Is Magic Mouse/Mice Support Likely for iPads?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Psyfuzz, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Psyfuzz, Nov 19, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015

    Psyfuzz macrumors 6502

    Psyfuzz

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    #1
    Given Apple's focus with the Pro clearly being in improving the iPad experience as a productivity device and the introduction of their own keyboard, does anybody kind of hope they open up Magic Mouse support or Bluetooth mice support in general to iOS?

    Don't get me wrong multitouch generally does a great job of dealing with scenarios a cursor would typically deal with - but personally (and for others I'm sure) certain tasks are infinitely better and and more enjoyable with a mouse and cursor. Editing spreadsheets and presentations on an iPad is vastly more viable and enjoyable personally if I had the option to use a traditional keyboard and mouse set up if required.

    I know a lot of people will say 'get a MacBook' etc but they're separate products. MacBooks can't become tablets when needed or have access to iOS, nor do they have any touch screen capabilities for certain applications that can benefit from them. And unless you've got the retina MacBook a vanilla iPad Air 2 without accessories is more portable if you just want a device to watch content on later on for commuting etc.

    After briefly using a pro with the keyboard, it's amazing how much nicer the iOS experience becomes with small OS X features sprinkled in - cmd+shift on iPad is a fantastic way of quickly switching between apps for example.

    Having a cursor appear on the OS only when a mouse is connected and also have the cursor fade after 10 seconds of non-movement (naturally it would reappear with a mouse jiggle) would stop the cursor becoming invasive on the screen estate and would only improve the potential of the OS.

    While I appreciate there are a few who are purely using iPads for consumption I feel if Apple is serious about extending the iPad range's value as an all round workhorse and potential laptop replacement, giving these options would do a lot to convince users to give it a go for their day to day tasks.

    I also know there's a bit of stick about 'why' regarding a mouse - but a physical mouse has as much value as a physical keyboard, and many find having an external keyboard for tasks like note tasking and general daily use can dramatically improve their experience. Again, having choice is never a bad thing and can only improve our experience.

    Imagine an iPad Air 3, 3GB of RAM, 3D Touch, with pencil, keyboard and mouse support - suddenly it's become a serious option for those who want a 'covers all bases' device for a majority of tasks.


    Thoughts?
     
  2. earthdog macrumors regular

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    #2
    Well thought out post. I tend to agree with you. I find it really the IPP laking replacing a basic Laptop for a standard office application. I doubt until Apple feels a real threat to the MBA, MB and MBP market from tablets it will not move on this. Personally I think an implementation of the MS Surface Pro 4 Keyboard and Trackpad would be perfect. Though I like the Smart Keyboard it ands significant bulk without the trackpad. Of course once a Jailbreak comes out you should be able to use a mouse though I am not a JB fan.
     
  3. sjleworthy macrumors 65816

    sjleworthy

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    #3
    easily achievable, but listening to folk around here it wont happen any time soon.

    'tis a shame. personally a mouse would be super peachy in my opinion. XL sheet editing for example would be so much easier and effective.
     
  4. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #4
    There was a jaiobreak tweak for this a very long time ago. Like iOS 4 days. Not sure if it's still around.
     
  5. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #5
    I have reason to believe (beyond just wishful thinking) that support for mice is coming, perhaps by this time next year. I've been saying it for a long time that the inclusion of support for mice/trackpads will make a surprising impact in using the iPad for more than just content consumption.
     
  6. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #6
    Adding a cursor is simple. Updating the UI and UX to allow for the fine control a pointing device allows is going to be major and, ultimately, not going to happen. Apple has clearly defined the two major operating systems based on the interaction model.
     
  7. urkel, Nov 19, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015

    urkel macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Does anyone "hope" they support mice? Yes.
    Will Apple support Mice? No.

    Personally, I would love mouse support on the iPad Pro (for portable video/photo editing) or even the iPad Pro running OS X. The hardware can handle it. But unfortunately everything about Apple's product lineups nowadays feels artificial and $trategic.

    - "Base model" specs like 16GB on iOS or 5400rpm HDD's on iMac
    - New iPhone colors introduced at "S" model launch (Gold with 5S, Rose Gold with 6S)
    - Short Supply tactics to boost sales (Apple Watch, iPad Pro)
    - New product with key missing features which will encourage upgrade (aTV, MacBook, Air2)
    - iPad Pro without OPTIONAL mouse support (Remember Jobs "Gorilla Arm" speech?)

    As easily as these complaints can be dismissed as conspiracy theory, lets not forget that "putting users on a constant upgrade cycle" was exactly Tim Cook's job description during the Jobs years. This sort of short sheeting just wasn't as noticeable since Jobs ensured the user experience was so good it would hide any potential flaws and make annual upgrades easier to accept. But with Cook/Ive and their "beautifully unfinished" products then it's all about looks and sales. So Why sell someone a $79 pointing device when you can sell them a $1400 laptop to go along with their iPad Pro.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    Just as apple made sure you couldn't use the pencil in normal navigation/non-painting situations, they will not allow mice usage. They've said a number of times the iPad is a touch first device and as such there's no need for a mouse
     
  9. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #9
    You're taking the cynic's route but it's not that at all.
     
  10. TurboPGT! Suspended

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    #10
    Good grief. If you want Mouse + Keyboard product, Apple builds products specifically designed and optimized for that kind of input.. they are called Macs.

    iPad Pro runs iOS, which is optimized for touch. It can be accented by a physical keyboard because that isn't a huge diversion from the touch keyboard. But Mouse input is a huge diversion from Touch, so, no.
     
  11. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #11
    Not true (unless I'm misunderstanding what you are saying). There was an app for jailbroken iOS devices that not only implemented a pointer but also allowed for fine control. It worked just as it does for Android devices as well as desktop operating systems.

    How does a physical keyboard gel with the "interaction model" of the iPad? The touchscreen is capable of both keyboard and pointer operation and yet Apple supports physical keyboards. Their support for physical keyboards in no way hampers the use of the iPad in a purely touch mode of operation. Appled added support for an active stylus. That support does not detract from touch-only operations. Apple could add support for physical mice/trackpads and not impede on the touch-only operation of an iPad.
     
  12. klove4252 macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I agree that iOP is optimized for touch and it should be different than Mac OS, but I think the availability to use a mouse on the IPP would really separate it from the Air 2 and make it much more useful for professionals. I would find it very useful for excel and other apps, while still having the choice to use a keyboard and mouse or not to. That would really separate it for me.
     
  13. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    #13
    Arguably they said the same thing about the "stylus". iOS devices will always be touch-first, but there's no reason Apple couldn't add an accessory as a secondary input mechanism (though as you say, perhaps not for navigation). I mean, if you can have Made for iOS game controllers...
     
  14. TurboPGT! Suspended

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    #14
    What you don't understand is that Mouse input on iOS would suck. While someone like you might be willing to put up with the suck, just so that you can fumble around with it while using the physical keyboard, the suck is what would prevent Apple from ever allowing it.

    "I could put up with it for this one benefit" is never the mantra that Apple follows.
     
  15. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    #15
    I wish they supported mice for specific apps (like, say, Citrix). I have said many times I can do 90% of my computer work on an iPad, but if I need to log in and do my day job, I need a computer because my work PC is windows and not designed for finger input. Otherwise the iPad Pro would be great for me, but no mouse means no dice for me.
     
  16. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    #16
    It's one thing to hack in a pointer interface to the OS. Do you really want to use a pointer with a touch-optimized UI? I wouldn't.

    A physical keyboard merely mimics the onscreen keyboard and optimizes screen real estate for the user if they want it.

    The Pencil is merely a refinement of the touch interface. A cursor would be a step backwards that they aren't willing to make.
     
  17. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    #17
    Hmmm... I don't really agree with this. Quoting the Jony Ive Interview:

    My interpretation of this is that the Pencil is tool that serves a specific use case that was needed for iPad. It is different from touch, rather than a refinement.

    If there is a sufficiently large group of people who have a problem that can only be solved properly with a mouse-based input on an iPad, I believe Apple would make it. Admittedly spreadsheets is a rather limited use case.

    Regardless, if Apple introduced a mouse-based input, it would always be a secondary input to multi-touch.
     
  18. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    #18
    In the 9.2 beta, the pencil works everywhere. It even lets you tap on the keyboard ( which gets old real quick!)
     
  19. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    #19
    That's good to know. Interesting....
     
  20. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    #20
    It definitely makes the spreadsheet apps more useful.

    Of course, there's no guarantee that this stays in. I certainly hope it does, though. It's convenient not to have to put the pencil down. And people like my grandfather (who uses a stylus for everything) would love it.
     
  21. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

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    #21
    I feel like this would make the iPad Pro more like a laptop, which apple is trying to avoid.
     
  22. nrubenstein macrumors 6502

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    #22
    It's the painful problem of how *some* things would be better, but others would use it as a crutch.

    I really wish the pencil had an eraser, though.
     
  23. businezguy macrumors 6502

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    #23
    You may well be right that Apple is afraid to canabalize their Mac sales, but I'm skeptical that's really the case. Just to use my iMac as an example, there was a recall on the hard drive and so I had to utilize my Apple Store for a replacement. That cost Apple $$. Add to that the fact that recalls aren't all too uncommon, and also the fact that the profit margin is probably at or below 20%, and I'd say Apple views their computer division as a bit of a necessary evil. I'm not saying they *should* view it that way, but I think that's their perspective.

    With that said, there *is* an opportunity here for Apple. They have a high performing SOC that uses little energy, and as a result provides excellent battery life, a very thin form factor, light weight, and fanless heat displacement. Since this SOC is under Apple's control, it is inordinately less expensive than Intel chips, and as a result can provide Apple with high profit margins.

    The problem is Apple needs to do something Steve Jobs was very good at: focus on one product at a time. I think it's going to become evident the Apple Watch utilized Apple's precious programming resources for far too long, all to gain a temporary boost in profits. In other words, I doubt the Apple Watch will provide much in the way of long term revenue for Apple, especially since Apple's revenue is so high to begin with.

    If Tim were wise, he'd make a major investment in IOS including noticeable performance gains vs. previous IOS versions (that wasn't realized with IOS 9 yet), and focus on providing IOS with the capability for a light desktop experience. This would include mouse/trackpad support (including gestures), considerably more keyboard shortcuts, better integration (and more free storage) with iCloud, and capability to use the device with a large monitor.

    Basically I view this device as an iPad Pro similar to today, but with a significantly improved and integrated solution for a keyboard with a built in track pad. This keyboard would need to have excellent travel like with the Macbook Pro/Macbook Air models, with a trackpad that is equally as good as those models. The keyboard/trackpad combination would need to integrate with the "iPad" even better than the Surface models from Microsoft so that when combined they provide a slick experience that completely rivals the Macbook Pro/Macbook Air models. An Apple pencil would need to be included with a storage area integrated into the "iPad". No compromises!

    IOS would need to be improved. Better multitask support including the ability to use multiple versions of the same App in separate windows would need to be available. Gesture support and even touch gestures would need to be added/improved. Apps would need to be more comprehensive in their capabilities. I'd even highly recommend Apple majorly invest in their iWorks applications, including the ability to save files as Microsoft document equivalents.



    The strategy would be as follows:
    1) Sell the "iPad", keyboard, and pencil in one package. While margins would be lower than today (listen up, Tim), it would be made up with the fact that you'd sell a pencil and keyboard 100% of the time with each sale. And the customer wouldn't mind because the experience would be so integrated, it'd be obvious everything would need to be sold in one package. I'd say a good price would be $900 for the whole package.
    2) The point of this device would be to truly target and dominate the PC market. Apple has a large percentage of the smart phone market, but a very small percentage of the PC market. It's time to develop a device that grandma and grandpa can't pass up vs. a windows PC. If you include a "Microsoft Office" solution, reasonable iCloud storage, a device is somewhat affordable and all inclusive, a device that is more versatile that anything offered today, and yet still with high profit margins, you'd have yourself a winner.

    Please Tim, stop vomiting out overpriced accessories and half-arsed devices like the Apple Watch. Focus on something only Apple can do that will provide Apple with more market share and replace today's laptops with a higher margin yet more affordable solution that customers want. Only Apple has the ability to do this today, and that's mainly because of the foundation of iOS and the App store combined with the mobile SOC Apple has developed.
     
  24. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #24
    This is the case on 9.1 too. The "swipe from off screen" gestures don't work with it though.
     
  25. Psyfuzz, Nov 19, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015

    Psyfuzz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Psyfuzz

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    #25
    I covered in the OP why an iPad with mouse and keyboard support doesn't automatically = a Mac.

    If Apple is shouting from the rooftops to promote iPads over laptops they've got to offer a more accurate way of interacting with the device.

    Some things are better with touch controls, somethings are better with mouse support - given how relatively simple adding mouse control would be relative having the option would give the iPad another asset.

    A huge complaint of the iPad line in general (and particularly the pro) is its the same basic OS as the iPhones. With the screen estate and power of the iPad range offering extra functionality and control would differentiate the iPad from both macs and iPhones.
     

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