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On a Mac Air running the latest OSX I find that the keys that I type are not showing up quickly on the screen sometimes with a multi second delay. It is very intermittent but it happens regularly all day. It's intolerable.

The keyboard is a cheap bluetooth Anker keyboard. The touchpad is a Logitech magic pad equivalent.

Is there such a thing as Bluetooth interference? Because the keyboard, computer and touchpad are all very close to each other. And can it make sense that a bluetooth keyboard works well on an iPhone and badly on a Mac Air?

The other thing I noticed is from time to time I get the "touchpad reconnecting" message as a ghost overlay over the screen - you know the one I mean?

What is going on?

  • I had some very weird behavior with the magic trackpad - but in the end noticed there was a pen lying on the trackpad which caused it to think it was a "hold finger" gesture. Can you check if during this behavior there is anything on the trackpad or the builtin one? – bdecaf Oct 9 '14 at 13:37
  • Hmm.. Another interesting thought. Because I am using the mac in "clamshell" mode (i.e. the top is down) So something is near the closed trackpad... But we'd assume that Apple engineering would be on top of that. Another related odd phenomenon which is not exactly repeatable is that when I open the cover on the mac (but keep on using the bluetooth keyboard and trackpad) the problem seems to clear up... Usually but not always... – pitosalas Oct 9 '14 at 17:21
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I've had this same exact issue with a Bluetooth apple magic mouse. The culprit for me was the rechargeable batteries that I was using. Before I changed the batteries it would constantly lose connectivity and then connect again a few seconds later. It was very frustrating.

Did your keyboard and touchpad come with any drivers? If so are the up to date?

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  • Hmm. They came with a cd but I am on an air so no cd... So I've not updated drivers. Also the touchpad has rechargeable batteries (built in) so I need to check whether they need a charge. – pitosalas Oct 9 '14 at 13:08
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+50

Unfortunately the 2.4 GHz band, which Bluetooth uses, is rather crowded. Therefore interference with WiFi (802.11b/g/n/ax), microwaves, USB 3 devices, etc. are quite common. Apple has a support document on the issue and suggests a list of measures (see the link for all suggestions):

How to reduce wireless interference

These general steps can help achieve a cleaner, stronger wireless signal:

  • Bring your Wi-Fi device and Wi-Fi router closer together. Bring the Bluetooth devices that are connecting to each other closer together.
  • Avoid using your wireless devices near common sources of interference, such as power cables, microwave ovens, fluorescent lights, wireless video cameras, and cordless phones.
  • Reduce the number of active devices that use the same wireless frequency band. Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices use the 2.4 GHz band, but many Wi-Fi devices can use the 5 GHz band instead. If your Wi-Fi router supports both bands, it might help to connect more of your Wi-Fi devices to the 5GHz band. Some dual-band routers manage this for you automatically.
  • Configure your Wi-Fi router to use a different Wi-Fi channel, or have it scan for the channel with the least interference. Most routers perform this scan automatically on startup or when reset.

As a first measure, I would strongly suggest to check for the frequency of your WiFi connection. Press alt and click on the WiFi symbol. If under "Channel" it says 2.4 GHz, try switching your router to the 5 GHz band.

To troubleshoot WiFi interference further you can also use the Wireless Diagnostics.app tool. Try Spotlight or head over to /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications. Once you launched the app, you can press e.g. alt+cmd+5 for the performance logger.

Another source of interference are microwaves. I once actually had the issue what when my colleagues would warm their food, my mouse and wifi would stop working. Try re-locating your desk or microwave (or any other source of 2.4 GHz emissions) in that case.

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