In case you regularly read articles and reviews here on MacReview.com, than you probably like Apple-designed products and the whole OS X and iOS world as much as we do. In that case you probably own a Mac and one (but in most cases, at least two) iOS devices, like an iPhone and an iPad.
By having all those devices and using them equally throughout the day, it requires from you to keep all of them in sync. Apple has done a great job with that. For example, once you download an iOS app to your iPhone, if there’s an iPad-compatible version of that app, it will be automatically downloaded to your tablet. Or in the world of OS X, a good example is that Apple remembers which applications you’ve bought using the Mac App Store, and keeps all your Macs in sync once you buy a new app, or in case you’d like to re-download all the apps you’ve previously purchased. There’s also Apple’s iCloud, but this article would be too long if we continue mentioning all the ways you can keep your Apple-made devices in sync.
This software side of keeping everything in sync transferred to hardware as well. This could be seen in those Bluetooth keyboards which are made to work with OS X and iOS as well, simply by switching its desktop or mobile mode using a button. This only applies to the newest generation of Bluetooth keyboards, so it would be really nice if there’s a similar solution to owners of those wired keyboards. Well, there’s one now and it’s called IOGear Dock.
IOGear is a company specialized in all kinds of switches like HDMI, USB and video switches, as well as all kinds of routers, splitters and similar equipment. The product we are reviewing today is called IOGear Dock and it’s made to allow you to use your wired keyboard with your OS X and iOS at the same time. Now, let’s see how this product looks and if it really works as advertised.
IOGear Dock actually looks like a regular iPhone dock, but the thing is that this is not an iPhone dock. Since it’s made to be used with Apple-designed products, it features white color and very simplified design and it will fit nicely with other Apple-made products. In order to use it, you’ll need to plug in your wired keyboard and a mouse into this dock and then you’ll need to plug IOGear Dock into your Mac. This way you can use your keyboard with a Mac just like you did before, but since IOGear Dock supports Bluetooth connectivity, you can also use it with your iPhone and iPad. There’s a small LED signal light which shows if a keyboard is currently assigned to OS X or iOS.
In practice, this little device works very well. It takes only a minute to set it up and after that, works flawlessly. Switching between a Mac, an iPhone and an iPad is very quick and I’ve had no problems with it. Also, as you can see from the picture, there’s a small built-in hold for your iDevice, but you can’t actually dock it and charge it that way. This function would make IOGear Dock a perfectly rounded product.
Finally, it is important to say that this product is priced at $80, which is really a lot, considering that you can buy an actual Bluetooth keyboard for that money.