mind that you’re not just connecting and going onto the game and that’s it — at least if you’re using the console side of things: you have to gain the context profile online and then pull it out to use it through the app.
What You Need
The Keymander 2 Mobile Keyboard and Mouse Adapter works with iPhones, iPads and the Apple TV (3rd/4th Gen) so you’ll need one of these plus a USB keyboard and USB mouse. For punching buttons ahead add to that a PlayStation branded PS4 wireless controller or a Microsoft branded Xbox One wireless via micro-USB cable (for a lot of casual and other games a controller can beat a keyboard/mouse combo flat out). It’s not costly or heavy and a backpack or satchel fits it nicely when it’s not on a desk or table. Use Airplay to toss it over to that 4K TV for the bigger view (we prefer our Sony 85” 4K because it’s easy on the eyes). Plus it supports all those Apple TV arcade games as well as those on Google Stadia and XBox Game Pass Ultimate (company says support for over 1000+ mobile games so take the week off and find out). More details about it at https://www.imore.com/iogear-keymander-2-unveiled