The iPad Gets Full Trackpad and Mouse Support

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Baked into iPadOS 13.4 is full-featured support for trackpad and mouse input, with a few twists. Apple has tailored the traditional technology to the iPad with a cursor that looks nothing like you’ve seen on a computer.

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One thing that I find very un-Appleish are the contortions I need to go through to move my Magic Trackpad 2 from my desktop Mac to the iPad. Despite the fact that the devices are in different rooms, I must go into the Bluetooth preferences on the Mac and have the Mac ‘forget’ the Trackpad. Disconnecting is not enough–I need to go all the way to forget. So the next time I come back to the Mac, I need to go through the pairing procedure again.

Apple already has a model for doing this right: the AirPod and AirPod Pro procedure. Once you have the earphone paired with any owned device, you can have it connect with any other known to that Apple ID but just connecting it from the new device. That automatically disconnects it from the previous device. Hopefully, the next release of iPadOS and MacOS will fix this issue.


Enjoying this update even within the limitations of having a spare Magic Trackpad v1. Multitouch gestures would make a huge difference. That and the lack of widespread support within apps does limit things, I keep expecting to be able to do a thing and it doesn’t do it. Hmm, I might consider picking up an additional new v2 trackpad for this, I can’t be bothered switching my iMac’s one over and back.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am becoming more and more interested in this new iPad OS to (eventually) replace my MacBook. Perhaps I should try it on my current iPadAir 2 by first spending a relatively small amount on a Magic Trackpad and Keyboard before going all out on a new iPad pro with Magic Keyboard? Do you find the mouse essential for the new way of working on the iPad or could one do without (and what would you miss then)?

They do—I tested with a Magic Trackpad 1 and found it really frustrating in comparison with the Magic Trackpad 2.

I fully agree with @aforkosh. I had to check what I was doing wrong, and looking up that indeed the trackpad had to be unpaired from the Mac first.

It would be really good if the same physical pairing setup that works with macOS —just plugging in the trackpad to the computer and negotiate the wireless pairing, forgetting previous pairings— worked for iOS.

I am interested in whether it now easier to put the ‘I beam’ cursor in a piece of text do text editing. Until this process is much easier than it is currently, then I will stick to using my iPad as a consumption device and not a creation device.

I am using my Magic Mouse 2 with the first gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and can confirm that the ‘I beam’ cursor works like a charm for text editing.

In fact, I had long used my iPad Pro in place of a laptop, and this latest addition of Trackpad/Mouse has made it complete! Very happy camper here :smiley:

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In the current lock-down the ability to use a mouse or trackpad also has hygiene benefits - Possibly keeping the screen free of fingerprints and associated microbes!

Nice article on TechCrunch about how the Apple team designed the new iPadOS cursor support.

And I tried it with an original Magic Mouse and it doesn’t work. Now I have to convince my wife to let me switch mice with her :wink: