Mouse support on iPad could be ‘perfect distruption’ to PC gaming

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iPad Pro as your desktop computer
There's just one problem — and that's Apple.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Better mouse support on iPad could be the “perfect disruption” to PC gaming, one analyst believes.

Apple has already added the ability to control iPhone and iPad with a mouse in its latest software updates. Future enhancements could help it become a more compelling notebook computer replacement.

But will Apple ever give us full mouse support in iPadOS?

Mouse support is a blessing for iPad users like me, who have already switched to using Apple’s tablet over a traditional computer. It allows for a much more enjoyable experience in so many ways.

But Apple hasn’t tapped into its full potential just yet. Improvements later on could see iPad replacing pricey gaming PCs. And they would make Apple Arcade even more compelling.

That’s according to BayStreet Research analyst Cliff Maldonado.

iPad mouse support a ‘game-changer’

“The iPad is becoming a PC,” Maldonado told investors this week. “It’s a game-changer … To me, it’s Apple executing its vision of ‘we want the iPad to be as good and as powerful as the MacBook.'”

Maldonado sees one of the biggest changes happening in gaming.

Apple is already pushing for iPhone and iPad to become better gaming devices, what with Apple Arcade and support for more controllers in its latest updates. But it could go even futher.

With full mouse support, iPad could play games just like a PC.

Can iPad replace gaming PCs?

“Apple could have a PC gaming play with the iPad with the mouse and the chips prowess they have, the way they’re moving things forward,” Maldonado said, according to CNET.

“It could be Apple’s first foray into hard-core gaming.”

Apple Arcade is more of a casual gaming service for now. And iPad is a casual gaming device — even with support for PlayStation and Xbox controllers. It has some console-quality titles, but very few.

Full mouse support would not only improve games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, but also pave the way for titles that have typically shone on desktop PCs with a keyboard and mouse.

“What I’m talking about is changing to a different level of gaming,” Maldonado said. “It could be a perfect disruption to PC gaming.”

Will it ever happen?

It’s an exciting thought — but that’s all it is for now. The truth is, while mouse support has improved the iPad experience for many, it is still very much incomplete. And it feels like an afterthought.

I wrote about this at length back in June. I explained mouse support is there for those who really need it, not as an alternative to touch for the masses. That’s why it’s an Accessibility feature.

Mouse support is “meant for users who literally cannot access their devices without a mouse,” explained reported Steve Aquino after speaking to Apple shortly after the unveiling of iPadOS.

Apple “strongly emphasized this was designed and developed expressly for a certain segment of user.”

This approach will hold back mouse support on iPad, and prevent the device from ever becoming a gaming PC replacement. Or even just a notebook replacement for many laptop users.

Here’s to hoping that changes in future iPadOS updates.