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Analyst: better mouse support in iPadOS could make an iPad a serious productivity, gaming system

Apple brought (very) limited mouse support to iPadOS, but the tech giant may be planning to add full mouse support in the near future to make the iPad a better productivity and gaming platform, according to Cliff Maldonado, principal analyst and founder of BayStreet Research, a firm that researches smartphone, tablet and smartwatch markets. 

As reported by CNET, Maldonado had this to say: “The iPad is becoming a PC,” Maldonado said. “It’s a game-changer … To me, it’s Apple executing a vision of ‘we want the iPad to be as good and as powerful as the MacBook … There are three types of gaming: PC gaming, console gaming and mobile gaming. Apple could have a PC gaming play with the iPad with the mouse and the chips prowess they have, the way they’re moving these things forward. It could be Apple’s first foray into hard-core gaming.”

If you want to use a mouse or trackpad with an iPad running iPadOS, you’ll have to enable the mouse/trackpad support, because it’s turned off by default. To enable it have your mouse or trackpad powered up and ready to go, then:

  • Open the Settings app.

  • Go to Accessibility.

  • Go to Touch, under the Physical and Motor section.

  • Turn on the AssistiveTouch toggle.

  • Go to Pointing Devices.

You can use a mouse or trackpad via Bluetooth or USB. If you’re using the former, which I recommend, you’ll have to make sure it’s paired. If you have a mouse that’s not a USB-C rodent, you’ll need a USB-A to C adapter to plug a regular wired mouse directly into the iPad Pro’s USB-C port.

Clicking a mouse does the same thing as tapping the screen. I just wish there was a way to make the huge cursor that appears smaller. Also, it only works with one button-click function, usually simulating what a finger touching the screen would do.

Also, while you can pair a wireless mouse with your iPad, Apple’s own Magic Mouse 2 doesn’t work. The Bluetooth Devices settings in iPadOS has this message: “AssistiveTouch allows you to connect Bluetooth and USB assistive pointer devices, such as joysticks and mice. Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad are not supported over Bluetooth.”


Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.