Here's How a Trackpad Works With an iPad Pro in iPadOS 13.4

Apple yesterday unveiled a new 2020 iPad Pro with a new Magic Keyboard accessory that adds a trackpad to the iPad for the first time. Apple didn't stop there, though, and built support for mice and trackpads into all modern iPads through the iPadOS 13.4 update.


The new 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ doesn't come out until next week and the Magic Keyboard won't launch until May, but with the iPadOS 13.4 beta and a current ‌iPad‌, it's possible to test just how trackpad functionality works.

ipadpromagickeyboard
In our latest video, we paired an ‌iPad Pro‌ running iPadOS 13.4 with one of Apple's Magic Trackpad 2 accessories, which is one of the supported trackpad options.

trackpad2
A Bluetooth trackpad or mouse can be paired through the Bluetooth section of the Settings app on the ‌iPad‌, and there are a few settings to adjust, such as adjusting cursor speed and enabling tap to click.

trackpadpairing
When using the trackpad, the cursor displays as a circle on the screen, popping up only when you have a finger on the trackpad. It's similar to using a trackpad on a MacBook, though there are some gestures to learn and nuances to become accustomed to when using the trackpad as Apple designed from the ground up for the ‌iPad‌'s touch-first experience.

trackpadcursor

The circle here is the cursor

Navigating through iPadOS with the cursor is similar to using a cursor on a Mac. The little round button (which Apple made round because it resembles a finger tip) shifts when over a user interface element that can be interacted with. For example, hovering over an app icon will let you know that you can tap it.

There are several gestures that activate different iPadOS functions. Scrolling all the way to the top right corner of the ‌iPad‌ and tapping brings up the Control Center, where you can interact with all of the elements through clicks and long presses without ever taking a finger off of the trackpad.

Scrolling over to the date and time in the top left corner brings up the Notification Center, and a swipe downwards with three fingers accesses the Home screen from anywhere. A two finger swipe downwards brings up Spotlight search, and a three finger swipe up opens up the multitasking interface. Swiping to the left or the right with three fingers swaps between apps.

You can also enter the Slide Over multitasking interface with the trackpad by moving the cursor over to the right side of the screen or dragging an app over from the Dock. Scrolling through a webpage in Safari works like it does on a Mac, and you can use two fingers to scroll up or down. Selecting text to copy or drag and drop can be done with a quick long press. Writing and text editing benefits from the trackpad because it's easy to scroll over to the text you need to tweak.

safariscrollingtrackpad

Scrolling in Safari with the trackpad

Two finger tap gestures in a text editing app bring up Cut, Copy, and Paste options, and there's a right click gesture to bring up menu bars in most apps. Apple says many apps will support mice and trackpad interactions right when iPadOS 13.4 is released, but there is an SDK available for developers to build in deeper support. Apple's own apps will work with trackpad gestures, and Apple is also building compatibility into Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

cursorandtexteditingtrackpad

Text editing in the Notes app. A gesture brings up cut/copy/paste.

iPadOS 13.4 is set to launch on Tuesday, March 24, and it will bring mouse and trackpad support to all ‌iPad Pro‌ models, the iPad Air 2 and later, the fifth-generation ‌iPad‌ and later, and the iPad mini 4 and later.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

kissmo Avatar
21 months ago

Is scrolling support with the magic trackpad 1 or magic mouse 1?
Nope. I have both and nothing works unfortunately :(((

The trackpad is particularly useless.
You will be able to pair but you will not get the settings for two fingers tap or for scrolling. This makes it impossible to use and you need to do touch screen to make basic operations.

I don't get the logic behind (technically)... Financially it may make sense...

The article is incorrect. Only Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 function with scrolling and gestures.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NB2020 Avatar
21 months ago
Why is everyone so keen to use their iPad as their main computer?? It's more restrictive, it's nowhere near as full-featured as a Mac, it has an inherently different style of working that doesn't allow multiple windows, it's harder to customize and tinker with and moreover, it’s no longer even cheaper than a Mac. I’m not anti-iPad - I love mine, but I just don’t aspire for it to replace my Mac, which I also love. It’s great to use when I’m out and about or when I’m in bed or sitting on the couch, but it’s definitely NOT great to use when I’m sitting on a desk spending a day at the office doing intensive office stuff.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
21 months ago
Apple is getting closer and closer to merging Mac OS and iPad OS. Pairing up a Magic Trackpad and Bluetooth keyboard makes the iPad much more like a standard laptop (or Surface). Desktops are getting some impressive competition.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
urbanmacUser Avatar
21 months ago
My original track pad does not work well at all, no scrolling, no gestures.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
radus Avatar
21 months ago
The flexibility of a groups mind is astonishing.
When I asked for exactly the mouse / trackpad support years ago, I was a little bit downvoted.
Now nearly everybody is happy to get more usability for the ipad.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spungoflex Avatar
21 months ago

Apple is getting closer and closer to merging Mac OS and iPad OS. Pairing up a Magic Trackpad and Bluetooth keyboard makes the iPad much more like a standard laptop (or Surface). Desktops are getting some impressive competition.
It needs 16:9 support for external monitors.

If it has that, the iPad might be my new PC.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
Pixel Stand 23W 668x445

Google Pixel 6 Rumored to Support 23W Wireless Charging, Beating iPhone 12's MagSafe

Wednesday September 1, 2021 1:54 am PDT by
Google is rumored to be working on a new wireless charging stand that could deliver 23W of charging power to its upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones, according to a leaked inventory image published by Android Police. Image via Android Police. If true, that would beat the iPhone 12's maximum 15W wireless charging speed (or 12W on ‌iPhone 12 mini‌) using Apple's MagSafe charger, and...