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I needed a Bluetooth keyboard for my Raspberry Pi, and as I use the MacBook Air M2 and the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard, I know that I love those flat keys with little travel. But the only ones I could find were Apple or “for Apple”. When doing some research why the answer was a bit surprising. Not the keyboard layout would be the problem, but the fact (?) that Apple uses some specific Apple Bluetooth protocol.

I have taken the risk, and the keyboard works fine with the Raspberry Pi. So this experience raised the question: does Apple use a specific interpretation of Bluetooth? If so, what is it? If not, why do people say so?

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Apple implements the same Bluetooth protocol as any other vendor, since Bluetooth is a standard.

The trick is, Apple uses Bluetooth to also do some other magic, like not having to re-pair your AirPods between your iPhone and Mac when switching from one to another, or to perform AirDrop. You don't see this happening, but Apple is using the Bluetooth to achieve this.

Apple Bluetooth keyboards should work for anything, Windows computers, RPis, iPad, or anything that can support a Bluetooth keyboard.

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  • so the real question would be: why do people, even vendors, suggest that there is some problem with non-Apple device pairing with an Apple device :)
    – ABM K
    Nov 29, 2023 at 22:36
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    Well, I think this is a marketing strategy. Nestlé at their beginning said tap water wasn't safe to sell bottled water. Apple tries to say that you'd have a better experience with a Apple product with another Apple product (which TBH is true), but saying that a regular keyboard can't work with an Apple computer is just straight-out lying.
    – danz
    Nov 29, 2023 at 23:36

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