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News   - 02/27/2010

Possible Apple iPad Dashboard Key Spotted

An eagle-eyed Mac enthusiast has spotted a mystery blank key on the forthcoming Apple iPad keyboard dock.

Writing in the MacRumors forum macduke notes that one button is currently left blank in the row of shortcut keys above the numerical ones. (Similarly, a Mac developer earlier identified a potential slot for a camera).

"Ok, so my MBP has no blank function keys. My Apple aluminium wired keyboard has two, F5 and F6, which are taken up by the keyboard backlight controls on my MBP. F5 and F6 still exist because programs use them for shortcuts," macduke writes.

"But what about the iPad? What can it do on there? Well it seems like there is nothing in the SDK for it. So why even make a button at all? Won't that confuse people -- it seems unlike Apple to put something useless on their keyboard. The button doesn't do anything, at least not yet."

Macduke speculates Apple will implement a dashboard on the iPad, either in March when the iPad Wi-fi model goes on sale in the US and UK or as part of a iPhone 4.0 Software Update.

"I got to thinking about the iPad keyboard. Certainly Apple would have a key for it on their official iPad dock. Was there some clue on the keyboard? So I Googled and found high resolution images on iLounge and spotted the missing button," Macduke adds.

Click here for more Apple iPad coverage

"And guess where it is? Right about where the dashboard button is on a mac. Again, on my Apple aluminium wired keyboard, there is dashboard, blank F5, blank F6, and skip-back. On the iPad, it is keyboard hide, BLANK, and skip-back. The only key with a specific function on an Apple keyboard before skip-back is dashboard, and on the iPad the blank button is right before skip-back. Coincidence? Seems unlikely."

Macduke believes a dashboard function would allow users to quickly check Mail, weather updates and useful widgets for common tasks. "Think of it as multitasking lite edition. Lite-apps that don't use many processing cycles and can run in the background easily."

Source: PCWorld.com    
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