We heard in March 2020 that the new iPad OS would support arrow keys and mouse or trackpad movement, so we bought a sampling of adapters to test it out with our little invention kit! As of April 13th, iPads running OS 13.4 work with Makey Makey v.1.4 and higher!
Please note that most tablet apps are designed for touchscreen rather than keyboard and mouse input, so Makey Makey does not interface with many of the functions on a table or on an app. You can use our web browser-based apps and any other apps that take keyboard input.
It is always safer to test the apps you are wanting to use before investing in an adapter. It is also safer to buy one adapter or cable to try out with your Makey Makey kits before investing in a class set.
Success on the iPad depends on what software you are wanting to use. Since Makey Makey works on key presses, it generally works best on the browser on the iPad and if you want to use Scratch, it is best to remap the arrow keys to letter or number presses. Note that when you plug in your Makey Makey it will take over the virtual keyboard on the iPad. Also note that most phone and tablet apps are designed for touch screen input and not keyboard input. So test your apps to see if they take keyboard inputs before making a decision on buying an adapter. We know that Scratch and our apps work in the Safari or Chrome browser on an iPad.
We've tested a variety of different adapters and found nearly all work with Makey Makey v1.4 and v1.5. But if you have an older Makey Makey (v1.2 or older), you will likely need a newer Makey Makey to work with your iPad.
Later versions of the board (Makey Makey v1.4b and higher) work with any of the USB to Lightning adapters we have tried. If your iPad uses a USBc connection, we have a cable you can purchase in our shop here. You can find the version number of your Makey Makey printed on the back of the board under the name “Makey Makey®.” If there is no number, it is older than v1.2.
Tried 3 different iPad adapters and they ALL successfully powered @makeymakey and let me play @MSMakeCode games on my iPad (and iPhone!) Now kids can code games on MakeCode Arcade and play them on an iPad with #makeymakey !#gamechanger pic.twitter.com/IDbDRgfNpN— Colleen Graves (@gravescolleen) April 16, 2020
Oh wow! The new iPadOS supports key presses! Check out my quick #danceparty with @Scratch and @makeymakey !!! Sound up! #makered #makeymakey #distancelearning #QuarentineLife pic.twitter.com/jSjlIFwDPE— Colleen Graves (@gravescolleen) March 19, 2020
Skip the adapter and grab a USB-C cable, right from our shop!
The official apple lightning to USB Camera adapter powers Makey Makey and just works right out of the box! We also had an older version of this adapter and it also powered Makey Makey and allowed us to create Scratch projects we could control with our Makey Makey. (Apple adapter on Amazon)
Price when we purchased: $13.99 USD
This adapter has USB 3.0 and Lightning female ports so you can attach Makey Makey and simultaneously pass power through the Lightning port to power your iPhone or iPad.
This adapter will allow you to charge your iPad and play with Makey Makey at the same time.
We are so stoked to learn of this development! It means schools with iPads can now use Makey Makey! Since there are a lot of adapters on the market, we suggest buying one to test before getting a class set, but we can't wait to see what kids create now that they can use their Makey Makey on a mobile device! Here's a quick video on making a game in MakeCode Arcade and using a Makey Makey! We will have a full lesson on MakeCode Arcade in our next lesson for students at home.