iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 Introduce Mouse Support on iPads, iPhones

Posted on June 4, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, iOS, iPadOS with 19 Comments

Apple launched major versions of its operating system last night. Along with splitting up the OS that powers its iPhones and iPads, the company also introduced a number of major new features for both iPhones and iPads.

And one of the new major features is support for mouse. Even though, Apple introduced a bunch of new gestures on the new iPadOS that makes it much easier to work on iPads with touch, support for the mouse has been long awaited and should be a welcome addition for many:

And even though iPadOS is now supposed to be a different OS than iOS, the mouse support still works on iOS 13. As long-time Apple enthusiast Steve Troughton-Smith tweeted, mouse support works on the iPhone and iPod Touch as well. The only limitation here is that the mouse support doesn’t work on external displays, and the cursor simply doesn’t show up on external displays when your device is connected to one. It does, however, work with both wired and wireless mouses.

iPads getting mouse support is especially important because so many people use iPads as their main computer. And even though it’s a huge addition to the iPad, Apple didn’t make any mention of the new mouse support at WWDC, which is a little odd. I guess the company really wanted people to focus on the touch features and all the crazy new gestures it’s adding with iPadOS 13.

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 Introduce Mouse Support on iPads, iPhones”

  1. dcdevito

    This was a big update for the iPad. With these changes I can easily recommend to a normie as a laptop replacement.

  2. dontbe evil

    "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user," Apple CEO Tim Cook

  3. igor engelen

    Pretty excited about this. Finally the iPad will be a bit more then a big iPhone.

  4. Ndragonawa

    Looks like it's more for accessibility (i.e. I'm differently-abled and cannot use the touch screen effectively) vs a full blown feature. Are other mouse/cursor features supported (right-click, scroll wheel, middle click, etc) ?

  5. nfeed2000t

    A multi-window iOS device with mouse control is what millions of regular people need. Imagine giving an iOS based laptop to your non-technogeek family member and never having to worry about crypto-jacking and other viruses. Imagine the employees of the City of Baltimore using iOS based computers and not getting crypto-jacked. It has been 12 years and no one has had their iPhone/iPad compromised (other than jailbreakers). It is iOS' security model that is even more important than touch.

    Apple sure drags its feet on this. Now we have mouse control. How long will it be before we will have multi-window support and other form factors than an iPad?

  6. Pbike908

    Hmmm....I will watch the development on this...So far no mobile platform is even close to replacing my laptop. Nor are Chromebooks with Android app support (I have tested it).

  7. Hifihedgehog

    Apple is evil. You should be able to easily procure and use a third party app over a first party one and you should also be able to make that third party one the default for a given protocol or file type in the operating system's settings. What Apple has been squeaking by with iOS for now a decade plus would have been straightway penalized if Microsoft had done it with Windows. The fact that you still cannot select a default web browser or mail client in iOS flies in the face of decades of judicial precedent which have been served to Microsoft and others. I, for one, hope that immediate action is taken against Apple's draconian, despotic policies.

  8. Rcandelori

    Glad to see the mouse support, but to be honest I'd really like to see the ability to assign different default apps. Apple needs to be mature about this.

  9. waethorn

    So is Apple going to mitigate the UX disaster when people realize their apps aren't designed for anything but touch?

  10. chrishilton1

    This is a game changer, been saying it for years.

  11. dstrauss

    It looks to me like Apple is (timidly) positioning the iPad Pro as a replacement for the MacBook 12 in its lineup - the first small step in the migration from Intel to Axx on everything except the MacBook Pro (upcoming 16") and the new Mac Pro.

    • igor engelen

      In reply to dstrauss:

      Yep. Have the same feeling. And by getting 'ios' apps to work on MacOS more people get used to them, start using them, developers put extra time into them because they reach more people. And then iPadOS becomes the new MacOS on 'pc's and laptops' without Intel chips.

      I could be wrong ?

  12. madthinus

    I have a feeling iPadOS is the future of Macbook with a A series chip...

  13. dontbe evil

    OMG that's revolutionary !!!

  14. lvthunder

    Apple didn't mention it because it wasn't really worth mentioning. The mouse support is just a virtual finger to be used by people who have a hard time using touch. It is not mouse support like the desktop OS's have. Quite frankly I can see Apple's point in not needing mouse support. Pen/Pencil support, touch, and maybe voice are the future. A strong case is there for the keyboard as well. As someone who's wrist occasionally hurts when using a mouse I much prefer a pen (Surface Pen) or a pen tablet (Wacom) to a mouse.