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Is it possible to use an Apple Keyboard Dock as a keyboard for a computer, rather than an iDevice?

As I can, obviously, connect it to a computer via USB, I think it'd be great if I could as I love Apple's keyboards but I don't really want to fork out for a wired/wireless Apple keyboard if I've just got this sitting here.

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I would recommend using a bluetooth keyboard (which will be reusable with any computer) and the stand to avoid wasting money on a dedicated iPad keyboard you might not use that much... –  Coyote Mar 22 '12 at 11:03
    
don't think that's possible with a 30 pin head. –  user45603 Mar 20 '13 at 7:32

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

It’s not possible to connect it to a Mac. The Apple Store detail page for this product says that it’s only compatible with the iPad. Note that the full product name is “iPad Keyboard Dock”.

Here are some ways you can use the iPad Keyboard Dock, though:

  • Connect the dock to your computer with the USB cable included with your iPad to sync iPad and charge its battery.
  • Connect the dock to an electrical outlet using the iPad 10W USB Power Adapter (included with your iPad) to charge the iPad battery.
  • Use the dock to hold your iPad at the perfect angle to compose email and notes using the keyboard or to watch your favorite videos or photo slideshows.
  • Connect the dock to a TV or video projector using a compatible cable such as the iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter or the Apple Component or Composite AV Cable.
  • Connect the dock to a stereo or speakers using an AV cable or a stereo audio cable to play music from iPad.
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Hmm, well that's not exactly true as I use it for my iPhone, but fair enough. I was wondering if someone had found a way to do this or something, but evidently not. Thanks anyway. –  mythofechelon Mar 22 '12 at 11:02
    
You should attribute... store.apple.com/ae-edu/product/MC533Z/A - surely? –  Adam Eberbach Mar 22 '12 at 11:09
    
@AdamEberbach The only link in my answer points to that page (well, the same page on the UK Apple Store). –  Mathias Bynens Mar 22 '12 at 11:10

Based on the available pins on the 30-pin dock connector it is almost certainly a USB keyboard -thee's no pairing so it can't be Bluetooth. In practical terms it would be almost impossible to use it connected to a Mac though - you would need to recable it completely, or make an adapter cable with a female 30-pin connector to USB adapter. Probably it also uses sense resistors on pin 27 (Data+) as Apple likes to use to identify various things like the 10W iPad charger (a sense resistor is what lets the iPad know it is connected to the right charger and allows it to begin charging) and you maybe need to find and remove it to make it appear as a regular USB keyboard.

The pinout for the connector is shown here.

Hey I was just browsing Sparkfun - they have just what you need if you decide to try and build this hack: PodSocket Breakout. It's the female Dock connector (as you would find on the bottom of an iPad).

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It's unlikely to be USB, you can sync while the doc is connected. –  rwr Mar 22 '12 at 11:47
    
Have tried to find a tear down to confirm but can't. Could be serial (PS2) perhaps, just seems so unlikely when HID keyboard + hub is so cheap and well-known. –  Adam Eberbach Mar 22 '12 at 11:50

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