External Mouse or Trackpad Support for iPad Possibly Coming in iOS 13: Rumour

If only you could use an external mouse on the iPad Pro…

Apple may be planning external mouse or trackpad support with the iPad Pro ^(https://apple.sjv.io/c/14127/435395/7636?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.apple.com%2Fca%2Fipad%2F), according to what MacStories founder Federico Viticci is hearing.

On last week’s Connected ^(https://www.relay.fm/connected/239) podcast episode #239, Viticci says at the 1 hour and 12-minute mark he has been hearing unproven rumours external mouse support could be coming to the iPad—as an accessibility feature.

“What I heard was that without adapters, you will be able to use any USB mouse on your iPad, but as an accessibility device. And I kind of think that makes sense,” said Viticci.

“The idea of without having to buy specialized hardware, buy a joystick or an adapter, the iPad Pro has a USB-C port. Just plug in a USB-C mouse and if you have physical impairments, if you have any other kind of modern impairments, just use the USB mouse in accessibility mode,” added Viticci.

Viticci says Apple most likely doesn’t want to boldly announce the iPad needs a mouse, but if you do require an external input device, any USB-C mouse can be used as an accessibility device. He says he heard this rumour a couple of months ago.

The rumour of external mouse support was backed up by developer Steve Troughton-Smith, saying “If you missed last week’s @_connectedfm, @viticci had a pretty interesting scoop that he’d been sitting on re mouse support coming to iPad as an accessibility feature. As far as I’m aware, that *is* indeed in the works. I feel like every pro user will turn that on, day one.”

Troughton-Smith added, “with UIKit adopting all kinds of API for mouse support for the Mac, it makes a ton of sense to let that be leveraged on iPad too if somebody has a mouse connected. Not changing the OS for anybody using touch, but adding functionality for those who choose, or need it.”

The supposed external mouse support would possibly debut in iOS 13, which Apple is expected to preview at WWDC 2019, set to take place in the first week of June.

An external mouse for an iPad would be very welcome as an input device. Using Apple Pencil or your fingers as a stylus can be straining on your wrist and arms, making the iPad excruciating to use especially when it comes to highlighting text and adding links. This is why I ditched the idea of an iPad Pro for doing any real work.

2018 MacBook Air Battery, Trackpad and Touch ID Can Be Replaced Individually

If you were wondering about repairability when it comes to the 2018 MacBook Air with Retina display, its battery, trackpad and Touch ID can be replaced individually, instead of requiring a full top case enclosure, keyboard and trackpad like with its previous generation.

The news was spotted within Apple’s internal Service Readiness Guide, as reported by appmarsh ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/2018/11/07/2018-macbook-air-battery-individually-replaceable/) (emphasis ours):

Big news for repairability and environmental responsibility: the battery can be individually replaced in the new MacBook Air, according to Apple’s internal Service Readiness Guide for the notebook, obtained by appmarsh.

[…]

The battery in the new MacBook Air is still glued into the top case, the aluminum enclosure that houses the keyboard and trackpad, but Apple will be providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with tools to remove the battery and reinstall a new one with no top case replacement required.

Image of Apple battery repair in the 2018 Retina MacBook Air — image via appmarsh

Once the battery is replaced by an Apple technician at the Genius Bar, it is then pressed back into place using the company’s iPhone display press tool, ensuring glue strips—which are the same ones used for iPhone batteries—are properly adhered.

The guide also says the trackpad, along with Touch ID can be replaced on its own, but for the latter, the MacBook Air must see a final step in passing Apple diagnostics to complete the repair. #becauchTouchID.

By allowing individual replacement parts instead of requiring multiple parts to be replaced on the 2018 MacBook Air, Apple may be hedging its bets in the event Right to Repair legislation is ever passed at some point in time ^(https://www.appmarsh.ca/news/apple-expensive-device-repair-costs-cbc-news/). It could also mean Apple wants to have less of an impact on the environment, by not having perfectly working components wasted in order to repair a single part, such as a battery.

We should find out more details on the “repairability score” of the 2018 MacBook Air with Retina display, when the surgeons at iFixit dismantle the new laptop.

Apple launched sales of its 2018 MacBook Air, new iPad Pro and Mac mini today ^(https://www.appmarsh.ca/mac/apple-2018-ipad-pro-macbook-air-mac-mini-canada/) in Canada.