Brydge Pro+ Keyboard

Brydge Updates the Pro+ Firmware Again: It’s Getting Better Slowly

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Brydge Pro+

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.


James Rogers

I am a Christian husband and father of 3 living in the Southeastern US. I have worked as a programmer and project manager in the Commercial and Industrial Automation industry for over 19 years, so I am hands on with technology almost every day. However, my passion in technology is for mobile devices, specifically Apple's iOS and iPadOS hardware and software. My favorite is still the iPad.

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8 thoughts on “Brydge Updates the Pro+ Firmware Again: It’s Getting Better Slowly”

  1. I gotta believe that a lot of this is on Apple.

    With 13.3.1 my Logitech mouse worked flawlessly – smooth and precise. With 13.4 it’s unusable with similar issues being reported as the Brydge trackpad. And I’ve read of others having trouble with the latest version and bluetooth.

    I was hoping 13.4.1 would make it better but it didn’t.

    This is really frustrating as I loved having a functioning mouse with the iPad. I doubt Brydge will be able to fix it properly until Apple fixes whatever the hell they broke.

    1. Well, my performance with the Brydge has definitely improved with 13.5. They claimed in an email that Apple had made changes to help with issues, so it sounds like you are correct.

      1. That’s good to hear. I’m not privy to those early releases so I can only wait. As is my $80 mouse I bought just for the iPad remains useless.
        :(

        It would be great if you could somehow keep us up to date on any progress on the Apple/Bluetooth device issues.

        1. Well, since 13.4 was released, pretty much all Bluetooth mice and trackpads work with an iPad. Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2 works the best in my experience. The only other one I’ve tried has been the one from Brydge I talk about in this article, but its problems stem from the fact that it was designed to work with last year’s Assistive Touch mouse support. Now Brydge is trying to get their hardware to be compatible with the new full mouse support that recently came out.

          I haven’t heard of similar issues with other trackpads, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. However, I have tried a couple of mice with my iPad and they both worked fine. They don’t give you the gesture support of a trackpad, but they worked fine as mice.

          1. Can you tell me which iPad’s you tried using a mouse with and also which mouse?

            On my iPad mini 4 running 13.4.1 I’ve tried two Logitech’s – MX Anywhere and recently the Pebble – and neither work well.
            The mouse jumps all over the place even with movement adjusted to minimum and scrolling is hit and miss. They’re really unusable as is.

            So theoretically any mouse will work but not in my experience (and also others reported similar issues with the 13.4 update).

            So I’m wondering if the issue is with older iPads, though the mini 4 is listed as compatible. I’ve factory reset and reinstalled the device just to make sure and on a clean machine with nothing else running I still get the same erratic behavior.

          2. I’ve used a Logitech M557 and one of their newer models. Both scroll smoothly with my 2018 iPad Pro. I also have the Magic Trackpad 2, which is the best device I’ve tried.

            I know that Brydge said that there were improvements in 13.5 that smoothed scrolling for some devices. Have you tried adjusting any of the trackpad-related settings? I have had to tune the scroll speed depending on the device.

          3. Yeah, I’ve went through all of the settings to no avail.

            Your iPad is much newer and more powerful (I got the mini 4 when it first came out (fall of 2015) and it has the A8 processor.

            Maybe it’s just the older processor and the A10 is the minimum for 13.4.

            I guess my only option at this point is to figure out how to go back to 13.3 or hope 13.5 works better with an A8 chip.

            Thanks for the info and your time!

            Shank

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