iPad + Bluetooth Keyboard + Bluetooth Mouse = Desktop iPad computer

The iPad might only boast a 10-inch (or so) touchscreen display and a 0.5-inch waistline that would make any Hollywood actress green with raging envy, but don’t let the tablet’s seemingly dumbed-down looks fool you. With enough tweaks and hacks, you can turn your lowly little Apple iPad into an almost-suitable computer for your desk. The video you see here shows that a little bit of hackery, a keyboard, and a Bluetooth mouse is all you need to use the tablet as a desktop computer (a fairly dumbed-down desktop computer).

Apple has already endowed the iPad with the necessary skills to connect with a Bluetooth keyboard right out of the box – they even sell a dock that attaches a keyboard to the iPad. With its touchscreen, the tablet can already serve as a lightweight replacement for your laptop. But, add a Bluetooth mouse and the iPad magically transforms itself into something that might fool some into thinking that you just bought a paper-thin computer that you can toss in your purse and take with you wherever you go.

So, how do you this to your iPad? It’s actually fairly simple. First, you’ll have to jailbreak the iPhone OS-powered tablet with the recently released Spirit jailbreak from none other than the iPhone Dev Team. Then, you’ll want to open up Cydia and download/install the BTStack package. From there, go to your iPad’s settings screen and connect your Bluetooth mouse via the “Mouse” pane. You can find the Spirit jailbreak here. More detailed instructions on setting up BTStack can be found at RedmondPie.

We think this is geek-tastically awesome. What say you, dear reader?

[Via: RedmondPie]

  • anonymous whiner

    Why would you jailbreak it to add Bluetooth support when it is built-in feature of the iPad? I just paired a keyboard to an iPad without jailbreaking.

    • anon

      jailbreak is required to install the app that will pair a bluetooth mouse. The ipad only supports keyboard natively.

      • question/comment

        Will it work with any bluetooth-ready mouse or the one put out by Apple? Thanks.

        • Wildpalms

          Works with a lot of bluetooth mouses (TM) but not every single one out there. I have read some forum posts of certain lesser known brands not working. Stick with Apple, Lenovo, Logitech and Microsoft mouses (yes, the word mouse was trademarked in the 90’s so that is correct) and it will work fine.

    • Wildpalms

      Because an RDP session with touch access is difficult. Add a mouse and you have a very functional desktop on the iPad.

    • xen junky

      One reason… XEN Desktop

  • dres79

    i got BTStack mouse running without issue. issue is when i do that i lose the wireless keyboard due to BT shutdown. so can i add also BTStack keyboard and run both at the sametime?

    • Cgm

      I have the same question? My keyboard does not work because I had to dissable the Bluetooth to tuen on mouse. So how do you get both to work? Did anyone answer you?

      • Wildpalms

        Yes, you need to install the BTStack keyboard as well as to use a bluetooth keyboard along with a bluetooth mouse. I’ve done this with the Apple bluetooth keyboard and Magic Mouse and it worked perfectly. Works fine with Windows RDP sessions on iPad.

        • Zoidbergy

          Wildpalms, is your rdp client compatible with standard windows mouse clicks? What client do you use? Itap doesnt seem compatible with a btstack mouse

    • googleplex

      I have the same question. Looks like no one is responding to this issue?

  • Gene Fisher

    Question: does the jailbroken ipad support all keys on the wireless keyboard? In particular, I would like to have all keys working (arrows, control, etc) when connected to a VNC app. As far as I can tell, none of the non-jail broken ipad VNC apps provide such support for a wireless keyboard.
    I.e., in these apps, auxiliary keys (arrows etc) only work on the touch screen, not from the keyboard.

  • Atomic-Monki

    This is pretty stupid. Jailbreaking your iPad not only voids your warranty, but done wrong could actually destroy your device. Happy Expensive Paperweight Day! Also, why the hell would you want a mouse on a device that was designed specifically for touch controls only? What… you haven't gotten the hang of using your fingers to control a mouse pointer in a virtual desktop like LogMeIn Ignition? Maybe you should have stuck with a netbook then if you wanted a mouse and keyboard to use.

    Gawd people are idiots.

    • magic_mouse_fw_guy

      It's simply about versatility. There will be times when you want to use a kb and ms, such as when using a word processor, and times when you just want to free the thing up and use it via touch.

      So people are not idiots they are just being more creative than you.

    • Vapor20

      Why NOT have a BT mouse connected to your iPad? It's so hard to make really narrow selections with your fingers – a mouse makes selecting words or even characters SO easy!

    • http://twitter.com/BrainTwitch Brain Twitch

      negative much?

    • Whatisreal01

      umm….if you jailbreak and something goes wrong all you have to do is restore the device using the stock software…i jailbroke my ipad and every new OS for the iPhone that a jailbreak was available for. you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • Hill

      Bestbuy makes their money from these people selling extended warranty XD

    • Xander

      I want it all in one !
      i use my ipad as navigation for in the car, workstation for webdesigning,remote photoshopping(therefore I needed the mouse) over splashtop, use it as cam, scanner,
      Phonebook, invoice system, timetracker, website mockup device, etc etc… yeah thank god for touchscreens and bluetooth keyb+mouse support.
      Gawd haters are idiots :)

    • Brandch

      You couldn’t be more wrong, it actually hurt a little bit to read your comment.  It’s practically impossible to destroy your iDevice by jailbreaking it.  In fact, its nearly impossible to software brick your device anymore even if you’re trying to do it intentionally.  Welcome to DFU.  

      You’re arguments are unsupported and clearly mis/uninformed…, try doing some research before ranting and criticizing like you have. :)

      (Just proves who the idiot _really_ is)

    • Atomic-dumbass

      you are the only idiot here, jail breaking your device is completely safe if you aren’t retarded and can read instructions, and also is completely reversible so apple would never know to be able to void your warranty. A bt mouse and kb will come in very handy with iOS 5 and display-mirroring with an apple tv. I can’t wait!

    • Atomic-dumbass

      you are the only idiot here, jail breaking your device is completely safe if you aren’t retarded and can read instructions, and also is completely reversible so apple would never know to be able to void your warranty. A bt mouse and kb will come in very handy with iOS 5 and display-mirroring with an apple tv. I can’t wait!

  • VDI Guy

    Why do this? Easy! I use a program that connects to a remote VDI windows desktop, with out a mouse its tough to use and the ability to get to a remote desktop means the iPad is the only tool I need on the road. I am not ken to jail break to do something that should work out of the gate.

  • @HighCo

    I still would like to know how to get my magic mouse connected without having to jailbreak. The keyboard works flawless, but isn't useful until i can do everything without using my fingers.

  • Kossab

    Oh God.. that is not a bluetooth keyboard!!!!

    that is the keybooard with the ipad dock!!!

  • dion

    Its too bad that the apple kb does not issue commands like DEL to go back on a web page or use the arrow keys to go up/dn/rt/lf on a word processor document. . If it did then your precise placement of the cursor would save you time and frustration instead of the touch commands. Apple would have been better off if they offered a KB with a track mouse built in. I guess their thinking is that YOU are not to go in that direction into mouseville lol!

  • CC

    Indeed, that keyboard is not a bluetooth keyboard !!!!

    there is a need for both bluetooth mouse and ; it seems possible since 4.01 (see apple site) ; I’d lie to have the jb version for 3.2 ….

  • Danielzurich5

    Do you have to have that program for the mouse

  • Mike

    that is the coolest thing ever! I’m going to give that a go!

  • http://www.aromawebdesign.com Vancouver Web Design

    This cool though, it sux that iPad has to be jailbrake :(.

  • Tim

    How about an iPad keyboard dock that can have an external mouse attached? So there would a USB port on both sides, so left handed & right handed users would be able to use a corded mouse and then possibly an external hard drive or USB stick to take files you wanted to move to PC’s or other Apple computers? What I love about the iPad is that its limited by imagination more than any other constraint.

  • Howard Gardiner

    But can it RDP to a Windows machine???

  • Anonymous

    I need this so that I can more easily control my remote desktop through Splashtop remote link on the iPad, making it a sort of useful item as opposed to a big toy.

  • Anonymous

    I need this so that I can more easily control my remote desktop through Splashtop remote link on the iPad, making it a sort of useful item as opposed to a big toy.

  • Peter

    Anyone knows wether connecting usb mouse works? Or is possible at all?

  • Peter

    Anyone knows wether connecting usb mouse works? Or is possible at all?

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