Apple’s Craig Federighi shows how iPad’s new trackpad works

Apple today made the rumors (and code leaks) official: Trackpad and mouse support has arrived on the iPad.

Users can get a trackpad on an iPad Pro with Apple’s $299 or $349 Magic Keyboard, via Logitech’s $150 keyboard case, use a Bluetooth mouse or trackpad, or using forthcoming iPad trackpad accessories. With a floating design with smooth angle adjustment, a backlit keyboard and trackpad, the Magic Keyboard delivers the best typing experience ever on iPad. The Magic Keyboard will be available for purchase in May.

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro with trackpad delivers the best typing experience ever on iPad.
The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro with trackpad delivers the best typing experience ever on iPad.

“We’re making iPad even more capable and versatile by bringing trackpad support to iPadOS,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, in a statement. “We carefully considered the best way to integrate trackpad use into a touch-first environment while retaining everything our customers know and love about iPad. We’re thrilled to bring this new way of interacting with iPad to the millions of people using iPadOS today.”

Dieter Bohn for The Verge:

[There] a lot of gestures to remember, but no more than exist on the Mac. It seems overwhelming, but if you made a similar list for your MacBook or Windows machine, it would be just as intimidating. The iPad’s gestures are just different.

One interesting thing you can’t do is just have a bunch of traditional windows like you’re used to having on a desktop… Apple is sticking to its guns on its attempt to rethink how we move and rearrange windows on the iPad screen, with stuff like split screen and Slide Over. For better or worse (and I think for the better), the new trackpad features don’t turn the iPad into a Mac.

Whether any of that radically changes this year with iPadOS 14 is anybody’s guess. Federighi himself recently said, “If you like what you’ve seen us do with iPadOS, stay tuned, we’re going to keep working on it.”

MacDailyNews Take: We can’t wait to give it a try and we very much look forward to seeing what Apple has in store for iPad users in iPadOS 14!

Apple’s software boss Craig Federighi walks you through it all in a video in Bohn’s full article.


  1. I’m sure it’s functional. That isn’t the same thing as excellent. I am loathe to admit that Surface may have had a leg up by doing this sooner and running a full OS. Welcome to the Apple toaster-fridge they claimed they’d never make.

    1. But it looks like such a gorgeous toaster fridge!

      Seriously, now this beast is both more than a Mac and less than a Mac.

      That’s somewhat a function of both form factor and modes. Being a slate lends itself more naturally to a lot of task which fall within its capabilities which would be impractical if possible on a Mac.

      But the interface is less precise and multifunctional. I live with 10 to 15 windows open on my Mac and with hundreds of tabs in my browsers. On a six year old Macbook Air.

      OTOH I’m not about to take that on some AR jaunts or do any extended serious image capture.

      In my case, my needs for heavy duty data crunching are less than a few years ago, and I think I could do 90% what I do now in an adaptive fashion on the iPad Pro. Plus the things I can’t do on my Mac.

      Got to wait to play with this and really think my use case through. Today I’m in the Steve Jobs memorial reality distortion field and I just want it… ….now…

      …however I’m going to wait for that to pass, lolz….

    2. But here’s the question: is the Surface a success? It doesn’t really sell. PC’s sell, but no one wants to reach out and touch the screen.

      What Apple really did was F up their laptops with a broken keyboard forcing all of us to get an iPad as a replacement (or maybe that was just me). What I really wanted was a badass MBA which finally in Spring of 2020, I can buy.

      Apple hasn’t solved any of the ergonomic issues that made Steve so dismissive of laptops with touch displays. You want to call that ‘chasing’ Microsoft, okay, some victory.

    3. They can throw whatever hardware they want at the iPad, it’s still totally and completely limited and defined by a mobile operating system (iOS). iOS is barely any different than Palm OS (grid of icons, simplified UI and applications). Palm OS came from the Newton OS.

      I really like this keyboard and trackpad, but it’s being paired with a device and software that was simply never designed for it. In the end, use a laptop and MacOS, it’ll be faster, better, and designed for that kind of precise mouse input.

      All of the iPad Apps will not be able to deal with this well, and the User Interfaces are forever stuck on the iPad because of the touch modality first, the small screen sizes, limits on power consumption, etc.

    1. All these features added to make a tablet more like a laptop. Hmmm.

      I love my iPad, but it’s “extracurricular, entertaining and a pleasantry.” Clearly 1st world.

  2. Apple chases after Microsoft.

    Meanwhile Craig HairForceOne tries to sell an “updated” Mac Mini with a 2 generation old chipset, vampirevideo only, minimal repairability. Because that’s good enough for Mac users, in his stupid opinion.

    It’s no wonder Microsoft dominates as a personal computer platform. Apple isn’t even trying to innovate on any fronts.

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