With iPadOS, new software specifically designed for the tablet introduced in 2010 and famously called a “magical” device by then-CEO Steve Jobs, Apple is making it pretty clear that the iPad has an increasingly important place in the company’s product lineup.
“It’s become a truly distinct experience,” Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, said in an interview on Monday after introducing iPadOS at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
With iPadOS, to be released in the fall, Apple will deliver a set of new features that fill in some of the product’s biggest gaps and are likely to make it appeal to more users to rely on the iPad to do more things. While he stopped short of calling iPads with the new operating system a laptop replacement, Federighi said “we’ve expanded the domain where people can say the iPad is the best solution.”
The one long-anticipated iPad feature that Apple didn’t announce on stage at WWDC was support for mice and trackpads. Apple’s stance has been that if it gives users a mouse, then they’ll fall back on it as crutch and won’t benefit from the full capabilities of the iPad’s multitouch software.
Nevertheless, Apple developers like Steve Troughton-Smith quickly dug into the developer beta of iOS 13 and spotted that mouse support has been added as an accessibility feature to work with USB mice and Apple’s Magic Trackpad. This feature makes the cursor look like a black circle about the size of a finger tip, as shown in this video Troughton-Smith posted on Twitter.
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) June 3, 2019
MacDailyNews Take: The iPad has long been the better choice for what the masses call “computing” (some light word processing, simple spreadsheets, email, web browsing, casual games, etc.). Now it’s even better for many more people, those who do a bit more than general computing. It’s a work in progress – after all, it’s not even a ten-year-old, yet! After iPhone and its myriad knockoffs, iPad is the personal computer for the masses.
As for mouse support, we understand the sentiment as we all grew up using mouses to control computers, but the finger or pencil on the display is vastly more intuitive and direct than a mouse or trackpad controlling a pointer on a screen. See this chimp:
The answer isn’t to try to make the iPad into a MacBook. The answer is to provide all the tools possible in iOS for developers to make robust apps that can take advantage of the multi-touch paradigm. — MacDailyNews, May 16, 2017