Hands-On

Hands on: Brydge Pro+ firmware updated improves iPadOS user experience

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Brydge has now launched multiple firmware updates to improve its Brydge Pro+ keyboard with trackpad that recently starting shipping for iPad Pro. AppleInsider goes hands-on with the latest firmware to see how Brydge's improvements have strengthened the user experience of its flagship product.

Brydge Pro+ is a fantastic accessory for iPad Pro, and one that was conceived while cursor support on iOS was merely an accessibility feature. After Apple released a massive update for iPad users, cursor support became much more real and changed how Brydge and its trackpad worked on the tablet.

In some ways, iPadOS 13.4 made improvements to Brydge but it also caused some issues too. In our initial review, we loved the device overall but felt the cursor experience needed improvements.

At the time, Brydge told AppleInsider it was exploring the option of rolling out software updates and now that multiple are under its belt, it seems it was able to iterate quickly.

Brydge says that the initial update included improvements to both tracking as well as two-finger scrolling and adds support for a physical two-finger right click, which wasn't available in the first version after Apple's iPadOS update. A second update also was released that includes two-finger swipe to remove an app from the app switcher and improved vertical and horizontal scrolling.

Installing the update is very easy and quick.

  • Download the free Brydge Connect app
  • Connect your Brydge Pro+ to your iPad Pro
  • Connect your Brydge Pro+ to power
  • Start the update process in the Brydge Connect app

Putting the Brydge Pro+ updates to the test

At launch, Brydge supported two-finger right click, but it had to be enabled via a tap rather than by physically clicking the trackpad. After installing the update, the feature works as expected, letting you open contextual menus through iPadOS.

The update process for Brydge Pro+
The update process for Brydge Pro+

We also tested the two-finger scrolling experience through the operating system. The second update in particular has vastly improved the experience. There is no longer the massive over-scroll and bounce that was there prior. It feels more natural — even though there is still a slight delay.

This isn't necessarily Brydge's fault. It could be a limitation within iPadOS and how this Brydge keyboard is connecting. The firmware updates to the keyboard have absolutely improved the situation, but not perfect quite yet.

The second firmware update to the Brydge Pro+ keyboard
The second firmware update to the Brydge Pro+ keyboard

Apple's Magic Keyboard is still a smoother experience, but this is becoming a much more acceptable alternative.

These changes and iterations are encouraging and we are certain we will see more to come as Brydge responds to the surprise release of iPadOS 13.4 that delivered cursor support to iPads across the board.

Until Brydge catches up with Apple, the Magic Keyboard is still the better buy — even if it does cost quite a bit more.

Where to buy

The Brydge Pro+ keyboard and trackpad will start shipping at the beginning of April and starts at $199 for the 11-inch version, while the 12.9-inch version goes up to $229.

Update 5/15 7:30 A.M. Eastern time: The most recent firmware, v1.0.3 was released on May 13 to further improve performance.

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