Apple Rumored to Add USB Mouse Support to iPad Pro as Accessibility Feature
On the latest episode of the Connected podcast on Relay FM, MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci suggested that USB mouse support could eventually be coming to the iPad Pro as an accessibility feature.
"What I heard is without adapters, you will be able to use any USB mouse on your iPad, but as an accessibility device," said Viticci. "The iPad Pro has a USB-C port, so just plug in a USB mouse and if you have physical impairments, if you have any other kinds of motor impairments, just use a USB mouse in accessibility mode."
It has long been possible to use a compatible adaptive accessory like a joystick or trackball with Apple's accessibility feature AssistiveTouch to control an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, but USB mouse support would seemingly eliminate the need for any specialized hardware or adapters.
Viticci cautions this is something he "heard months ago" and he isn't sure "if it'll happen," but as noted by iDownloadBlog, well-known developer Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted that "as far as I'm aware, that is indeed in the works."
If you missed last week's @_connectedfm, @viticci had a pretty interesting scoop that he'd been sitting on re mouse support coming to iPad as an accessibility feature. As far as I'm aware, that *is* indeed in the works. I feel like every pro user will turn that on, day one 😂
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) April 22, 2019
As noted by Viticci, this wouldn't be the first time Apple enables a feature "under the catch-all umbrella of accessibility." Any user would presumably be able to toggle on USB mouse support in the Settings app, with Troughton-Smith adding that "I feel like every pro user will turn that on, day one."
In a follow-up tweet, Troughton-Smith speculated that iOS could perhaps have "a small circle or dot" for a cursor rather than a traditional pointer, but the exact implementation of mouse support if any remains to be seen.
No specific timeframe has been provided for USB mouse support on the iPad, but it could presumably be added as early as iOS 13, which is expected to be unveiled at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The software update should be publicly released in September alongside new iPhones.
Listen to Connected on Relay FM. Viticci's remarks about the potential for USB mouse support on the iPad begin at the 1:08:35 mark.