Wait! What? Isn’t the whole idea of using an iPad to get away from keyboard, mouse, or trackpad input? Until brain waves can be harnessed, isn’t the whole idea to use a finger to touch the iPad’s screen to navigate?
Yes to all the above, but hear me out. Apple’s iPad needs a mouse. Just as a Windows notebook with touchscreen support still supports trackpads and mouse. The touchscreen works perfectly when you’re holding an iPad or tablet in your other hand, but not so well when it’s sitting in upright mode while you’re typing into it.
Alright, the idea of typing into an iPad with a keyboard is sacrilegious, right? Nope. Even Apple sanctions keyboards with Bluetooth connectivity, and the Apple Store has half a wall dedicated to various mobile keyboards that work with iPad (and iPhone).
So, why does the iPad need mouse support?
Here’s the problem. For those of us who want to use an iPad, and want to use said iPad to type without using the iPad’s built-in screen keyboard, the choices are plenty. Bluetooth keyboards that work perfectly well with the iPad range from $30 to $100, some of which turn the iPad into an ultra light notebook-like device, and that’s the problem.
Prop the iPad up on a stand to use the keyboard and everything works fine– from the keyboard’s perspective. Typing. But not navigating the iPad’s screen as you’re typing. Typing, yes. Navigating, not so much. It’s that whole finger, wrist, arm, shoulder effort to navigate an iPad’s screen that’s the problem.
Apple needs to build in keyboard shortcuts that work all over the place from a keyboard attached to the iPad, or, build in some kind of mouse support so the hand can move an on-screen finger to do the touchscreen navigating. Keyboard shortcuts I could handle, but mouse support would work, too.
Walk into any Apple Store and look at the tips often displayed onscreen behind or near the Genius Bar. They feature iPhone and iPad tips, and to display what to touch, Apple uses a little white circle that navigates the touchscreen, touching, swiping, moving so you know what to touch on your device. Would that not be a perfect interface for an iPad mouse?
If Apple doesn’t build in keyboard shortcut support to iOS, then at least build in some mouse support so those of use who use a keyboard don’t develop tennis elbow or bursitis in the shoulder while navigating the propped up iPad’s screen.