So I’ll give Brydge credit for one thing. They are working really fast to try to get the Pro+’s trackpad working better. They shipped their second firmware update for the device today, courtesy of their free Brydge Connect app. If you have a Pro+, just update the app in the App Store, run it with your Pro+ plugged into a power supply and run the update.
I updated the app and loaded the firmware as soon as I got home from work this evening. Brydge’s email notification said that this was a major update, so I was very interested to see how far it goes toward fixing the issues with two-finger scrolling with the trackpad. While this update doesn’t quite live up to the hype, it did improve things.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the Brydge Pro+, it’s had an interesting but bumpy start in the shadow of Apple’s Magic Keyboard. The keyboard is great, and at least in my case, single-finger navigation with the trackpad is solid. The problem has been that the trackpad was designed for Apple’s Assistive Touch mouse support from last year, not the new fully-fledged support that came with iPadOS 13.2.
Unfortunately, because Brydge designed this product to work with a more limited feature set, it doesn’t work with all aspects of Apple’s new iPad mouse support. Based on comments from Brydge, I don’t think we will ever get three-finger gesture support. Reading between the lines, it sounds like the touchpad hardware isn’t capable of supporting them. Two-finger support was added, but it was extremely rough at first. It got a little better with the first firmware upgrade a couple of weeks ago, but there was plenty of room for improvement.
So that brings us to today. I can say that the Pro+’s trackpad is a little better now. Two-finger scrolling isn’t quite as bouncy and jerky as before. That said, it still isn’t smooth and consistent, ether. Every once in a while, the page will skip forward when continuously scrolling. If you sweep your fingers across the pad, you will scroll varying distances down the page. It just isn’t natural or consistent and still just doesn’t measure up to the Magic Keyboard.
That said, the touchpad is working better. Two-finger scrolling is actually usable now, where it really wasn’t before. Things are headed in the right direction, if a little too slow. I just hope Brydge can pick up the pace, because the Pro+ is a really, really good product in all other respects. They just need to finish tightening things up some more for the Pro+ to live up to its original expectations, the price tag and most importantly, its potential as a less expensive alternative to the Magic Keyboard.