iDevice + Keyboard ergonomics - Dignity

One of the things that having a standing desk has made me aware of is the terrible ergonomics of a laptop. Having a separate keyboard and trackpad at elbow height, with the screen at eye level helps keep me standing upright. When I sit to write, I often use the external keyboard + trackpad in my lap with the laptop as near to eye level as possible.

Now comes Scrivener for iOS. And I was sure that I wouldn’t have a lot of use for it. I hate on-screen keyboards, and all I currently have is an iPhone 6–I’d feel ridiculous writing in public with a keyboard that’s several times the size of the device I’m writing on… But one of the advantages to aging is a steady decrease in one’s vanity, and so…

Is there an ergonomic, portable, and STABLE way to prop up an iDevice near to eye level when using an external keyboard near to one’s elbow level? Something like … 8099578056 Vanity be damned!

… I’m only joking a little. 8)


:smiley: I was using a Palm Pilot with a physically-connecting, folding keyboard to write before either smartphones or Bluetooth was invented. I’m not going to tell you which was the first computer I ever used, nor when that was…

Anyway, the ergonomics of using iPad/iPhone are…challenging. I’ve tried one of those gooseneck iPad holders that can clamp onto your bed frame for night viewing, and clamped it onto a desk. Problem was, that when working I inevitably have to tap the screen for something, and when I did the entire gooseneck assembly wobbled. Not practical.

So, no, this is not a recommendation, just a “You may not want to waste your time/money on this solution…”

You mean like those old fashioned lamps, with the long, skinny necks with a bunch of articulations? Yeah, I could see that being unstable. That reminds me of the car mount I have for using my iPhone for gps navigation. With just a couple of joints, it would be pretty stable on a stationary surface. And I already own it. In fact, I already own an Apple keyboard too. I may have to try this out!

Ahh, the perpetual allure of instability.

Pretty good topic – and spirited replies :wink:

But you know, we can learn thumb typing, even as part of our relative maturity. Especially if approached with a little dancing in the hands, so that the iPad moves around a little as letter are reached for, achieved.

This you can do anywhere, also becoming learned on how to lightly but positively hold the iPad so it isn’t uncomfortable. Soon enough, your thumbs come to know how to ‘snap’ a little positively on each letter, and typing gets surprisingly fast; even correction does.

I find the resulting experience is better than a pen/cil, yet achieves a just-right pace for imagination to work its ways which ‘make’ actual composing involvement, fiction or actually other, which is great.

You can but try :wink:, remapped again Yoda…

Best to each,

I’ve been wondering the same thing. Found this at Amazon. Has anyone tried it or something like it?

The beauty of scrivener is that you can pinch and zoom into text; so you can keep your device far, and just zoom the letters until you can see them comfortably.

That’s exactly the sort of thing I bought for my iPad 3. Sadly, I found it unsuitable due to the occasional need to tap the screen even with a keyboard with iOS function keys. It wobbled rather badly, and I would need two hands for my touch to register – one to steady the iPad, and another to do the tapping. As long as I didn’t have to tap the screen, it was fine (as in, for example, viewing a video.)

I wanted something that made the iPad behave like the display on a laptop, so it wouldn’t be to far from the external keyboard (when I use one) and finally settled for this: … 5qUSVchcxE

One additional advantage is that when I have it at work I can position my iPad in the stand, tilting it slightly so it ends up below the Thunderbolt display. I can then use it either as a third display (using Duet) or as a standalone iPad.


Hold up, how many displays (iPads/iPhones) can you connect with duet? This little app has piqued my curiosity.

The Thunderbolt display is connected to my MBP via the Thunderbolt cable, and the iPad via USB and Duet. So I have three displays - MBP, Thunderbolt, iPad Pro.

Damn, I’m too poor to have that many gadgets; still, this Duet app seems definitely better than connecting things via HDMI. How do playing HD movies come out? Can you play them full screen without any issues? What about gaming?

It looks like this, except that the iPad was not used with Duet when I took this photo.

Sorry mon, don’t see the picture on my end.

holy crap! that’s a lot of screens!

So, is there a limitation to the number of screens you can use with Duet? I would email them myself, but alas, you’ve got real world experience.

Scrivener projects I can see working really well with multiple monitors with Duet. One screen for whatever I’m writing, and multiple screens for ebooks, pdf, sketching, entertainment, etc.

Yeah, and to the right you see the 27" Windows machine I hardly ever use. :smiley:

Duet can only handle one iPad/iPhone. I tested to connect two iPads right now, but it could only connect one of them.

so you can’t connect more than one device? I thought you could connect three?

Never mind. Just figured out what you did. thunderbolt+duet