During the introduction of the iPadOS last year, there was an interesting new feature called AssistiveTouch. This was a huge deal as it enables mouse support for the very first time. Before this, iPads can only be paired with a keyboard or an Apple Pencil but never a mouse. This AssistiveTouch was originally released as an accessibility feature, however, this did not stop people from using this unofficial option to enable mouse support on the iPad.
AssistiveTouch which can be enabled under Accessibility Settings will allow users to use a wired or wireless mouse and even Apple’s own Magic Trackpad. However, it was far from perfect. Instead of your typical mouse cursor, all you get is a circle which was meant to emulate touch inputs. Although this was a little peculiar, the option remained unchanged until now. Sources from 9to5mac suggest that Apple might be changing this after all, with the new iOS 14 which will be also known as iPadOS 14 for the iPad. The upcoming version appears to provide a full-fledged mouse experience and a similar cursor as the Mac.
There might be a noticeable difference though. When the user is not using the mouse or trackpad, the cursor might disappear until the mouse is moved again. Besides this, the feature could also support multiple pointers. For example, the cursor can change into a hand when it hovers at different elements.
Some folks over at 9to5Mac have managed to take a sneak peek at some iOS 14 codes and believe that there are two new Smart Keyboards in the making that will come with a trackpad. From their findings, Apple appears to be developing support for the iconic two fingers right-click motion for the trackpad. There’s also the possibility that the trackpad could offer haptic feedback similar to its MacBook lineup. With the mouse support and keyboard combination, the new range of iPad models could finally offer a more MacBook-like experience.
The new discovery appears to be in line with The Information‘s speculation and it is said that a Smart Keyboard with a built-in trackpad is set to be released at some point this year. The current Smart Keyboard is capable of connecting to the iPad magnetically but does not come with a trackpad. The actual design and build of this keyboard are not known just yet, however, 9to5mac suggests that it would resemble a generic laptop keyboard that comes with a trackpad.
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