Mouse support in iOS 13 and iPadOS includes USB and Bluetooth devices

Posted:
in iOS edited June 4
Apple on Tuesday elaborated on mouse support in iOS 13 and iPadOS, saying both USB and Bluetooth devices will be recognized by the operating systems. The company made it clear, however, that the feature is designed specifically for a subset of users who have difficulty interacting with touch screen interfaces.

iPadOS


According to reporter Steven Aquino, Apple emphasized that mouse support in iOS and iPadOS is an accessibility feature, not a nicety created for the general iPad user.

The feature is "[m]eant for users who literally cannot access their devices without a mouse, joystick, whatnot," Aquino said in a tweet.

More specifically, mouse support is designed as a stand-in for touch input, not traditional cursor control as found on Mac. Indeed, a short video posted to Twitter by developer Steve Troughton-Smith on Monday showed mouse input mimicking finger touch events in the first beta version of iPadOS.

"This is not your old desktop cursor as the primary input method," Apple said, according to Aquino.

That said, the company appreciates mainstream media coverage of its Accessibility work.

Apple confirmed both wired USB and Bluetooth mouse models will work in iOS and iPadOS, though the company has not compiled an official list of compatible devices, Aquino said. That includes Apple's own Magic Mouse. Interestingly, Troughton-Smith on Monday discovered the feature works, at least unofficially, with Apple's Magic Trackpad.

Apple told Aquino the "foundation" of mouse support in iOS and iPadOS goes back "a couple years."

Mouse integration can be enabled through the AssistiveTouch menu in iOS 13 and iPadOS, and will be available to users once those operating systems launch this fall.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 273member
    Good, mouse support doesn’t belong on touch devices (except in exceptional circumstances). If you want to use a mouse then use macOS.
    SolirepressthiswilliamlondonMacQcterrence1019watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 38
    I think Apple is not ready yet to admit that in a vertical mode - the iPad being used in conjunction with a keyboard - iOS can’t rely on just touch anymore and needs a flat positioned pointer device with more accuracy, for improved productivity and usability.

    Their hesitance is logical since iOS was initially conceived as a touch OS with all the design concepts and use cases behind it. As a company you need to protect that new way of computing and defend that believe as opposed to just adding it and risking the chance in building a three headed monkey.

    I think Apple right now isn’t sure what do to work it yet. Times have changed. Steve Jobs said once that laptops with touch screens make no sense (“people don’t point at their monitors”). He was right, it didn’t make sense because a laptop is designed for use on a flat surface with an upright monitor.

    Now the iPad has grown up and learned to stand up, with Apple designing a keyboard for this mode, it is time to admit the iPad has become a sort of laptop too. Hence going back to Steve Jobs statement: in this mode touching is not desirable, but a keyboard/mouse is.

    This is why I feel Apple is potentially putting this under ‘accessibility’: they are not sure yet and want to test out a deliberately crippled version for a different use-case.

    I bet iPadOS 14 will support mouse natively. 
    edited June 5 PetrolDavesirozhaGeorgeBMacboxcatcherterrence1019
  • Reply 3 of 38
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,677unconfirmed, member
    So this is a feature a lot of people begged Apple for and we only get 2 comments.... and one isn't in favor.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 38
    the current mouse support is useless. 
    Just tried using Bluetooth mice.

    No right click support, no text selection feature (no hover support), no remote desktop support.
    Pretty useless and does exactly finger can do, that is bad Apple

    loads of crap excuses and can't implemented a good true pointer for iPad pro.
    williamlondonGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 5 of 38
    reflowsreflows Posts: 9member
    Steve Jobs observed that when people have a vertical screen in front of them, they didn't want to be poking it with their finger all the time. But when users put themselves in laptop mode (who cares what mode the device is in), Apple maintains its' dogma about the identity of an iPad as a touch device. I guess it's a way to do something sensible to respond to the user's needs instead of the company's identity, but without acknowledging that the creed has been broken.

    I say it's about time, and when I'm in a spot where I need to use a physical keyboard for actual writing, I'll do my best to think it's a mouse. I'm the one who has an identity and a use case, not the machine I'm using.
    PetrolDaveCheeseFreezesirozhaGeorgeBMacboxcatcherbeowulfschmidtterrence1019
  • Reply 6 of 38
    reflows said:
    Steve Jobs observed that when people have a vertical screen in front of them, they didn't want to be poking it with their finger all the time. But when users put themselves in laptop mode (who cares what mode the device is in), Apple maintains its' dogma about the identity of an iPad as a touch device. I guess it's a way to do something sensible to respond to the user's needs instead of the company's identity, but without acknowledging that the creed has been broken.

    I say it's about time, and when I'm in a spot where I need to use a physical keyboard for actual writing, I'll do my best to think it's a mouse. I'm the one who has an identity and a use case, not the machine I'm using.
    Well said & totally agree
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 38
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 613member
    georgie01 said:
    Good, mouse support doesn’t belong on touch devices (except in exceptional circumstances). If you want to use a mouse then use macOS.
    Total BS
    GeorgeBMacbigtdsshanklinland
  • Reply 8 of 38
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 613member
    I used a mouse with the iPad six years ago. I thought the experience was much superior to having to touch the iPad when the iPad was standing upright. The mouse support with a Bluetooth mouse was available back then with a jailbroken iPad. It was a little wonky, as it was non-native, but as I recall, even the right click worked with the Apple Magic Mouse. 

    When I first bought the iPad in 2011, I tried to use it as a laptop replacement. I gave it a serious effort, but after months of trying hard, i realized that it was just wishful thinking. The iPad was intentionally crippled by Apple to prevent it from cannibalizing the Apple laptop line. The device was very promising, having quickly killed the Netbook niche of Apple’s competitors. Yet, its crippled functionality kept it from being used for many business applications. 

    I haven’t bought a new iPad since 2013. iPad Air and iPad Mini 2 were the last ones I bought. We haven’t powered up the Air for over a year now. My son still uses the iPad Mini 2 for watching YouTube. Until Apple brings the official pointing device support, I’m not interested in the iPad at all. My enthusiasm with the iPad was killed off by Apple’s stupid stubbornness in keeping pointing devices support off the iPad platform. I think 8 years of insistance on the touch-only paradigm is long enough to realize that you were wrong about it. Additionally, the MacBook line is such a small fraction of the Apple’s bottom line now that making the iPad a universal business-application platform would not hurt the bottom line but only boost it. I, for one, would buy a couple iPads (or rather hybrid macPad) devices if Apple ever made them. Otherwise, I’m not interested in the iPad touch-only interface. 
    edited June 5 shanklinlandmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 38
    mindwavesmindwaves Posts: 87member
    Mouse support in text and number based documents is very handy. Not needed, yes, but very handy. About time Apple added this. With the other features added to iPad OS, it can truly become a laptop replacement for a much larger segment of the population. Not for me, though, and I'm happy with my Mac.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 38
    "I don't like this feature, therefore it's wrong for everyone and shouldn't ever have been implemented!  Apple should do something useful with their time and effort, like making sure Animojis work right!

    /s
    MplsPmelgrossNave344muthuk_vanalingamchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 38
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,269member
    So, as I read this, Apple is announcing that their iPad is "Half Pregnant".   That's not good.  Apple didn't get to where they are by making half-baked solutions and taking half-way measures -- or by artificially restricting functionality in their devices.

    The iPad has a problem:  In order to expand from being primarily a content, output oriented device to being a "real computer" it needs an external keyboard.   But currently, as soon as you attach that external keyboard it becomes the dreaded "touch screen laptop".   There is one and only one logical solution that Mr Spock would approve:  Add a full blown mouse driven cursor to the iPad's stable of external keyboards.

    This is not a technical issue.   Any debate is driven by marketing concerns and turf wars (it seems that the Mac world is fearful of the lowly iPad impinging on their turf).

    This is where we need Steve:   "This is crap.   FIX IT!"
    raulcristianmuthuk_vanalingamterrence1019
  • Reply 12 of 38
    thedbathedba Posts: 482member
    If Apple had decided to include mouse support back when the iPad was introduced, then all these iPad specific apps we see in the App Store today wouldn’t have been. This is because people, both users and developers, almost always follow the path of least resistance. They always tend to fall back to what they already know. 
    This is what’s plagued the Surface all these years. Despite MS Windows massive user base, the Surface is constantly being outsold by the iPad. Heck it’s even being outsold by even the lesser user/market share Mac. The public will not want to spend that much money for what they consider to be a very small PC (aka netbook). 
    I don’t think that Apple wants to turn the iPad into a MacBook lite. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 13 of 38
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,454member
    georgie01 said:
    Good, mouse support doesn’t belong on touch devices (except in exceptional circumstances). If you want to use a mouse then use macOS.
    I’m pretty sure those who are clamoring for mouse support will be disappointed in how a mouse is supported in iPadOS. According to other reports the feature basically mimics touch gestures for those who cannot touch the screen. Apple’s own description says it’s not your standard desktop cursor so I expect there to be howling and recriminations over how mouse support works on an iPad. Those expecting their iPad to operate like their Mac are in for a surprise I think.
    edited June 5 MacQcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 38
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,454member

    HenryTheX said:
    the current mouse support is useless. 
    Just tried using Bluetooth mice.

    No right click support, no text selection feature (no hover support), no remote desktop support.
    Pretty useless and does exactly finger can do, that is bad Apple

    loads of crap excuses and can't implemented a good true pointer for iPad pro.
    When it was revealed that iPadOS would include mouse support a lot of people, including yourself apparently, assumed it would turn an iPad into a Mac, that the mouse would work exactly like it does in macOS. You have found out that’s not true. As you say, it does what a finger can do. Why do you think Apple made it part of their Accessibility features? Let the caterwauling and howling begin.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 15 of 38
    deminsddeminsd Posts: 143member
    georgie01 said:
    Good, mouse support doesn’t belong on touch devices (except in exceptional circumstances). If you want to use a mouse then use macOS.
    And yet, Apple supports external keyboards when the iPad has a mighty fine on-screen touch keyboard available!  Do you also believe that there is no place for external keyboards?  I mean, if you want to use an external keyboard, then use macOS, right?

    Why do people care?  If you'd rather be dead than seen using a mouse on an iPad, then...DON'T!  No one is holding a gun to your head.  But some of us DO have a purpose for it.  It's still the same iPad if you don't connect a mouse!  
    edited June 5 GeorgeBMacmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 38
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,193member
    HenryTheX said:
    the current mouse support is useless. 
    Just tried using Bluetooth mice.

    No right click support, no text selection feature (no hover support), no remote desktop support.
    Pretty useless and does exactly finger can do, that is bad Apple

    loads of crap excuses and can't implemented a good true pointer for iPad pro.
    If true, and not improved or the final version, this kind of sucks. I was planning to get an iPad Pro so that I could use it with mouse support to remote into my main machine, instead of a laptop. Apple seems a bit terrified of implementing real mouse support, which is why they have to hide it so deep in the settings, as they really don't want too many people to use it like a laptop then having to optimize that experience. I get it, but would be nice to have the flexibility to do so when needed. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 17 of 38
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,784member
    HenryTheX said:
    the current mouse support is useless. 
    Just tried using Bluetooth mice.

    No right click support, no text selection feature (no hover support), no remote desktop support.
    Pretty useless and does exactly finger can do, that is bad Apple

    loads of crap excuses and can't implemented a good true pointer for iPad pro.
    Did you read the article?
  • Reply 18 of 38
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,784member
    sirozha said:
    I used a mouse with the iPad six years ago. I thought the experience was much superior to having to touch the iPad when the iPad was standing upright. The mouse support with a Bluetooth mouse was available back then with a jailbroken iPad. It was a little wonky, as it was non-native, but as I recall, even the right click worked with the Apple Magic Mouse. 

    When I first bought the iPad in 2011, I tried to use it as a laptop replacement. I gave it a serious effort, but after months of trying hard, i realized that it was just wishful thinking. The iPad was intentionally crippled by Apple to prevent it from cannibalizing the Apple laptop line. The device was very promising, having quickly killed the Netbook niche of Apple’s competitors. Yet, its crippled functionality kept it from being used for many business applications. 
    Complete bullshit, of course. Apple has said and demonstrated several times that they aren’t afraid of cannibalizing their own products. What you view as conspiracy theory is actually just having firm ideas about what works better and why. 
    MacQc
  • Reply 19 of 38
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,784member

    So, as I read this, Apple is announcing that their iPad is "Half Pregnant".   That's not good.  Apple didn't get to where they are by making half-baked solutions and taking half-way measures -- or by artificially restricting functionality in their devices.

    The iPad has a problem:  In order to expand from being primarily a content, output oriented device to being a "real computer" it needs an external keyboard.   But currently, as soon as you attach that external keyboard it becomes the dreaded "touch screen laptop".   There is one and only one logical solution that Mr Spock would approve:  Add a full blown mouse driven cursor to the iPad's stable of external keyboards.

    This is not a technical issue.   Any debate is driven by marketing concerns and turf wars (it seems that the Mac world is fearful of the lowly iPad impinging on their turf).

    This is where we need Steve:   "This is crap.   FIX IT!"
    Incorrect. UX is not marketing. The debate on ipads with mouse (which is akin to laptops with touch) has jack to do with marketing and everything to do with positions on usability. More conspiracy theory on your part, which is what happens when people try to inject or apply motivations to people they don’t know. 
  • Reply 20 of 38
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,784member

    slurpy said:
    HenryTheX said:
    the current mouse support is useless. 
    Just tried using Bluetooth mice.

    No right click support, no text selection feature (no hover support), no remote desktop support.
    Pretty useless and does exactly finger can do, that is bad Apple

    loads of crap excuses and can't implemented a good true pointer for iPad pro.
    If true, and not improved or the final version, this kind of sucks. I was planning to get an iPad Pro so that I could use it with mouse support to remote into my main machine, instead of a laptop. Apple seems a bit terrified of implementing real mouse support, which is why they have to hide it so deep in the settings, as they really don't want too many people to use it like a laptop then having to optimize that experience. I get it, but would be nice to have the flexibility to do so when needed. 
    Some of the remote access clients sell an ipad app that has mouse support currently, just for remote client sessions. Citrix, Jump Desktop. Worth a look.

     https://www.citrix.com/products/citrix-mouse/support.html
    edited June 5 morky
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