iOS 14 code is providing a treasure trove of information about Apple’s upcoming releases for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, including precise mouse and trackpad support for iPads (via iPad OS 14).
Code seen by 9to5Mac suggests “Apple is set to roll out rich system-wide support for mouse cursors with iOS 14.” The code references two new Smart Keyboard models for the iPad product line, and given a recent report from The Information on a similar subject, at least one of them may include a trackpad.
There will also be trackpad gestures, similar to what users already experience on Macs. 9to5Mac gives “tap with two fingers to right-click” as one example and adds that a “tap to click” setting was also found.
9to5Mac says it discovered support for multiple pointer graphics for different hover states (like for hovering over a link). However, it’s not all identical to the Mac; the article says “the pointer disappears automatically after a few seconds of not touching the connected mouse or trackpad, a concession to the touch-first experience of the iPad.”
Apple introduced pointer navigation support as an accessibility feature in iOS and iPadOS 13, but it is designed entirely for users with disabilities and does not follow conventions common on laptop and desktop systems.
MacDailyNews Take: As long as an iPad can still be used as it was designed to be used, the ability to add trackpads and precise mouse support to iPad will benefit those who need, or who feel they need, such input devices.