Apple made it official: trackpad and mouse support is coming to the iPad. You can get it on an iPad Pro by spending $299 or $349 on Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, get it on a regular iPad with Logitech’s $150 keyboard case, use your existing Bluetooth mouse or trackpad, or presumably use any number of forthcoming accessories.
So the mouse support is there, but how will it work? The iPad and iPadOS are touch-based operating systems meant to be used with your big fat fingers, not tiny little pointers. Even when the Apple Pencil was introduced, they have stayed that way. Plus, more recently, iPadOS has increased the level of complexity for multitasking to 11 with support for multiple windows, split screens, slide-over windows, custom gestures for text editing, and more. Adding another input method to that mix could result in chaos.
We can answer some of your questions about how trackpad support will work today and we’ll get a chance to actually use it ourselves in the public beta. In the meantime, here’s what we definitely know about how it will work based on videos Apple has released publicly and on a video presentation given to reporters this morning.
Apple’s new Magic Keyboard is not cheap but the mouse and trackpad support looks great.