Consumer Tech Innovation Technology

iPad Pro 2021: Apple Confirms 2020 Magic Keyboard Will Work, But There’s A Catch

The new iPad Pro is on pre-order now and goes on sale on Friday, May 21. The dimensions on the new 12.9in model are slightly different from before, so if you have last year’s Magic Keyboard, it won’t fit, Apple said (the 11in version is identical so you can use the older keyboard on the brand-new tablet).

However, Apple has now released a new support document which specifies exactly what might and might not work. Apple says: “The first generation of the Magic Keyboard (A1998) is functionally compatible with the new iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation) with Liquid Retina XDR display. Due to the slightly thicker dimensions of this new iPad Pro, it’s possible that the Magic Keyboard may not precisely fit when closed, especially when screen protectors are applied.”

File this under how precise Apple is: a screen protector could be thickness enough to prevent full closure of the tablet in the Magic Keyboard case.

Well, there’s good news and bad news, then. The Smart Connector on the back of the iPad Pro must be in the identical place if both new and old Magic Keyboards are going to fit. The new iPad Pro will work as effectively with the old Magic Keyboard as with the new one—confirmed. That’s the good news.

But the bad news is that it may not fold perfectly flat when you close the new iPad Pro in the old keyboard.

My guess, and I’m looking forward to testing this, is that it will work completely, but perfectionists will find the closure somewhat lacking.

Actually, I imagine that if the iPad Pro does not have a screen protector on it (does anyone actually use a screen protector on a tablet) that it’ll be fine and that Apple is being extra cautious. Under-promise and over-deliver and all that.