External Keyboards

KeyboardKit Pro can detect if an external keyboard is connected.


KeyboardKit Pro unlocks ways to detect if an external keyboard is connected to the device, including support for the Smart Keyboard Folio, Magic Keyboard, Bluetooth keyboards, etc.

👑 Pro features

KeyboardKit has an ExternalKeyboardContext that detects whether or not an external keyboard is connected to the device. To use it, just set it up as an observed object:

struct CustomKeyboardView: View {

   var context = ExternalKeyboardContext()

   var body: some View {
       VStack {
           Text("Is an external keyboard connected?")

   var stateDescription: String {

In the code above, we also inject the context into the view hierarchy as an environment object.

Warning: When using a Apple Smart Keyboard Folio, this context will consider the keyboard to be connected even when it’s just snapped on to the device, even when it’s not actively being used. This should be fixed.

Important about external keyboards

Your keyboard extension will start behaving strangely when you type on an external keyboard.

For instance, the extension will stop receiving information about when the text changes. This makes it hard to e.g. provide autocomplete suggestions. Checking the text with a scheduled timer doesn’t help, since the text document proxy will not update.

One way to force the proxy to update is to move the text cursor, but this may interfere with the typing. Imagine typing, when the cursor suddenly moves one step back, then forward again.

Due to this limitation, it may be better to collapse the keyboard to a compact toolbar when an external keyboard is connected. You can always add a button that expands the keyboard again, if the user still wants to use it.


The information on this page is shortened to be easier to overview. For more information about this feature, code samples, etc., please see the online documentation.