First iPad Pro keyboard case with trackpad hopes to launch this winter

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Sentis Libra iPad keyboard case with trackpad
An iPad keyboard case with trackpad wasn’t possible before iPadOS.
Photo: Sentis

Libra is angling to be the first-out-of-the-gate iPad Pro case that includes not only a keyboard but also a trackpad. This wasn’t possible before, but the just-released iPadOS adds support for mice and trackpads.

The designers are looking for backing on Kickstarter to defray the costs of developing an accessory that lets an iPad mimic a MacBook more closely than any before.

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.

Brydge taunts us with iPad Pro keyboard we can’t have

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An iPad trackpad?! Too bad it’s only a dream.
It could be so much better.
Photo: Brydge

An accessory maker shared a picture of something many people would love: a clip-on iPad Pro keyboard with a trackpad. Sadly, Brydge’s concept device just isn’t possible because iOS doesn’t support external pointing devices.

At least, that’s true for now. But mouse/trackpad support is a often-requested feature, and there’s reason to think Apple is at least considering it.

UPDATE: Turns out Apple was considering it, and mouse/trackpad support is built into iPadOS 13. Learn how to use a mouse with your iPad.

Apple proposes hybrid keyboard that’s also a trackpad

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Proposed hybrid keyboard
A proposed hybrid keyboard would have regular keys that can also sense light touches.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A future MacBook might have a hybrid keyboard that can sense when the. keys are lightly touched as well as when they’re pressed. This would allow the entire keyboard to function as a trackpad.

Apple wants to redesign the keyboard. It’s proposed various ways to make this classic input device more functional. Last month, it floated the idea of a replacing the keyboard with a flexible touch panel.

iPad Pro 2 mockup brings trackpad to Smart Keyboard

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Does the iPad Pro need a trackpad?
Does the iPad Pro need a trackpad?
Photo: David Chapman

Apple could unveil a new iPad Pro 2 as soon as next Monday during its WWDC 2017 keynote. And if it does, we hope the company adds some new productivity features, like this Smart Keyboard with a trackpad.

In a new mockup that imagines what the new Smart Keyboard could look like, designer David Chapman shows why it would be a great idea.

Take another look:

Should Apple make iPad Pro compatible with a mouse? [Friday Night Fights]

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iPad Pro Keyboard Mouse
Would you use a mouse with iPad?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is again trying to convince fans that the iPad Pro is a suitable PC replacement. Earlier this week, the company rolled out new ads that remind us why its high-end slate is better (in some ways) than a desktop. But there’s just one problem.

Friday Night Fights bugiPad Pro, like other iOS devices, isn’t compatible with a mouse or trackpad. That’s fine in most cases, but many users would like to use a mouse for all manner of things, and Apple doesn’t allow it. Should this change in a future version of iOS?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we discuss why mouse compatibility might be great for iPad Pro, and why it might be pointless!

How to use your iPhone keyboard as a trackpad

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iPhone trackpad
Edit text easier by transforming your keyboard into a trackpad.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iOS has come a long way over the years, but trying to place your cursor accurately when writing and editing text is still a little awkward because you’re covering the text with your finger while trying to swipe across with the magnifying glass.

Well, thanks to 3D Touch, there’s a hidden trick within iOS that makes this easier. Check out this week’s Quick Tips video below to see it in action.

3D Touch is killer UI; here’s how to best use it

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3Dtouch
Quick Actions are the best thing about 3D Touch.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

If you’re trying your best to resist an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, do not walk into an Apple Store and try 3D Touch. Once you’ve had a taste of it, your smartphone simply won’t feel complete without it.

Here are four ways in which 3D Touch makes life a lot sweeter.

Windows 10 is going to steal OS X’s trackpad gestures

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Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

One of the many, many things that Apple does right is trackpads. Not only is the trackpad hardware that Apple uses in the MacBook lineup the best in the world (seriously, I’ve never used a non-Apple trackpad that even came close), but the software backing it up is world-class.

A lot of that has to do with the library of consistent trackpad gestures Apple has built into OS X over the years. Compared to OS X, Windows feels downright schizophrenic when you’re using gestures. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But it now appears that Microsoft is putting an end to the trackpad schizophrenia by borrowing Apple’s approach to gestures.

New Macbook? Here Are Some Non-Obvious Trackpad Gestures You May Not Know About [OS X Tips]

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These are just the obvious ones.
These are just the obvious ones.

I’ve let friends borrow my Macbook when they come over to my place from time to time, and I’m still surprised by the way they don’t “get” the trackpad. Some of them look for the button to click, some want to know how to right click, and still others move the mouse cursor way over to the scroll bar area on the web browser, looking to move the page up or down.

So, I figured it might be time for a quick tip with some easy yet non-obvious Trackpad gestures that you can use if you’re new to the Macbook trackpad system, or if you just want to send to friends that continue to be baffled by the trackpad when they borrow your laptop.