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Following my this question I finally decided to get a wireless Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad Mini. I bought some cheap (around 40 USD) Chinese crap, but designed specifically for iPad Mini -- i.e. an aluminium cover with Bluetooth keyboard inside.

The problem is, that iPad Mini is always disconnecting Bluetooth connection with this keyboard, once it goes dark, and can't re-establish it, once it comes back. As you may read from the following, detailed description, this seems not to be a keyboard-related problem.

So, the general question here is, how to force iPad Mini to keep Bluetooth connection alive even once it get off? Or, how to force it to reconnect to once paired device, after it returns on-line? So I don't have to re-pair device each time, I want to use it? Details follows.

Issue happens any time iPad Mini or Bluetooth connection is disabled -- i.e. screen is turned off, it has Bluetooth turned-off (same, as if I disable Bluetooth in the keyboard itself) or keyboard or iPad is turned off completely. Always after turning on, un-dimming or re-enabling Bluetooth, devices must be paired again. I.e. iPad Mini has my keyboard on Bluetooth devices list, but always marked as "disconnected". I had to tap it, enter PIN code on the keyboard and hit Enter to re-pair devices again.

It happens always, even after two minutes lasting screen-dim, when both devices are all the time on and Bluetooth is enabled on both of them. As you may imagine, this is very frustrating and causes using this keyboard nearly useless.

I've contacted manufacturer (supplier) of my keyboard and got immediate reply, that they weren't able to test exactly this keyboard, as they out of iPad Minis, but they tested very similar one with iPhone 4S and iPad 2. An no matter, what they did, devices were reconnecting together after any of them were awaken. There were no need to re-pair devices or enter PIN code once they were initially paired-up. This caused supplier to think, that device is malfunctioning and ask me to send it back to them.

Just before I did so, I made some tests with other devices. I used two Android-based devices, though keyboard is designed for iPad Mini with iOS. I conluded following tests:

  • screen dim and un-dim in tested device,
  • waiting 15 minutes for keyboard to go to power-saving mode,
  • turning off Bluetooth on device and turning it on back,
  • turning off Bluetooth on keyboard and turning it on back,
  • completely turning off the device with Bluetooth enabled and restarting it back,
  • completely turning off keyboard by using its power switch.

And -- shock (at least to me)! -- absolutely no problems. Exactly as supplier wrote to me -- no matter, what I would do, once both devices are brought back on-line, their pair-up and connect automatically and I can use it instantly or in worst scenario, I have to press any key on the keyboard and wait 3-5 seconds until it wakes up and reconnect.

So this is clearly not a hardware problem and keyboard is working just fine.

Every time I turn my iPad Mini's screen on, I clearly see that Bluetooth icon in status bar is grayed, meaning, that Bluetooth is enabled, but all connections has been disconnected and there is no active device connected. This does not happens on Android-based devices. If I un-dim them, reconnect Bluetooth or even restart entire device, I see active Bluetooth icon, which is nearly immediately replaced with active connection icon.

I have read this and this topic, but it brought me no help.

I have dig through entire iPad configuration, but found no option about keeping Bluetooth connections to devices alive or pairing them up permanently.

If anyone have any idea, what is wrong, or what I'm doing wrong, please share it here. Being forced to go to configuration, reconnect keyboard and enter PIN each time I want to make use of it, simply drives me crazy. On the other hand I can't send keyboard back to the supplier, because it seems that it is 100% fine and iPad Mini is doing some strange things.

Finally, is this case something for local Apple support? Does Apple supports solving problems with third-party devices? As I convinced myself and proved, this seems to be 100% iPad Mini-related problem, but I understand that it may take years to convince Apple support representative, that problem is not caused by Chinese keyboard.

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Could you check your Bluetooth pairing stability between your iPad mini and any other Bluetooth device? –  daniel Azuelos May 13 '13 at 12:58
    
I could, if I had one extra! :| Unfortunately, my wireless keyboard is the only Bluetooth-enabled device I have, as I generally don't like the entire Bluetooth idea and was only forced to get this one, as there are no wired keyboards for iPad Mini available. I'm also a complete newbie to Bluetooth, so this may sound dumb: can I test stabillity between two passive devices, like iPad Mini and my Android-based phone? Or does it have to always be some active (input / output) device on one side of a pair? –  trejder May 13 '13 at 13:15
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Yes, your Android phone fits in any other Bluetooth device ☺. –  daniel Azuelos May 13 '13 at 13:37
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You might also go to an AppleStore and ask to test an Apple wireless keyboard on your iPad mini. –  daniel Azuelos May 13 '13 at 13:44
    
@danielAzuelos is absolutely correct. I'm about 95% your problem is the cheap keyboard. Test with an Apple Wireless keyboard to eliminate the iPad from the equation. i recommend the logitech solar keyboards which can pair with 3 unique devices. Super cool. ~$80. –  Ryan Hollingsworth May 13 '13 at 16:20
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted
+50

Being "cheap Chinese crap" it probably has a generic Bluetooth name like "Bluetooth Keyboard" and maybe has a generic hardware identifier, too. The iPad (or pretty much any computer) can get confused when paired with two different devices that do not distinguish themselves and you might have some conflicting remnant of pairing with another device. So try deleting all the bluetooth parings in your iPad mini and then re-pair this keyboard.

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I don't think, you're going into the right direction, as: (a) I have only one Bluetooth device on list (that keyboard) and I tried to delete it from there an re-pair at least three times (no effect), (b) keyboard works just fine with other devices (with Android onboard). And no, it hasn't got generic name, so iPad shouldn't be confused. After all... with what it could be confused, if that keyboard is the only one in the list? –  trejder May 13 '13 at 7:10
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OK, this is not the solution to your problem, but, for the record, this issue would have nothing to do with the keyboard working fine with other devices. Still, if this is not the problem then I am at a loss for ideas as to what the problem is. Take it to the Apple store and see if it behaves the same with other iPad minis. –  Old Pro May 13 '13 at 7:14
    
You're idea (with getting both iPad and keyboard) to Apple store for some tests sounds great and I can only beat myself, that I haven't figured out this obvious thing myself! :| –  trejder May 13 '13 at 13:16
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It's possible that the cheap Chinese keyboard's Bluetooth implementation is "sloppy," while Apple's Bluetooth is "to spec". Android's implementation may be sloppy enough to tolerate the crap device. Go to an Apple store & test the iPad with a quality bluetooth keyboard of some kind. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. –  gosmond May 13 '13 at 16:00
    
As I could expect it turned out, that my keyboard does not works correctly with any device in Apple Store and on each of them it has to be paired again each time device disconnects. –  trejder May 15 '13 at 20:24
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I had this problem too. Turns out the solution was dead simple - just start hitting a few keys and the keyboard will connect.

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Thanks for contribution, but that was not a solution in my case. My keyboard always required to press Connect button to re-connect. If it was unpaired with mentioned iPad Mini, typing anything on it brought no results. –  trejder Feb 3 at 9:25
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