iPad Pro Question for hardware keyboard users

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
20,654
22,334
How in the world do you use it without there being a trackpad? When I tried one out in the store my thumbs immediately went looking for a trackpad. It was such a weird experience. With the software keyboard I’m not quite typing in the same way and I guess I’ve just gotten used to it. But it would drive me nuts on a hardware keyboard. And since the software keyboard does provide trackpad support for text selection/cursor movement it boggles the mind that Apple wouldn’t allow a hardware keyboard to do the same. Are they just that stubborn? Do they think adding a trackpad makes it look too much like a legacy laptop?
 

kasakka

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2008
2,064
735
You can select text with shift+arrow keys.

I've only used a hardware keyboard with the smaller iPad Air 2 and on that the keyboard was good to make up for the small virtual keyboard. Most of the time you will be doing one or the other, poking the screen or typing text.

When I got the 12.9" iPad Pro, I felt a keyboard would add a lot of bulk to an already heavyish device and at the time there were no good keyboards available. The Apple Smart Keyboard is a pile of crap IMO. On the 12.9" iPP the virtual keyboard is a full 60% size in landscape so it feels a lot easier to type on the virtual keyboard compared to the smaller models. I've gotten used to it by now.

Lack of a trackpad support is an annoying omission, I seriously hope Apple adds it in iOS 13.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,355
8,712
Prescott Valley, AZ
How in the world do you use it without there being a trackpad? When I tried one out in the store my thumbs immediately went looking for a trackpad. It was such a weird experience. With the software keyboard I’m not quite typing in the same way and I guess I’ve just gotten used to it. But it would drive me nuts on a hardware keyboard. And since the software keyboard does provide trackpad support for text selection/cursor movement it boggles the mind that Apple wouldn’t allow a hardware keyboard to do the same. Are they just that stubborn? Do they think adding a trackpad makes it look too much like a legacy laptop?
Quite a few of the macOS keyboard shortcuts work on iOS. Yes, it is quite irritating... especially if you use an app like Jump Desktop on the iPad which DOES support a mouse (Citrix X1) when remotely connecting to a desktop system.

I am extremely confident that Apple will not be providing mouse/trackpad support any time soon to the iPad. It's not a technical limitation but a deliberate decision on Apple's part. It don't say this with any glee... I'm perhaps the greatest proponent of them adding mouse support to the iPad.

Here are a few scenarios where I think Apple would change that and capitulate....

(A) iPad alternatives that DO support mouse/trackpads increase in sufficient marketshare as to get Apple's attention. Apple would then respond to that market pressure as they did with 7" tablets and phablets.

(B) Apple runs out of ways to make a subsequent generation of iPad Pro attractive enough to convince people to buy it. Why should Apple produce that support now when they're selling iPad Pros in quantities to meet their goals? Each time they release a new generation, people buy them. When their internal forecasts indicate that something else needs to be done to maintain/grow sales, and they don't have anything else to offer in the way of enticements, THAT is when they'll produce an iPad Pro with mouse support... and just like the Apple Pencil 2, it will be dependent on the latest generation of iPad Pro.

edited to add:
To add "insult to injury", my $90 Fire HD 10 supports keyboards and mice out-of-the-box. Even the funky BT Motorola keyboard w/trackpoint!

Here it is in action with my Logitech K380 keyboard and standalone Motorola BT mouse. (mouse pointer is in the red circle)
fire mouse.jpg
 
Last edited:

flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,191
914
I just use the arrow keys (in Word and Scrivener) and touch the screen if I’m in Safari or something else that isn’t text-intensive.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
20,654
22,334
The trackpad omission makes no sense to me because lay two fingers down on the software keyboard and it turns into a trackpad. A mouse I can understand. Not having an always present pointer on screen I get. But not allowing trackpad support when a physical keyboard is attached is just nuts. Apple really needs to rethink this. Oh and improve text selection period while they’re at it.
 
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