Apple's New iPadOS Software Includes Mouse Support as an Accessibility Option

As rumored, iPadOS introduces mouse support for the first time, allowing a USB mouse to be connected to an iPad for the first time.

Mouse support is not a standard feature, but is instead available as an AssistiveTouch option within the Accessibility settings on your iOS device. According to developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who discovered the feature, it also works with the Apple Magic Trackpad.


As with other AssistiveTouch features, the mouse cursor on the display looks similar to the touch target normally in iOS, simulating a finger touch with a mouse instead.


Though this is an Accessibility option at the current time and may not have the best user experience compared to touch, Apple could further implement mouse support in future updates, making it a more mainstream option.

iPadOS, the operating system that runs on the iPad, also has many other new features like updates to multitasking, improved gestures, and more, and going forward, it will be independent of iOS, though it still includes all of the iOS 13 features.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS


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11 weeks ago

Never seen the point in adding a mouse to a Touch-based device. At least the Surface fanboys will stop complaining, I guess...


Comes very handy when you're doing some serious writing / Excel work with the iPad.
Rating: 13 Votes
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11 weeks ago
Never seen the point in adding a mouse to a Touch-based device. At least the Surface fanboys will stop complaining, I guess...
Rating: 7 Votes
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11 weeks ago
Oh heck yeah! This is a very very long time coming! It looks a little clumsy with that cursor, but this would make an iPad almost sure computer replacement for me now.
Rating: 7 Votes
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11 weeks ago

So Bluetooth mice won’t work, and you have to plug in a mouse via a usb cable?

Ah well, tough luck with the Apple mouse and its underbelly charging port...


Okay, what? It works with the Apple Really Magical Trackpad but it’s USB? Mine is BT.


I gotta ask - why couldn't they do Bluetooth connectivity? I mean really, who uses a corded mouse these days? I guess they want cords hanging out of iPads like we have USB-C dongles hanging out of our MacBook Pros. If Swiftpoint can implement a Bluetooth mouse that works with certain iPad apps that have the driver built in (like Jump remote desktop), why can't Apple do it at the iOS level? SMH...


Really hope for a bluetooth mouse support


Bluetooth mouse support does work.
Make sure you pair it within the section in Accessibility and not with the regular system Bluetooth area in System Preferences. Ironically, I couldn't get my Magic Mouse 2 to work because it's recognized as a mouse when plugged in, but I didn't see a way to get it to pair with Bluetooth. And we know this mouse is useless when plugged in with the charger on the bottom. Anyway, I paired it with a piece of junk BT 3.0 mouse I had laying around.

Yes, it would be nice if they let you dynamically size the "touch" circle, and maybe its opacity when in use. Also, this is just a "hovering mouse" pointer so I don't think apps have any way of capturing the mouse directly using any public API. That would work for the majority of use cases, but it wouldn't let you use, say, an emulator or a remote control app in a true "mouse" mode (the app won't know where the pointer is until you click). Still a huge step in the right direction and makes selecting text really easy- though still different than on, say, a Mac because you need to simulate the finger gesture for selection with the mouse button. It's basically a double click then drag instead of single.

Only vaguely related but fun: Dualshock 4 from PS4 pairs over BT and works just fine with MFI game apps on iPad and iPhone! (not just Apple TV as suggested in the keynote).
Rating: 5 Votes
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11 weeks ago
anyone have the beta installed and MS Remote Desktop that can try that combo out?
Rating: 5 Votes
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11 weeks ago
I gotta ask - why couldn't they do Bluetooth connectivity? I mean really, who uses a corded mouse these days? I guess they want cords hanging out of iPads like we have USB-C dongles hanging out of our MacBook Pros. If Swiftpoint can implement a Bluetooth mouse that works with certain iPad apps that have the driver built in (like Jump remote desktop), why can't Apple do it at the iOS level? SMH...
Rating: 5 Votes
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11 weeks ago

I wouldn’t use it on a regular basis but there have been times when I have had to remote in to a Windows PC at work to access a document (such as a IEEE paper) that I couldn’t directly access from the iPad. Trying to do it with a touch interface isn’t very efficient.

Some of us have been doing that with our iPads for a few years already... Jump Desktop and the Citrix X1 mouse. That's been a great experience, but now with native (albeit limited) system-wide support for a mouse, it is going to be better for those scenarios where a mouse is preferable.

I love the flexibility of using the iPad as a touch tablet and then when I need to compose an email, switch over to a BT keyboard... and if I have to work on something like a spreadsheet, to be able to use a mouse for that... BOOM.
Rating: 4 Votes
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11 weeks ago

Almost there... now just let me know when I can run XCode on it and I can start using my iPad as a first-class computer.


Or just use a Mac? Don't get why everyone wants the iPad to replace the Mac. They're different things with different uses.
Rating: 4 Votes
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11 weeks ago
Now if they will just allow you to change the cursor...
Rating: 3 Votes
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11 weeks ago

Bluetooth mouse support does work.
Make sure you pair it within the section in Accessibility and not with the regular system Bluetooth area in System Preferences. Ironically, I couldn't get my Magic Mouse 2 to work because it's recognized as a mouse when plugged in, but I didn't see a way to get it to pair with Bluetooth. And we know this mouse is useless when plugged in with the charger on the bottom. Anyway, I paired it with a piece of junk BT 3.0 mouse I had laying around.

Yes, it would be nice if they let you dynamically size the "touch" circle, and maybe its opacity when in use. Also, this is just a "hovering mouse" pointer so I don't think apps have any way of capturing the mouse directly using any public API. That would work for the majority of use cases, but it wouldn't let you use, say, an emulator or a remote control app in a true "mouse" mode (the app won't know where the pointer is until you click). Still a huge step in the right direction and makes selecting text really easy- though still different than on, say, a Mac because you need to simulate the finger gesture for selection with the mouse button. It's basically a double click then drag instead of single.

Only vaguely related but fun: Dualshock 4 from PS4 pairs over BT and works just fine with MFI game apps on iPad and iPhone! (not just Apple TV as suggested in the keynote).

This WWDC is the gift that keeps on giving. BT mouse support and DS4 support... well damn.
Rating: 3 Votes
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