iPadOS Cursor Support with Magic Trackpad 2

Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2
Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2

I have used a Bluetooth mouse as a pointing device since iPadOS added compatibility through AssistiveTouch as part of the Accessibility features. I recently got the Magic Keyboard to complete the pairing for my desktop mode external pointing and typing input peripherals, and they both worked amazingly well. Using an adaptive accessory via AssistiveTouch to replicate touch was a taster to the possibilities of full mouse cursor support on iPadOS. iPad users like myself longed for full native cursor support and the interest kept growing over time. Apple took notice.

Steven Aquino:

It’s my understanding the development of the iPadOS 13 AssistiveTouch pointer feature was “handed off” internally, from the Accessibility group to the broader iOS team for more expansive integration. This is good—if anything, it shows Apple has noticed the AssisitiveTouch pointer feature has gained traction for “mainstream” users. To wit, iPad aficionados saw that you can use a mouse with an iPad and they pounced on it.

Many have tried imagining the direction and approach of how Apple will implement full native cursor support on the iPad. Most imagined outcomes limited to borrowing cues from macOS, because it is the platform that uses a traditional pointer, and also based on the belief of the two platforms expected convergence.

Apple has done a tremendous job rethinking cursor support with new enhanced ways of interacting with navigational and other UI elements along with new rich visual feedbacks that respects the touch-first environment of iPadOS. The implementation befits the current paradigms of a touch interface, which helps maintain familiarity. These new behaviours have breathed new life and much-needed excitement on iPadOS.

The new extensive cursor support redesigned specifically for the iPad is one of the most consciously designed feature additions the iPad has ever seen.

Magic Trackpad 2

During my initial trial of the new cursor support using the Logitech mouse, Immediately I knew I needed a compatible peripheral built to more precisely accommodate the native functions without the need for AssistiveTouch. For that, there’s currently no better than the Magic Trackpad 2.

Using gestures on Magic Trackpad 2 to interact with elements on iPadOS brought me close to the touch interactions I’m familiar with when using the iPad without external peripherals. This alone makes the Magic Trackpad 2 the best companion for the iPad in maintaining the interactive familiarity with the OS when in desktop mode. Whether or not I’ll get the upcoming Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro will depend on my in-store trial when it is released. For now, I am a Magic Trackpad convert happily joining the many iPad users it is delighting.

The compatibility of external peripherals such as keyboards, mouse and trackpads extends the iPads flexibility and gives more options to use the iPad in full desktop mode. iPad Pro stand, Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 is now my default desk setup going forward. And I love it.

 

On the Rumoured iPad Full Cursor Support

The recent spate of rumours about upcoming Apple hardware and software features published by 9to5Mac have sparked and brought back a few conversations, especially regarding the iPad. One such rumour is the addition of a trackpad to the Smart Keyboard and rich system-wide mouse cursor support on the iPad.

Like clockwork, and as expected, echoes of the iPad losing its identity by extensively enhancing support to the Smart Keyboard and now full mouse cursor input can be heard all over Apple communities.

Jason Snell, writing for Macworld:

The iPad will never stop being the iPad. That means it will never stop being a device that’s built from the ground up on touch interfaces, and that excels when you hold it in your hands. But it also means that it’s flexible enough to go beyond that base configuration, if and when you need it to. Bring it on.

The iPad is currently the more flexible device offering the best of both worlds. The Mac unable to provide the same flexibility (at this point), seems to have given reason for many die-hard Mac users who, for years, wished for the Mac to offer touch input to have a severe dislike towards the iPad gaining all these capabilities. It has always been a matter of when and not if Apple will ever provide full mouse cursor support on the iPad.

As I’m trying hard to contain my excitement from this rumour, I will, in the meantime, join Jason and shout it out loud — BRING. IT. ON!

The iPads Ten Year Evolution

iPad Pro Desk Setup
My Current iPad Pro Desk Setup

The iPads evolution in terms of hardware has delighted the masses with Apple’s obsession of thinner and lighter spearheading that development. Throughout its different size classes over the years, the iPad never failed to provide portability comforts, giving merit towards its hardware design.

When it comes to software, many consumers hoping to journey into the Post-PC generation expecting to see the same level of PC desktop software capabilities on the iPad down the road started to echo strong, unified sentiments regarding the stagnant nature of the iPad software. The call for a dedicated OS for the iPad grew stronger, and Apple finally made it happened.

iPadOS Reignites My Love for iPad

 Apple 12.9” iPad Pro running iPadOS 13 Beta.
Apple 12.9” iPad Pro running iPadOS 13 Beta.

In January 2010, Steve Jobs revealed to the world the iPad, the device Apple believed to be the answer to fill the gap between the smartphone and a laptop. Having converted to using an iPhone two years earlier in 2008, I was definitely in that camp; the need for real screen estate portable touch device that allows me to perform the majority of basic tasks I used a laptop and desktop computer for at the time, such as; web browsing, email, reading and media consumption etc. Nothing trivial.