iOS 13 officially supports Xbox and PlayStation gamepads, iPad gets mouse support

Humza

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

The Xbox and PlayStation controllers have just found another use, this time to enhance gaming experiences on Apple's devices. Previously, only certified MFi (Made for iPhone) Bluetooth gamepads worked with iOS and Apple TV but at its WWDC 2019 keynote, the company revealed that it's finally bringing true controller support with iOS and tvOS updates, coming this fall.

Not only could existing games on the App Store benefit from this, but the announcement also comes in time to complement Apple's own upcoming Arcade gaming service. Provided the new and exclusive games for Arcade standout from the crowd, a DualShock 4 or an Xbox S controller paired with one of Apple's devices like an iPad or a big screen powered by tvOS sound like a great recipe for casual gaming, and just might give Google's competing Stadia a run for its (subscription) money.

In other news, previous rumors around mouse support for the iPad can finally be laid to rest. The support is currently live under the developer beta as an AssistiveTouch accessibility feature and enables mouse connectivity over both USB and Bluetooth as confirmed by The Verge.

For anyone wondering whether it works with an iPhone, iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith reports in the affirmative.

Presumably, Apple doesn't want the cursor to become a mainstream feature for its mobile devices hence the feature's inclusion under accessibility and it's round appearance designed to mimic a finger touch instead of a pointer usually seen on desktops.

Expect more features to surface once developers start digging through iOS 13 and iPadOS betas.

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psycros

TS Evangelist
"Presumably, Apple doesn't want the cursor to become a mainstream feature for its mobile devices hence the feature's inclusion under accessibility and it's round appearance designed to mimic a finger touch instead of a pointer usually seen on desktops."

The fact that Apple put in the time to support a mouse on their mobile devices Pad clearly shows they DO hope it will become mainstream with the people who've balked the high cost of a Mac. Some of the best productivity and content creation software is now available on iOS and a mouse is required to make effective use of those programs. Also liking the official XB1 and PS4 controller support..that's huge for people who don't want to blow money on a dedicated Bluetooth controller (or one of the dual mode types that also work with PC/XB360). One thing I don't understand is why they didn't extend the PS4 and XB1 controller support to MacOS now that a lot more games are being simul-developed for it. You can actually use USB or Bluetooth to get the Mac to acknowledge a Dual Shock 4 as a "wireless controller" and if your game is on Steam you won't need to manually config the controls. Sony also sells a wireless dongle that will support Dual Shock 4 on PC and Mac. The XB1 controller still isn't officially supported but its easy enough use the open source 360Controller driver to get it going. I imagine that official controller on Mac is in the pipe. Also, I'm still confused as to why they felt the need to split up iOS the way they did but one has to assume the differences between the three variants are minimal.
 

Vrmithrax

TechSpot Paladin
Well that just figures... We just completely scrapped our plans for a fleet of iPads for our sales teams, instead providing 2-in-1 laptops that the team could actually use with our new management software. Remote desktop logins to a Windows environment were downright painful without actual mouse support, so Apple lost out. I found it ridiculous that Apple loved to push how powerful the iPad is, yet hobbled it with simple limitations like purposely avoiding mouse support.
 
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