At its annual developer event today, Apple unveiled a host of updates that will be coming to the iPad in the near future.
The tablet is getting its own dedicated operating system, called iPadOS, nine years into its existence, which will bring with it a host of new file-management and multitasking capabilities that’ll make it feel more like using a computer.
But there’s one thing the iPad, especially the iPad Pro, which has been marketed as a PC replacement, has been missing: support for the mouse. Apple introduced a stylus called the Pencil in 2015 with the introduction of the original iPad Pro, but it never really was as easy to use for selecting text or navigating around a webpage as a mouse is.
Although it went unmentioned onstage, it seems that when iPadOS launches in the fall (along with iOS 13), iPad owners will actually be able to control their devices with a Bluetooth or wired mouse, as developer and frequent Apple feature sleuth Steve Troughton-Smith uncovered today:
Hello mouse support on iOS 13! It’s an AssistiveTouch feature, and works with USB mice. @viticci nailed this pic.twitter.com/nj6xGAKSg0
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) June 3, 2019
Troughton-Smith was using the early developer beta of iOS 13 and found the function in the accessibility options on the iPad, which are meant for differently abled users to be able to interact with Apple devices more easily. It’s unclear whether mouse support will be easier to find when the new software launches in the fall, and whether it’ll be supported by some new hardware designed for the iPad. Apple wasn’t immediately available to comment.