The model name is IMACK134. I bought it at Walmart. They're sold elsewhere of course.

So, I can connect it through Bluetooth to the Mac just fine, but I get the "cannot be identified" prompt:

enter image description here

When I click "Continue", it asks me to tap the key immediately to the right right of the Shift key (which would be the Z key), so I tap that, and a drop-down box appears that says the keyboard can't be identified:

2nd screenshot:

enter image description here

If I click OK, that drop-down window disappears, then tapping any key goes "bonk". The only thing I can do is close the box, go to Mac Settings > Keyboard > Change Keyboard Type, which pops up the "cannot be identified" box again, then after hitting Z, pressing "Skip"... and then I can select ANSI (US type) which I did... but the keyboard still has some problems.

The Command and Option keys are switched... even though they're labeled like an Apple keyboard, including having the icons. I have to go into keyboard settings and switch the modifier keys.

Another problem is that the tic/tilde key prints § (or with Shift prints ±)... I haven't found how to change this in settings, or even which button(s) will print the tic or tilde! There seems to be some solutions online for this (like Alt+N but the keyboard has no Alt button), but they seem to print a weird underlined tilde or something else that looks like a different character.

Has anyone else actually tried this keyboard?! I mean, it's built for Mac, obviously; it's called "iHome" (a reference to iMac), its model name has IMACK in it, and its button labels match Mac keyboards... I'm just blown away that this doesn't work out of the box. I realize it's also compatible with Windows, but it seems to be behaving worse with a Mac than the keyboards I've tried that were built with Windows-first in mind that also mention they're compatible with Mac.

Here's the keyboard:

enter image description here


Note that I'm not trying to advertise the keyboard or a certain store (and pointing out problems with it is not good advertising).

I'll be happy to get an Apple keyboard... but I really was expecting the iHome people to have used their own keyboard with Mac enough to not have these kinds of problems without an easy solution somewhere. The manual doesn't mention any of these issues.

  • I added an image of the keyboard and a link of where I bought it from, but I don't know if the OS thinks the keyboard is ISO even though I selected ANSI... there was some setting I was in that seemed to indicate as much. However, I ended up getting it to work right using Karabiner-Elements, though I don't like all of the security permissions it requires. I was on Mac Catalina at the time, and now I'm on Big Sur, and the keyboard's behavior has not changed.
    – SteveExdia
    Jun 7 at 14:47
  • I wonder why macOS would think the keyboard is ISO, even after I selected ANSI. Either Apple's missing something or iHome didn't test the keyboard adequately on macOS US. Either way, it makes both companies look bad. The keyboard has connection and battery issues anyway, is hard to type on (the keys have to be pressed harder than normal), and the painted key characters are sometimes hard to see or are fading. I really don't know why a $30 Bluetooth keyboard can't be good for Mac... unless I just haven't found it yet.
    – SteveExdia
    Jun 8 at 17:45
  • Years ago I paid $20 to $30 for a wired keyboard and mouse and they were great; responsive, fast, accurate, consistent... how in this day and age we can't have a wireless (USB or Bluetooth) keyboard and mouse with the same behavior and price as those a decade ago, I don't see any excuse for. The technology and construction gets easier every year with popularity and manufacturing improvements. I think iHome is just not a quality company. It's sad I have to pay two to four times now to get something that is basically a standard now.
    – SteveExdia
    Jun 11 at 17:30
  • "you can no longer get the wired & they're USB2 so need adaptors to fit USB-C" - this is just ridiculous. You don't have a choice but have to pay three times as much unless you buy adapters... and the newer stuff isn't as good quality either. What's wrong with our basic input tech now?!
    – SteveExdia
    Jun 14 at 18:00
  • "Welcome to the modern world. Standards change all the time" That's not a useful or a helpful or an unknown statement you're making there @Tetsujin :/ and it seems you've completely missed the point I made before. In fact, in a way it just bolsters my point because I've already stated that the standards have changed but that the issue is that the quality has diminished while the price has gone up. In context the statement's a bit condescending, as if nobody realized that standards change XD Also, just blowing it off as cheap Walmart gear forgets that the old standard was sold at the same place
    – SteveExdia
    Jun 17 at 13:58

I could only fix this for the iHome keyboard using two things:

  1. Mac system settings for Keyboards, setting the keyboard as ANSI (US) in Setup Bluetooth Keyboard.
  2. Using Karabiner-Elements settings for the keyboard to fix the strange key assignments (may require special permissions in Mac settings, such as being able to read your keystrokes).

This works on macOS Catalina and Big Sur.

It's too bad it needs 3rd-party software or special permissions to work right; it's kind of ridiculous that a keyboard made by "iHome", meant for Macs primarily, and that has Mac-specific key characters painted on the keys just doesn't work out of the box without external software from another provider. Nothing like this is mentioned in the manual. I'd be just fine if iHome disappeared from my perception at this point.

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