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?

Everything you need to know about iOS 13

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Pile of usb junk
iOS 13 lets you plug almost any USB device into your iPhone or iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

iOS 13, which launches today, is less about a grand, orchestrated new direction, and more about lots of really, really useful little features and tweaks. For instance, one of the best changes is that Safari on iPad is now a proper desktop browser, just like you have on you Mac. And then there’s the new top row of the share sheet, which gives one-tap buttons to share to friends via iMessage.

Or, in iPadOS 13, which ships at the end of the month, you can plug in pretty much any USB device and it will work. Hard drives, SD cards full of movies, anything.

So, while you’re waiting for the new version of iOS to install on your device(s), check out all the new iOS 13 features right here.

Best new (and returning) features in iOS 13.1 beta 1

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iOS 13.1 beta 1 adds Books reading goal, brings back almost every feature dropped in previous betas.
iOS 13.1 beta 1 brings back almost every cool feature dropped from previous betas.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Surprisingly, iOS 13.1 is already in beta. It looks like Apple’s release strategy this year is to freeze the current beta version of iOS 13.0 in order to get it ready for the new iPhones expected on September 10. Meanwhile, Apple continues to test the next version, adding back some features removed during the beta period — Shortcuts automations, for example.

So, what other new (or revived) features will you find in iOS 13.1 beta 1?

Original Macintosh keyboard takes control of iPhone

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iPhone X Mac keyboard
And you thought the original Mac monitor was small.
Photo: Napabar/YouTube

iOS 13 makes it possible to use a keyboard and mouse to control your iPad. But one enterprising YouTuber has shown that it’s equally possible to rig up an old-school Macintosh keyboard and mouse to control an iPhone.

Sure, it’s a bit fiddly, but it’s undeniably fun in a geeky kind of way. You can check out the oddball demonstration in the video below.

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iOS 13 has almost too many features to cover -- but that won't stop us trying.
iOS 13 has almost too many features to cover -- but that won't stop us trying.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple doesn’t want everyone to use a mouse with iPhone and iPad

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iPad-Pro-mouse
Not everyone should use a mouse. Especially not this kind.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

You might think it would be pretty simple for Apple to add mouse support to its mobile operating systems. But that’s not so. The company reportedly spent years developing its newest accessibility feature.

Apple is also keen to stress that mouse support in iOS 13 and iPadOS is for certain users — those who cannot easily use touch. It was not added to replace touch for the average iPhone and iPad user.

How to use a mouse with your iPad

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trackpad mode
Trackpads -- not just for the Mac any more.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPadOS beta is out, and it has one killer feature — mouse support. Not only can you use any Bluetooth mouse or trackpad to control the text-selection cursor on the iPad, you can use the mouse just like you would on a Mac — clicking buttons anywhere in the entire iPad user interface.

The feature is not on by default. It’s not even a regular checkbox. To enable mouse and trackpad support on your iPad, you have to dig into the Accessibility settings.

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:

Why adding mouse support to iPad is a touch of genius [Opinion]

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IPad mouse
Confused? You will be.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A recent rumor says the iPad Pro will soon be compatible with USB-C mice. The idea is that you can just plug one in, and — perhaps by enabling an option in the Accessibility settings — use a mouse just like you would use a mouse on the Mac.

But what would such a feature look like? And would it actually be useful, or would it just be confusing? Let’s think about that.

How to turn on Mac Bluetooth without a mouse

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Dust off any old USB keyboard and get your Bluetooth back in action.
Dust off any old USB keyboard and get your Bluetooth back in action.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You wake up or restart your Mac, and nothing is connected. Your Bluetooth keyboard does nothing. You wiggle your Bluetooth mouse or trackpad, and the on-screen pointer refuses to wiggle in response. The problem? You Mac’s Bluetooth is switched off. But how do you switch it back on without a mouse?

Today we’ll see how to activate Bluetooth on an iMac, Mac Pro or Mac mini 1 without having to touch a mouse or trackpad. All you need are a USB keyboard, Spotlight and one clever trick.