New iPadOS lets you use a mouse to control your iPad and iPhone apps [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2019
The first beta release of the new iPadOS has a hidden and big feature -- mouse support.




Developers using the first beta of iPadOS have found that you can control the software using a mouse plugged into your iPad. The feature was not announced by Apple, and it is a part of the accessibility options rather than a default. The same option, though, will also allow you to wirelessly connect an Apple Magic Trackpad.

Writing on Twitter, developer Steve Troughton-Smith shows an iPad screen being controlled a mouse cursor. He clicks controls within apps and also manipulates the home screen with it.

Hello mouse support on iOS 13! It's an AssistiveTouch feature, and works with USB mice. @viticci nailed this pic.twitter.com/nj6xGAKSg0

-- Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith)


The feature is similar to the long-standing iOS one that let you replace the old physical Home button with an on-screen icon. It was intended for people who had any difficulty pressing the Home button, but also tended to be used by people whose buttons were failing or broken.

In use, the mouse cursor doesn't resemble a regular Mac one so much as a virtual finger, such as you might see in screencast recordings.

Troughton-Smith also confirmed that the same feature is available when you use an Apple Magic Trackpad paired to your iPad running iPadOS.

AppleInsider will be reporting live throughout WWDC 2019, starting with the keynote on Monday, June 3. Get every announcement as it happens by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and by making sure to follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider, Facebook and Instagram.

Update: Troughton-Smith confirmed the mouse feature also works on iPhone and iPod touch.
tmayvinsolo
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 66
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member
    Hooray, this should wipe out another contingent of repeat feature request posts here. :)
    davgreglkrupptoysandmewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 66
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,109member
    I really want to see how smb file server access works and eventually being able to access the directories at work,  it it certainly looks possible. So if that’s doable, at this point in time it seems Apple has pretty much delivered everything I wanted for the iPad.  

    Next up, making dinner.
    GeorgeBMactoysandmelolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 66
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    I get why Apple didn’t mention this on site but at the same time a lot of people aren’t going to know about so they’re still going to knock the iPad as not being a proper computer. If Apple thinks most support on the iPad is OK why not just say so?
  • Reply 4 of 66
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,109member
    I think putting mouse support as an assistive measure on the iPad is appropriate.  It should be finger based first and foremost
    johnbsiriuslollivermacplusplusredgeminipawatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 66
    morkymorky Posts: 192member
    The reason I want this is for RDP when I need to connect to work. Would prefer to have a standard arrow pointer, though. With that, the iPad may be all the way there for me to replace the Mac.
    deminsd
  • Reply 6 of 66
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    morky said:
    The reason I want this is for RDP when I need to connect to work. Would prefer to have a standard arrow pointer, though. With that, the iPad may be all the way there for me to replace the Mac.
    Does the Apple Pencil work with RDP? 
  • Reply 7 of 66
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 879member
    I was glad to see the development of the iPad, it seemed this was the next logical step for the device. In fact, a lot of the stuff done to iOS and by extension to iPad OS looks promising.
  • Reply 8 of 66
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,260member
    Interesting - not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Part of the reason the iPhone and then the iPad did well was because iOS was designed as a touchscreen interface OS, unlike previous adaptations of Windows. That’s both a benefit and a detriment for an iPad. The interface is simple to use, but for fine manipulations it gets cumbersome. A finger works well but it is not a precision pointing device. The pencil gives increase precision, but costs an additional $100+. Now that a mouse or trackpad can be used will it fragment the software so you end up with some that ‘requires’ a mouse to use it effectively? 
  • Reply 9 of 66
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    MplsP said:
    Interesting - not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Part of the reason the iPhone and then the iPad did well was because iOS was designed as a touchscreen interface OS, unlike previous adaptations of Windows. That’s both a benefit and a detriment for an iPad. The interface is simple to use, but for fine manipulations it gets cumbersome. A finger works well but it is not a precision pointing device. The pencil gives increase precision, but costs an additional $100+. Now that a mouse or trackpad can be used will it fragment the software so you end up with some that ‘requires’ a mouse to use it effectively? 
    Doesn’t look like a trackpad is supported and mouse support doesn’t include text selection.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 10 of 66
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,270member
    I've been saying that this was inevitable for over a year now and getting beat up for it.
    It's not a "toaster / refrigerator" as many claimed.   It is "One Ring to Rule Them All!"

    With this and desktop level Safari, the iPad just became a man.

    I'm glad that it's finally here!   Although it sounds like Apple may need to fine tune it or finish it off.  I think this will be particularly attractive to students who won't have to buy and lug around two devices.

    (I suspect this will kill off the MacBook but the MacBook Air and MacBook Pros will continue on as strong as ever.   While there is overlap in the functionality, the two form factors and OS's will continue to have different (but complimentary) strengths and weaknesses)

    muthuk_vanalingamredgeminipa
  • Reply 11 of 66
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member
    I get why Apple didn’t mention this on site but at the same time a lot of people aren’t going to know about so they’re still going to knock the iPad as not being a proper computer. If Apple thinks most support on the iPad is OK why not just say so?
    Because it's an accessibility feature and not a primary method of input.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 66
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    Fantastic! Now I can switch all work to iPad from Mac. 
  • Reply 13 of 66
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member

    MplsP said:
    Interesting - not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Part of the reason the iPhone and then the iPad did well was because iOS was designed as a touchscreen interface OS, unlike previous adaptations of Windows. That’s both a benefit and a detriment for an iPad. The interface is simple to use, but for fine manipulations it gets cumbersome. A finger works well but it is not a precision pointing device. The pencil gives increase precision, but costs an additional $100+. Now that a mouse or trackpad can be used will it fragment the software so you end up with some that ‘requires’ a mouse to use it effectively? 
    Anything on iOS that "requires" a mouse (assuming you don't mean literally, as that would likely go against App Store rules) would just be a poorly-designed app.
    StrangeDaysmacpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 66
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member

    MplsP said:
    Interesting - not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Part of the reason the iPhone and then the iPad did well was because iOS was designed as a touchscreen interface OS, unlike previous adaptations of Windows. That’s both a benefit and a detriment for an iPad. The interface is simple to use, but for fine manipulations it gets cumbersome. A finger works well but it is not a precision pointing device. The pencil gives increase precision, but costs an additional $100+. Now that a mouse or trackpad can be used will it fragment the software so you end up with some that ‘requires’ a mouse to use it effectively? 
    Doesn’t look like a trackpad is supported and mouse support doesn’t include text selection.
    FTFA: "Troughton-Smith also confirmed that the same feature is available when you use an Apple Magic Trackpad paired to your iPad running iPadOS."

    What do you mean doesn't include text selection? It's an AssistiveTouch feature, so it simulates anything a finger can do in iOS.
    GeorgeBMactoysandmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 66
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    What about the cursor? Will it show up only when a mouse is detected? 
  • Reply 16 of 66
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,109member
    With this and desktop level Safari, the iPad just became a man.

    Uh oh, you will be in trooooouble!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 66
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,270member

    MplsP said:
    Interesting - not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Part of the reason the iPhone and then the iPad did well was because iOS was designed as a touchscreen interface OS, unlike previous adaptations of Windows. That’s both a benefit and a detriment for an iPad. The interface is simple to use, but for fine manipulations it gets cumbersome. A finger works well but it is not a precision pointing device. The pencil gives increase precision, but costs an additional $100+. Now that a mouse or trackpad can be used will it fragment the software so you end up with some that ‘requires’ a mouse to use it effectively? 
    Anything on iOS that "requires" a mouse (assuming you don't mean literally, as that would likely go against App Store rules) would just be a poorly-designed app.
    You mean like Mail, Pages, Numbers, Word and Excel?   Those "poorly designed" apps?

    The truth is:   You can get by using a finger as a pointer, but for fine work, a mouse is far more efficient.
    edited June 2019 muthuk_vanalingamtoysandmeanantksundaram
  • Reply 18 of 66
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,690member

    I've been saying that this was inevitable for over a year now and getting beat up for it.
    It's not a "toaster / refrigerator" as many claimed.   It is "One Ring to Rule Them All!"

    With this and desktop level Safari, the iPad just became a man.

    I'm glad that it's finally here!   Although it sounds like Apple may need to fine tune it or finish it off.  I think this will be particularly attractive to students who won't have to buy and lug around two devices.

    (I suspect this will kill off the MacBook but the MacBook Air and MacBook Pros will continue on as strong as ever.   While there is overlap in the functionality, the two form factors and OS's will continue to have different (but complimentary) strengths and weaknesses)
    I think you're overestimating how many people will use this beyond its target audience (people with disabilities, primarily).  You're simulating a single finger in a multi-touch environment, for one. It may be useful in certain niche use cases, but as a general rule most people won't even know it's there.

    "I think this will be particularly attractive to students who won't have to buy and lug around two devices." — I seriously doubt that. 
    1STnTENDERBITSmacpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 66
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,034member
    Now release a touchpad keyboard for iPad Pro and call the day. It’s been so long.
  • Reply 20 of 66
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    fallenjt said:
    Now release a touchpad keyboard for iPad Pro and call the day. It’s been so long.
    I guess existing one will work right away for new iPad OS. 
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