IPads will be able to compete with laptops thanks to iOS 13

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Apple iPad to get mouse support

Making the iPad compatible with a mouse would give the device a higher level as a productivity accessory.

CNET / Jason Hiner

The debate on whether an iPad can replace a laptop has always been in the air. But with the release of the next iOS update, Apple could finally eliminate one of the oldest arguments against the iPad as a productivity device.

The next iPad is already on track to get compatibility with a mouse (mouse) for the first time, according to Federico Viticci, editor-in-chief of MacStories. Viticci revealed his scoop in the Connected podcast episode 239 and this was confirmed on Twitter by Steve Troughton-Smith, an Apple developer.

Over the years, I've heard many people say they love the iPad, but they regret that they could do a lot more with it if they could connect a mouse or trackpad to the device to send e-mails, edit photos or perform traditional desktop tasks. In other words, I agree with Troughton-Smith that professional users would appreciate this change.

Viticci and Troughton-Smith left their statements in the air. Both seem to be clear on the fact that Apple has worked on the function, but since they are not part of the iOS product team, obviously it is not possible to confirm whether the function will be officially supplied with iOS 13.

CNET asked Apple for comments and we will add information to this story when we get an answer.

Viticci said he heard this information on the compatibility of the mouse with the iPad from "a couple of people a few months ago". He suggested that it would be part of AssistiveTouch, Apple's system that helps people with motor disabilities operate with their iOS devices more easily.

"What I've heard is that you can use any USB mouse on an iPad, but as an accessibility device," said Viticci. "I wouldn't be surprised if the mouse support reached the iPad, but it will be presented as an accessibility feature, Apple will not mean that the only way to use the iPad as a computer replacement is to connect actually a mouse. "

Being clear, it is likely that a small subset of advanced and professional users will want to use this feature if it is not strictly necessary as an accessibility option.

However, it could be another important step in positioning the iPad as a replacement for a laptop or business device.

Although Viticci specifically mentioned compatibility with the USB mouse, it would also make sense to see compatibility with Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad with Bluetooth.

Some developers like Louis D & # 39; Hauwe have even developed a proof of concept that shows how this system would work. Many experienced users would adopt the function only for ergonomic reasons.

One of the main reasons why it makes sense that Apple now adds compatibility with the mouse is the work it is doing with Project Marzipan, which allows developers to transfer applications from iOS to Mac. Much of this involves adapting such applications work with a mouse.

We hope to learn more about Marzapane at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, which will be held June 3-7 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. CNET will be there to cover the event from all angles. In this year's WWDC, Apple is likely to share the details of iOS 13, MacOS 10.15, WatchOS 6 and TVOS 13.


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It would be hard to ignore the irony that mouse compatibility is silently integrated into the iPad, if we consider how much the mouse was considered the most important feature in the launch of the first Mac. This shows that we often have to sacrifice our sacred cows how technology advances, but that some of the less attractive features may also remain more useful.

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