iPad finally gets mouse support thanks to iPadOS

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An iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard Folio and Magic Mouse, or a MacBook by another name?
It could be so much more.
Photo: Guilherme Martins Schasiepen

WWDC 2019 bugApple rushed through a lot of iOS 13 features during its keynote this morning, but a major feature that’s long been requested from iPad users didn’t get any showtime: mouse support.

When Apple’s keynote wrapped up without any mention of mouse support on iPad my colleague Killian nearly had an embolism burst in his brain. The feature had been rumored for so long it would have been a huge disappointment if it didn’t make the cut. But after digging into iPadOS, it turns out that Apple has finally added mouse support.

Check it out in action:

Mouse support can be accessed through the Accessibility options in the Settings app. All you have to do is go to the Assistive Touch section and connect your USB mouse as a pointer.

It appears that the mouse feature works with both traditional mice and trackpads. You can set the default commands on your mouse too so that one button is a press and another is a home button press.

Apple also added new Context Menus in iOS 13 that display more commands when you 3D Touch on a photo or other object. The submenus add more complexity but could eventually turn into the right-click equivalent for iOS.

This is just one of many new features iPad fans have been hoping for that will finally appear in iPadOS. Tablet applications can open multiple windows, plus there’s a home screen redesign, improvements to the Files app and more.