Apple has made it official: Trackpad and mouse support comes to the iPad. You can purchase it on an iPad Pro by spending $ 299 or $ 349 on Apple's new Magic Keyboard, buying it on a regular iPad with Logitech's $ 150 keyboard case, using your existing Bluetooth mouse or trackpad, or probably one Use any number of accessories.
So mouse support is there, but how will it work? The iPad and iPadOS are touch-based operating systems designed to be used with your big, fat fingers and not with small pointers. Even when the Apple Pencil was introduced, they stayed that way. More recently, iPadOS has increased the complexity of multitasking to 11 and supports multiple windows, split screens, sliding windows, custom gestures for text editing, and more. Adding another input method to this mix can cause chaos.
We can answer some of your questions about how Trackpad support works today and have the option to use it in public beta. In the meantime, we definitely know how it will work based on videos Apple has released publicly and a video presentation given to reporters this morning.
- The pointer is only shown when you need it. The mouse pointer is not always displayed on the screen, but only displayed when you touch the trackpad.
- The pointer is a small circular point. According to Apple, the shape makes the most sense for the iPad, which in turn is essentially designed to be touched with the fingers.
- … but it can change shape depending on what it points to. Do you know how your desktop mouse pointer changes to a hand, a text cursor, or a small resize arrow, depending on what it points to? The pointer of the iPad works similarly. Because so many UI elements on iPad are large, touchable buttons, the way the iPad cursor changes is slightly different. The shape changes according to the size of the touch target area for the button. (If the animations annoy you, you can apparently turn them off.)
Here's where it makes sense to watch it in this slowed down GIF of Apple's hype video:
- You can do mouse tasks that you expect Select cells in a table or pinch and zoom.
- It will probably be much better to manipulate text. Selecting, copying, pasting and dragging text blocks will be much easier than the finger exercises that the iPad currently needs.
- It supports some navigation gestures. Although it doesn't work exactly like the Mac, you can use some gestures. They include:
- Move the cursor to the bottom of the screen to access the Dock.
- Click the status icons in the upper right corner to open the Control Center.
- Move the cursor to the right side of the screen to display slide over apps.
- Go home by swiping up with three fingers.
- Open multitasking by swiping and holding up with three fingers.
- Swipe between open apps by swiping left and right with three fingers.
- Swipe between slide over apps by wiping with three fingers when the cursor is in a slide over app.
After the developer’s beta is released, support will work for other things you may need, such as: B. Moving the mouse pointer over elements on web pages:
WebKit on iPadOS now supports hover / mouseover for websites as expected
– Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith), March 18, 2020
These are many gestures that you should remember, but are only present on the Mac. It may seem overwhelming, but if you made a similar list for your MacBook or Windows computer, it would be just as daunting. The gestures of the iPad are just different. Let Apple Software chief Craig Federighi guide you through everything in this video.
How will it all feel in practice? We'll know soon enough. The iPad's user interface is powerful, but difficult to learn in many ways, also because so many of us still have paradigms for the desktop user interface in mind.
An interesting thing that you can't do is just have a couple of conventional windows like you are used to from a desktop or even a Windows tablet. Apple is holding on to its weapons to rethink how we move and rearrange windows on the iPad screen, such as split-screen and slide-over. Good or bad (and I think for the better), the new trackpad features won't turn the iPad into a Mac.
It is unclear whether this will change radically this year with iPadOS 14. Federighi himself recently said: "If you like what we did with iPadOS, stay tuned, we will continue to work on it."