September 28, 2021
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New 12.9-inch iPad Pro doesn’t support the previous Magic Keyboard

Despite its apparently unwavering commitment to using the Lightning port in iPhones, Apple is not usually squeamish about ending support for old accessories and products when it heralds the latest, greatest version of something.

That’s especially apparent this week, as it’s been revealed that the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro won’t work with the Magic Keyboard Apple made for its predecessor just one year ago.

French website iGeneration was the first to cover the news, explaining that although the 2020 and 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro are mostly similar, the new one is 0.5 mm thicker. The site claimed to have seen Apple documentation saying that the older Magic Keyboard would not be supported. AppleInsider later claimed to receive confirmation directly from Apple that this is the case.

It’s important to note, though, that the Apple Store website does claim that the new Magic Keyboard works with the older iPad Pro models. Also, this only affects the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro; the 11-inch model still works with the previous Magic Keyboard.

That’s not the only legacy support issue with Apple’s new products this week. While the divisive Siri remote for the 2017 Apple TV 4K included a gyroscope and accelerometer, the redesigned remote for the new Apple TV 4K lacks those features. This change would have no impact on the TV-viewing experience with that device, but it does matter for games. Certain Apple TV games used those sensors to enable iPhone-like inputs and gameplay experiences.

That said, Apple has added support for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series controllers to the Apple TV platform, and while all Apple Arcade games are required to run on Apple TV, a large portion of them require dedicated gamepads to do so. Apple may see efforts to make games playable with its own remote as a dead end and could be looking toward those more traditional controllers for support in the future.

Listing image by Samuel Axon