When the iPad was first introduced so many pundits explained what a niche product this tablet would be as it didn't possess a way to create content - in volume anyway. This of course was a huge surprise to me because I did immediately create blog entries and articles on the device. After a while I did feel pain in my fingers from repeatedly hitting the glass surface, in-part, this is the reason I looked for solutions to my problem. Touchfire was a Kickstarter project I backed and covered - once to introduce it to my readers and another to discuss how long it took to actually get the product.
The product is a rubberized transparent keyboard which can be connected and disconnected easily from the device while fitting under the standard iPad cover. It is obviously not for everyone and has already sold 10,000 units. Is this a big number? I would say yes - not compared to the hundreds of millions of iPads sold of course but I would say it is still an impressive figure.
The Touchfire team has announced version 2.0 (see picture) of its project - the new device will have more transparent keys, be more resilient to dust, look more polished, attach more securely and sport new surfaces which make typing more fluid.
One takeaway from the news is just how lucrative it is to augment the iOS or Android ecosystem. The other of course is the iPad and to some degree all tablets are content creation devices. They certainly can be less convenient than a laptop or Ultrabook in some ways - not running Flash, Microsoft Word, etc - but their increased portability seems to more than make up for these challenges.
Speaking of keyboards, the ZaggKeys PROplus is an amazing cover and keyboard for the iPad 4. Another great benefit of the device is the keys are backlit. The one downside is the iPad 4 is too heavy for the keyboard - meaning if you aren't careful the tablet could and will slip out. From a productivity perspective however the combo of an iPad and this keyboard is enough to substitute for a laptop in most every application. See pictures below.