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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Brydge releases firmware update, but its trackpad still lags

brydgeproplus

Last month I was sad to report that the new iPad Pro keyboard/trackpad combination from Brydge, the makers of my longstanding favorite iPad Pro keyboard, was just not good enough. The keyboard and price were both impressive, but the trackpad experience itself was poor compared to pretty much any other pointing device you can connect to an iPad.

At the time, I expressed some hope that Brydge might be able to turn things around by updating the trackpad’s firmware. And that glimmer of hope got a little brighter last week with the release of a firmware update app that improves clicking and scrolling features.

Unfortunately, the update that Brydge rolled out along with the app doesn’t really do anything to fix the fundamental failings of the Brydge trackpad experience. Cursor movement and two-finger scrolling is still jerky and unreliable in ways that other trackpads and mice aren’t.

I spoke to people at Brydge and they suggested that now that the app has been released, the company hopes to release more updates soon. The company seems to be well aware of the limitations of its iPadOS experience and is working to make it better. I’ll keep checking back with them in the hope that I can upgrade my view of the Brydge Pro+ in the future.

I do have at least a little hope that the product can be rescued, eventually. We know that Apple’s own Magic Keyboard and Logitech’s Combo Touch acquit themselves fine, as does Apple’s standalone Magic Trackpad 2. iPadOS 13.4 enabled not just cursor support, but support for trackpad hardware.

Brydge’s trackpad, in contrast, is still emulating a mouse. It’s playing checkers while Apple and Logitech are playing chess. What’s baffling about this situation is that Brydge makes a product for Windows—the Surface Pro keyboard—that offers first-class multitouch support. And the trackpad hardware in that product is identical to the hardware in the Brydge Pro+. The only differences are the firmware and the operating system.

As a fan of Brydge’s approach to iPad keyboards and to Apple’s support for pointing devices in iPadOS 13.4, it’s frustrating to see this situation. Here’s hoping Brydge can get its firmware on track, because the world of iPad accessories is stronger with Brydge in it.

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