If the new iPad will have a stylus, is a mouse far behind?

Posted:
in iPad edited March 2015
As a typist, I'd like to see a mouse be used on the iPad (including legacy iPads but at least for the iPad Air). While I appreciate the argument that a mouse would cause some iPad buyers to think twice about buying a Mac, the Mac is and would be superior in many ways than a tablet. What a mouse would do, however, is make those looking at Windows and other tablets think favorably about the Apple tablets. And, just because a mouse is available for use (especially for those into typing/copying/cutting/pasting, etc., and offers the frequently useful "right click" option), it's not as if you have to use the mouse. It's simply an additional feature, not much different than having a touchpad on a non-Apple laptop.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    I would absolutely be in favor of this option, but I am almost absolutely certain that they will not add that functionality. But what the hell do I know.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,202moderator
    It's available on jailbroken iOS devices:


    [VIDEO]


    I think select/cut/copy/paste can be improved with touch if they treated it more like a magic marker than a selection box. In the following video at 1:56, you can see where the selection is frustrating because the selection box jumps around and you cover it with your finger:


    [VIDEO]


    If they had it so that the controls appeared at the bottom of the screen and you enabled a selection state and then dragged over items to select them, that would be more reliable. You'd just swipe vertically over a line to select the line, swipe horizontally over a word to select a word. Just tap an image to select that. This allows you to do separated selections like you'd get if you hold command while selecting with a mouse. Like this (without the blue dots):

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/55131/width/500/height/1000[/IMG]

    (normal one-finger panning would resume on releasing the selection mode, which could be persistent or require holding the mode button while selecting. It could switch to two-finger in select mode)

    Adding mouse support wouldn't necessarily have the desired effect because in order for it to function properly, a click should represent a finger press. This would mean it wouldn't select text how you expect, a click-drag would drag the page just like it would if you pressed it:


    [VIDEO]


    They'd have to specially override that functionality for certain scenarios by making scroll replace press-drag and click replace press-hold for say text areas but then have click be the same as press on buttons. The difference with a pen is that it's pretty much the same as a finger and doesn't need an on-screen marker to say where you are touching.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Marvin: Thanks for the input. Personally I have no idea how to "jailbreak" a computer, and doubt that I want to try something that might be irreversible. It just seems to me that an iPad with a mouse (as well as an Apple produced iPad compatible "thumb drive" (to transfer files from Windows computers to the iPad via the "power connector) would make the iPad tablets considerably more useful or functional than they are (and would either encourage people to buy the iPad versus buying Windows system tablets) without affecting MacBook sales. The iPad would still have considerably less storage and power than the MacBooks, and thus not cannabalize MacBook sales. Those that can afford a MacBooks will still almost certainly but a MacBook rather than a tablet, while those that either can't afford a MacBook or don't want/need all a MacBook can provide, but still want "an Apple", would be able to buy the iPad. Or am I being naive?
    .
  • Reply 4 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,202moderator
    It just seems to me that an iPad with a mouse (as well as an Apple produced iPad compatible "thumb drive" (to transfer files from Windows computers to the iPad via the "power connector) would make the iPad tablets considerably more useful or functional than they are (and would either encourage people to buy the iPad versus buying Windows system tablets) without affecting MacBook sales. The iPad would still have considerably less storage and power than the MacBooks, and thus not cannabalize MacBook sales. Those that can afford a MacBooks will still almost certainly but a MacBook rather than a tablet, while those that either can't afford a MacBook or don't want/need all a MacBook can provide, but still want "an Apple", would be able to buy the iPad. Or am I being naive?.

    These additions would make the iPad a bit more productive but they'd have to have custom behavior. The mouse wouldn't by default act like a mouse on a computer because all of the software on an iPad isn't designed to be interacted with using a mouse. Plugging in a mouse would make the mouse behave like your finger, which would be slower in some actions than using your finger. A mouse is also single touch vs multi-touch so pinch-zoom has no equivalent.

    I think the better route would be for them to have a touch pad that allowed you to control the iPad without touching the display. I don't think having an on-screen cursor would be ideal because you'd need more than one. Some implementations project a shadow of hands onto the display to show where the fingers are but it can be circles showing the finger tips with a dot in the middle for precision.

    A storage drive would be useful but there are issues with that like how to copy files over and OS stability. There are wireless options just now:

    http://www.cnet.com/news/wireless-mobile-storage-expander-roundup-frequent-travelers-youll-want-one-of-these/

    You can copy files to those and then to Windows machines.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Marvin:

    Thanks for the reply. I understand your points and logic. Maybe I'm looking at trying to use the iPad (or any tablet) as a word processor as much as possible. I realize that an "upgraded" iPad (not the most accurate description) won't, nor should it, replicate or replace a Mac, but think that it could better (with a mouse option, perhaps with software embedded in the mouse) meet "laptop" capability that Windows tablets seem to offer. That said, I like the iPad, and don't think that a limited "upgrade" would in anyway cannabalize Mac sales. But I'll go along with your explanation. Thanks for your insight.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    jace88jace88 Posts: 19member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleiPadAir32 View Post



    Marvin:



    Thanks for the reply. I understand your points and logic. Maybe I'm looking at trying to use the iPad (or any tablet) as a word processor as much as possible. I realize that an "upgraded" iPad (not the most accurate description) won't, nor should it, replicate or replace a Mac, but think that it could better (with a mouse option, perhaps with software embedded in the mouse) meet "laptop" capability that Windows tablets seem to offer. That said, I like the iPad, and don't think that a limited "upgrade" would in anyway cannabalize Mac sales. But I'll go along with your explanation. Thanks for your insight.

     

    I know how you feel and there are times when selecting text in Word on iPad is a bit frustrating but for the most part, I've been quite happy with my very portable solution of an iPad Air 2 and a portable Bluetooth keyboard (not a case one- I couldn't stand that). That being said, I don't know if mouse is necessarily the right answer as I think it'll be a step backwards with limiting the ways you can interact with elements on the screen. If you are solely focused on the best word processor to go, an ultrabook would probably be a better choice. For me, the iPad was the thin/light all in one package which I could carry, turn on quickly, and have access to everything I need on the go. I accept the limitations but so far it's managed to work well with my usage. Only thing I really need in Office 365 is the ability to open multiple documents simultaneously!

  • Reply 7 of 7
    Preaching to the choir, or at least those that followed the recent Apple announcements, I did read a number of stories about an upcoming iPad possibly ("likely" was the more often used word) having a mouse, and possibly having USB connectivity. This is in line with what I've said I'd like (the mouse). Seems to me that the new (" a new " ) would follow the new MacBook (which is reportedly too "thin" to have a regular USB connector), and a new iPad would use the new USB-C connector, which if I understand correctly, can be multi-use.

    Bear with me; I'm close to being a Luddite.

    If that's the case, I wonder if a there would be a separate USB-C connector for a mouse, or if a wireless mouse would be used. In any case, as I've said before, I don't think "enhancing" the iPad will cannabalize Mac sales, but would take sales from Windows and other tablets.

    Cheers to all.
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