The top-left key on some bluetooth iPad keyboards functions as a home button. What happens when you connect the keyboard to a regular desktop and push the button, ie, what does the computer see? Is this some sort of command that could be replicated, say with a HID like the Teensy?

  • Perhaps I've missed the point, but... I think it isn't possible to connect an iPad keyboard to a desktop computer. The keyboard connects to the iPad via a dock connector (30 pin, or Lightning for newer models), and this doesn't appear on desktop computers. Or: what have I missed?
    – Ashley
    Oct 6, 2013 at 23:06
  • Whoop I meant bluetooth. Editing accordingly. (Most iPad keyboards are bluetooth.
    – ian5v
    Oct 7, 2013 at 22:56
  • Can you provide a keyboard type? The Apple Keyboard does not have such a home-key. Have you tried catching your key codes using third party software? (manytricks.com/keycodes) Oct 8, 2013 at 11:56
  • Good question... If VoiceOver is on, the iPad will accept control-option-H to go Home (and command-Tab works for app switching), but I couldn't get this or any key combo to work w/o VoiceOver, using a normal Bluetooth keyboard. If someone has one of those special keyboards, maybe they could try seeing what code is generated when connected to a desktop computer.
    – beroe
    Oct 9, 2013 at 21:41
  • 1
    Could somebody try using the program @the manytricks link to test a keyboard with a home button and see if it gives any output? Alternatively try punching the button in question into terminal/cmd and see what it spits out.
    – ian5v
    Oct 9, 2013 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


I found a Bluetooth keyboard designed for iPad and other platforms here. The product pictures show two labels on the top row of keys.

The top left key is labelled with both the "home" roundrect icon and "Esc".

iPad Bluetooth keyboard

So I think it would be worth trying to send the key code for Escape.

  • 1
    Sorry for the down vote, but I tested this in the inverse sense (Bluetooth keyboard on iPad), and it is not sending <kbd>Esc</kbd>... Good guess, though.
    – beroe
    Oct 9, 2013 at 21:35
  • On my apple keyboard (sans the home button) that simply sends an escape, which does nothing to the iPad.
    – ian5v
    Oct 10, 2013 at 0:00
  • 3
    The keyboard might be 'smart' in the way that it knows the difference between a regular computer (esc) or an iPad (home) when sending the key signal using the bluetooth MAC address. Oct 10, 2013 at 7:13
  • From the highlighting, it appears that there is a "fn" key on the keyboard that would send the blue command if the "fn" is used as a modifier key.
    – Ɱark Ƭ
    Oct 11, 2013 at 20:31
  • @MarkThalman That's a specific keyboard, not what we're looking for. Thanks though.
    – ian5v
    Oct 12, 2013 at 1:21

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