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iOS 13 rumored to bring mouse support to the iPad

By Humza · 19 replies
Apr 25, 2019
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  1. Apple's iPad has always packed a punch in terms of hardware but their entire line-up of tablets from the recently refreshed Mini and Air to the Pro are somewhat limited by iOS, a mobile operating system perfect for media consumption, browsing, playing games and even 4K video editing, but the lack of proper file management, lackluster multi-window support, mobile browsers on tablet screens and other niggles prevent it from becoming a high-end laptop replacement, something which it's been repeatedly touted as by Apple.

    One such niggle may soon be dealt with in iOS 13 as rumors of USB mouse support for the iPad have made rounds on the web. While the tablet supports keyboards and stylus input, things have stayed quiet on the mice front.

    In the Connected podcast, Macstories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci mentions using a USB mouse with an iPad Pro. "What I heard is without adapters, you will be able to use any USB mouse on your iPad, but as an accessibility device," further saying "The iPad Pro has a USB-C port, so just plug in a mouse and if you have physical impairments, if you have any other kinds of motor impairments, just use a USB mouse in accessibility mode."

    This raises two questions, one is whether the USB mouse support will be exclusive to the USB-C ports of the iPad Pro, ignoring the Mini and Air models, and two, whether the feature's inclusion under iOS Accessibility restricts mouse functionality in anyway as the OS doesn't currently have a cursor.

    Adding to the rumor mill, Steve Troughton-Smith, a well-known developer tweeted that such a feature "*is* indeed in the works," and pro users are likely to turn it on the very first day it becomes available.

    Although there's no clear timeline on the availability of USB mouse support, it could debut in iOS 13 alongside other features, which Apple is set to reveal in early June at WWDC'19.

    Permalink to story.

  2. XtremeHammond

    XtremeHammond TS Enthusiast Posts: 70   +45

    Ok, so I'll be able to use Twitter, Facebook and make selfies with a mouse now?
    Goddamit Apple, where's normal hardware for creatives and professionals?
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,463   +3,024

    First, they built an entire ecosystem that does not require mouse input, and now they want to break it.

    This is a huge mistake on Apple part. Adding support for mouse will create a nightmare for developers, because products will need to support it, somehow, similar to PC. And it will result in some apps requiring mouse, so you no longer can use iPad properly without mouse. This is destroying the integrity of the iOS ecosystem that exists today.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    onestepforward likes this.
  4. elementalSG

    elementalSG TS Booster Posts: 114   +94

    Steve Jobs just turned over in his grave...
  5. Fearghast

    Fearghast TS Addict Posts: 130   +89

    Gimme gimme gimme!
    This (and fixing build quality of iPads Pro in 11/2019) might make me go back to iPad Pro.
    It's so utterly stupid you have a big screen, you can dock it, but you have to touch that bloody touchscreen anyway.
    Next time copy the whole DeX pls!
  6. Fearghast

    Fearghast TS Addict Posts: 130   +89

    There was an earthquake near his grave?
    elementalSG likes this.
  7. elementalSG

    elementalSG TS Booster Posts: 114   +94

    Yes! Can you believe that the earthquake was started by a mouse?
    D3z4R1 and Fearghast like this.
  8. Tantor

    Tantor TS Enthusiast Posts: 43   +59

    This is hilarious. When Apple finally deigns to allow the Apple peasantry to use a mouse with a tablet, you will suddenly hear gasps of amazement as the Apple faithful discover the benefits of a mouse. You will read articles lauding the newfound capabilities. All of which goes to show how short the public memory is. Back in the 80's before the era of Windows, Apple was renowned for 'ease of use'. Apple had a graphic OS and a mouse, in contrast to the DOS which which was text based had no mouse. Bill Gates noticed the discrepancy, developed graphic windows, and the rest is history. I read that MS just passed the trillion dollar value mark.

    Somewhere along the line Apple forgot its roots.

    I use a 29$ Bluetooth mouse on my Samsung Tab E 9.6". The ability to easily select blocks of text, click on small buttons, all without getting my grubby fingers... or a stylus, in the way, is a godsend. I only wish that Android would expand on their mouse controls, such as closing apps with a right click.

    I use the same Microsoft Bluetooth mouse with my Thinkpad 8" tablet, which runs a full Win 10 Pro installation. It allows me to run many programs which absolutely need a mouse, such as Tunelab Pro, Excel, Word. Surfing with a multi button mouse is FAR easier than using your fingers. I like to put my tablet in a stand on my desk, and surf at a distance using only my mouse. Then you get to games such as Faster than Light (FTL), Dominions 5, Minecraft, and the enormous library of old DOS, Win 98 and XP games. Many run just fine... if you have a mouse, and in some cases a small keyboard. Oh, and you will need a good set of reading glasses.

    Those who haven't tried a small Win 10 tablet with a mouse have not really lived.

    Apple has for many years promulgated a Puritan world view. They lauded the single button mouse, despite its obvious deficiencies. They refused to incorporate touchscreens into their laptops. They refused to incorporate mice into their tablets. There was an old joke that Apple is a Bolshevik operating system... because everything has to be done according to the party line. Ouch!

    Perhaps they have seen the light. The new Apple tablet/phone processors are very powerful and really deserve better input technology. Enter the mouse... belatedly.

    The bottom line is that you cannot run a modern, multitasking, multi windowed operating system without a mouse. Those who prefer tinkertoy telephone OSes like iOS or Android can get by without a mouse.

    Tablets, even 8", are perfectly capable of running Win 10, MacOS and Linux desktops. But I don't think we'll be seeing MacOS on a tablet anytime soon. Or if we do, it will come with a massive Apple tax. Must be that old Puritan (or Bolshevik) spirit.
    Fearghast likes this.
  9. D3z4R1

    D3z4R1 TS Enthusiast Posts: 39

    If Apple does implement USB mouse support, they'll probably move onto wireless support as well and put a W1 chip into their Magic Mouse (if they haven't already) and have their iPad Pro support it exclusively. Or at best, eventually have Bluetooth mouse support but will give you a "better experience" with their Magic Mouse with a W1 chip.

    But as with all rumours, they should be taken with a grain of salt.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  10. Fearghast

    Fearghast TS Addict Posts: 130   +89

    Ow god, not a "Magic instant carpal tunnel syndrome mouse".
    That mouse is a definition of a failure to understand ergonomics.
    It ended up in my drawer after a day of "use".

    I think this rumor is BS.
    onestepforward likes this.
  11. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 659   +551

    Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

    What's the point of carrying around both a big Android tablet and a tiny Win 10 tablet, both with mice? Neither sound like the right tool for the job.

    There aren't many people who want to use a tiny 8" screen with a regular desktop OS. Even people who want thin and light still rarely go for even 12" screens over 13.3". And the laptop form factor simply works better for productivity, it's design has been honed for 30 years now. Add a mouse if you really need it but that adds carry weight and bulk.

    We support a lot of users whose departments have enough money to go the MS Surface or 2-in-1 route, and almost all are back to a 13-14" ultrabook because it's the most convenient way to get work done.

    On the other side, the tablet form factor is ideal for consuming, not producing. A touchscreen is the easiest option as that particular form factor was designed with fat fingertip input from the beginning. Shoehorning finer mouse control after the fact is useful for text management but again, if that's your focus then get a laptop. And again adding a mouse to a tablet reduces the whole point of a simple thin and light slab.

    IMO Apple is probably misguided if they're trying to shoehorn mouse input to an iOS device and if they really want an A# powered computer, just come out with the 12.9" MacBook A# already and stop dicking around with these half computer frankendevices.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  12. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Guru Posts: 401   +464

    Cool, technology from 1968.
  13. onestepforward

    onestepforward TS Booster Posts: 111   +42

    "Cool, technology from 1968."

    Yeah, just like the headphone jacks demanded by Android lovers . . . that were invented in 1878.
  14. onestepforward

    onestepforward TS Booster Posts: 111   +42

    I just love how a rumour, that is likely to be incorrect, sets-off Apple hate. Time for a bunch of children on these fora to grow-up.
  15. onestepforward

    onestepforward TS Booster Posts: 111   +42

    Me, too.
  16. Fearghast

    Fearghast TS Addict Posts: 130   +89

    Just look at new iPads, iPad Air and minis they are new and all of them have a headphone jack ;)
    3,5mm of happiness is good not because it's best, but because there is not really a better alternative.
  17. Dosahka

    Dosahka TS Addict Posts: 147   +58

    I laughed so hard when saw both comments that this is BS, might not happen in iOS 13 but defo comes in the next 3-5 years.
    Let me give you some explanation:
    The thing is Apple's plan is to have one (eco)system for Macbooks and iPads...etc, for example iOSKit already present in macOS system and takes about 10-15% of the macOS system (coincidence? doubt it).
    The reason they will add mouse support is because the next couple years will be critical to migrate the two OS into one (eco)system (appleOS) (same what Microsoft imagined and failed with Windows Phone).
    First they did it with iPad and iPhone apps sharing the same library now macOS is the "victim", so if developers are smart, they only have to create it once and select which device is supported.
  18. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Guru Posts: 401   +464

    Not much hate in this thread, it's just so uninteresting that people don't have anything positive to say.
  19. D3z4R1

    D3z4R1 TS Enthusiast Posts: 39

    I totally agree; the " Magic" Mouse is complete crap. I opted for the trackpad with my 2010 Mac mini (only because I was so accustomed to my 2010 MacBook Pro's trackpad). Now the Mac mini has been relegated to a headless Plex Media server so it's Apple input devices have been collecting dust.
  20. BruceHalter84

    BruceHalter84 TS Rookie

    I don't think you don't understand the difference between tablets and laptops, if you did you wouldn't be saying all this nonsense. Microsoft didn't get it either at first and it cost them billions in revenue when people went from Windows 8 to Ubuntu. :)

    Tablets and laptops are different devices used for different purposes. Try to read that a couple of times every day until it starts to make sense to you. But what do you know, you run an OS inside a VM :).

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