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Apple in iPadOS 13 introduced support for external mice as an Accessibility feature, and in iPadOS 14, Apple is set to expand cursor support to make using a mouse or a trackpad on iPadOS similar to using a mouse or trackpad on the Mac.


trackpad-folio-keyboard-front.jpg
A mockup of a Smart Keyboard with Trackpad​

Apple is rumored to be working on a Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro that includes a trackpad that will work with the new cursor capabilities, and code found in leaked iOS 14 snippets shared by 9to5Mac provides details on some of the functionality we can expect.
  • No Persistent Cursor - When using a trackpad or mouse with an iOS device, the cursor will disappear after a few seconds of not being used, unlike on a Mac where the cursor is always visible. It will reappear after the trackpad or mouse is activated again.
  • Multiple Pointers - As on the Mac, you'll see multiple pointers depending on what you're doing. A standard arrow pointer will be visible most of the time, but it will switch to a hand when overing over links.
  • Right-Click - Gestures will be supported, such as a tap with two fingers to right click.
  • Tap to Click - Tap to Click, a feature present on the Mac's trackpad, will also be available on the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard trackpad.
Code in iOS 14 allegedly contains references to two new Smart Keyboard model identifiers, which suggests that the Smart Keyboard with Trackpad will be available for multiple iPad models. That could perhaps mean the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.

While there's no detail on the physical shape of the accessories, the functionality suggests the upcoming Smart Keyboards will feature a standard laptop-like design that includes a keyboard above the trackpad.

Article Link: Expanded Mouse Cursor Support Coming to iPadOS 14 Alongside New Smart Keyboards With Trackpads
 
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PostApple2016BrainWash

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2019
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The people are interested in the new ”iPad fusion” that have a Macbook Air form factor instead of cheap looking plastic dumb keyboard from Apple.

The evil employees at Apple preferred cheap, terrible things.
 
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Amacfa

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May 22, 2009
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After using the iPad as a pc replacement for a while. I think there is great progress but for me it couldn’t replace the power of a laptop. Gaming on the iPad is truly a joy, among other things.

These are steps in the right direction, but I’d love to see multitasking further evolved and a few apps start to flesh out the hardware capabilities of the iPad.


A few things - more pro apps. Photoshop for iPad is honestly photoshop lite. 60% of its features are missing. Among other missing pro apps that I’m sure the iPad capable of (after effects).

With pro apps still in the horizon and Apple tweaking the iOS further to become more of a hybrid tablet laptop...I’d say we are about two years out for a true replacement for professionals (in most instances)
 
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Glockworkorange

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Someone from Apple is leaking iOS 14? Wow. I know we've seen "leaks" before, but those leaks were just code in the current operating systems.

If I understand this correctly, nobody but Apple has access to this software, so this is true "leaking" and not just someone spelunking in an iOS Beta.

Also, I will be super pissed if the new keyboard folios are for the new iPad Pro's only.
 
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Spock

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I can’t see Apple supporting iOS and MacOS the way they are now long term. I believe that iOS and MacOS are eventually going to merge or MacOS is going to go away. An iPad Pro with a Smart Keyboard and trackpad is essentially the rumored ARM MacBook, minus the Mac.
 
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tyr7

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Dec 5, 2019
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I had to travel light for an event last year and made the choice to go with just my 9.7 iPad Pro. It didn't quite cut it. I upgraded to 12.9 Pro and with this we might have something.
 
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NinjaHERO

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Aug 29, 2008
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When I bought my Ipad Pro I tried it as a laptop replacement. Lots of things I liked, some I didn't. The biggest issue for me was the lack of a trackpad. The touchscreen is fine for most things. But when I'm typing the trackpad feels much more efficient to control the screen. Excited to see how well this works.
 
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JPack

macrumors 604
Mar 27, 2017
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Someone from Apple is leaking iOS 14? Wow. I know we've seen "leaks" before, but those leaks were just code in the current operating systems.

If I understand this correctly, nobody but Apple has access to this software, so this is true "leaking" and not just someone spelunking in an iOS Beta.

Also, I will be super pissed if the new keyboard folios are for the new iPad Pro's only.

iOS 13 betas were leaked last year as well. 9to5Mac ran similar exclusive articles last year. They are definitely connected or have someone on the inside.
 
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D.T.

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Sep 15, 2011
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Yeah, if the keyboard + trackpad peripheral is true (seems to be the case) many of us expect iPadOS 14 to make substantial improvements to handling external input devices (in particular, the trackpad).

__Hopefully__ this won't be a next-gen-only peripheral, and work with the current Smart Connector implementation ...
 
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Spock

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This is going to be like when Apple was selling the Lisa and Mac at the same time. Two competing desktop systems and OSes from the same company.

But the Lisa was eventually merged with the Macintosh shortly after the Mac was released. This is more like the Apple II and the Macintosh. Or the Newton and the Macintosh, they even released a Newton laptop towards the end. Finally, Steve came back and killed the Newton all together.
 
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darkslide29

macrumors 68000
Oct 5, 2011
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I personally use the 11" iPad Pro over the 12.9" for my own uses and preference. I am a little concerned at how much space could be taken up by the trackpad on the 11" model, making it pretty cramped. This keyboard may feel significantly better and natural on a 12.9".
 
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mikeandbecka

macrumors member
Nov 25, 2005
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Southern CA
Why has it taken Apple so long to realize the iPads potential is all suffocated by iPad UI? The ability to switching from native desktop apps to native iPad apps would be insanely awesome.. they need to just do this.. now. This should be the entry Macbook every HS/College student buys. Lets run FCPX and Photoshop natively when paired with a keyboard/mouse and iPad apps when disconnected (etc).
 
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Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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This is moving closer to a hybrid device, something Apple has been against. In which case, why not buy a Surface?
 
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