Use an iPad with an old Apple Extended Keyboard

Apr 2, 2011 - 3 Comments


If you’ve been a Mac user for a while, you’ll remember the Apple Extended Keyboards. They were very responsive and made a wonderfully crisp clicking sound as you typed. If you’re still in love with the old ADB powered Apple Extended Keyboard I don’t blame you, and you can reignite that old flame by using that very keyboard on an iPad or iPad 2. Here’s what you’ll need to do this:

As you might have guessed, you just fit all the pieces together and plug it into your iPad or iPad 2, you’ll get a notification telling you about an unsupported USB device, but you can ignore that and start typing anyway.

This should really work with just about any old Apple ADB keyboard, so go ahead and dig in your closet to find the most retro Apple keyboard you can find, your iPad is going to love it. Sure, you could just get the iPad keyboard dock too, but what’s the fun in that?

I came across this fantastically geeky idea about a week ago on and forgot about it until I discovered the long-lost browser tab again. You can check out the video below from there, it walks through the setup and you see the whole thing in action. The above picture of iPad and ADB keyboard is from

It’s not quite a wooden Apple I, but it’s still pretty great!


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Fun, iPad, Retro


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  1. Gion says:

    Unfortunately this does not work anymore with the new IOS Version of the Tablets. You get a message presented, that the device will use to much power and is not supportet. The function will be blocked.

    On the other hand it still works with my bar code reader.

    Means Apple tries again to limit the user and force him to use bluetooth keyboards, what will definitly use more power than a usb keyboard.

  2. […] is on a roll recently with iPad camera connection kit hacks, like connecting an old ADB keyboard to the iPad for some retro typing […]

  3. Mantra says:

    That old keyboard is twice the size of the iPad.

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