Apple has done a great job integrating the new trackpad feature. The control is intuitive and has been specially adapted to the conditions on the iPad. This also means that Apple implements almost all actions that are possible with the fingers on the screen for the trackpad. However, this can lead to differences between the trackpad usage on the Mac and the iPad.
Requirements for mouse support on iPad
Only with iPadOS 13.4 does Apple introduce the new mouse and trackpad function in its new form. In the previous operating systems, the mouse pointer was only present in a slimmed-down version. Accordingly, iPadOS 13.4 (or later) is the most important prerequisite for full operation. This also limits compatible devices:
- iPad Pro (all models)
- iPad mini (4th generation or later)
- iPad Air (2nd generation or later)
- iPad (5th generation or later)
In addition to the compatible iPad models, a trackpad or mouse is also required. Apple is surprisingly open and leaves users with the choice. In addition to Apple’s Magic Trackpad (Affiliate Link) and Magic Mouse (Affiliate Link) Apple also allows third-party USB and Bluetooth devices.
To use the cursor on the iPad
Once you have connected a trackpad or mouse to your iPad via Bluetooth or USB, a circular cursor appears on the screen. According to Apple, they chose not to use the classic mouse pointer to symbolize the finger.
Basically, the new control works like on the Mac and allows, for example, the precise selection of text passages. Drag and drop is also easy to handle. The home screen can be reached by moving the pointer against the bottom of the screen. For the control center, on the other hand, you click on the battery indicator and for the notification center the time. With multi-touch gestures such as the three-finger swipe, you switch between the applications, while such a swipe upwards closes the currently opened app. According to Apple, all features of the iPad are accessible with the trackpad feature.
Note: If no trackpad or mouse is connected to the iPad, iPadOS hides the corresponding settings.
To change the pointer speed
As with your Mac, you can adjust the speed of the cursor on your iPad. This determines how the pointer responds to movements with the mouse or trackpad. If a high speed is set, then a small hand movement is sufficient for the hand to travel a longer distance and vice versa. Therefore, adjust the speed to your preferences by opening the settings and selecting “General > Trackpad”. The “pointer movement” can be set right up.
To give the cursor color and size
On the iPad, the semi-transparent cursor is rather inconspicuous. It can therefore happen that you don’t see it properly. Apple therefore allows users to adjust the cursor size as well as a colored border. To do this, open the settings and call the entry “Pointer control” in “Operator” . With a tap on “Increase Contrast” the cursor becomes less transparent if desired. A tap on Color, on the other hand, gives you the choice between multiple colors, which you want to frame the cursor. You can use the Pointer Size slider to adjust it, always maintaining a white dot at the center that preserves precision.
Simple click with the tip
Already on Mac, many users have learned to love the possibility to do one click even without a real click. A simple tap on the touch interface is enough to allow a quieter click. In iPadOS, this is also built-in and waiting for activation. Open “Settings > General > Trackpad” and drag the slider next to “Click by Tap” to the right. Underneath, you can also decide on the secondary click.
Scrolling on iPad: How to change the tempo and direction
In iPadOS, you can’t just adjust the cursor speed. The scroll speed can also be adjusted, as well as the scroll direction and the follow-up. Apple hides the settings in different menus. Do you want to keep the natural scrolling that follows the contents of finger movement, or want to reverse it. To do this, open “Settings > General > Trackpad” and drag the slider next to “Natural Scrolling” to the left to disable it.
To prevent the tempo and the short follow-up, however, call “Settings > Accessibility > Pointer Control”. At the bottom, you can adjust the scroll tempo while disabling the “Trackpad Trail” over it. If the function is active, the cursor moves even further or continues scrolling, even if you have long since raised your finger.
This way the mouse pointer no longer becomes a button and no longer hides
Mac users know that there are few situations where the mouse pointer fades out, such as full-screen videos. On the iPad, this is different. By default, the cursor hides after a few seconds. This can be prevented by either disabling the function or extending the time to several seconds in “Settings > Accessibility > Pointer Control > Hide Pointer S&D Automatically”.
In addition, users can influence a special behavior of the cursor, which turns it into the same with buttons and icons. This visual feedback is reminiscent of how the Siri Remote works on Apple TV and is not equally desirable for every user. To do this, deactivate the “Mouse Pointer Animations” in “Settings > Accessibility > Pointer Control”.
Tip on the sidelines: Try trackpad now
It doesn’t always have to come up with new accessories. You can also use discarded devices. Alternatively, you can use the Magic Mouse or the Magic Trackpad from Mac. Depending on the model, the pairing process varies. For newer models with built-in battery, deploy your iPad and open “Settings > Bluetooth”. Now turn the trackpad or mouse on and off briefly. The device will now appear briefly on the iPad. Tap it and confirm the process. For older devices with a battery, you can start pairing mode by holding down the power button until the green LED flashes.
Apple Magic Trackpad 2 – Space Grey