Remember back when Steve Jobs tried to sell us yet another gadget to use; that one firmly ensconced between iPhone on one side and the Mac on the other? Yes, Jobs and Apple wanted and want iPad to be another purchase.
Customers had a different idea and recognized that a Bluetooth keyboard connected to an iPad turned it into a less expensive and less productive Mac. Apple saw the money writing on the wall and gave us what we wanted. A keyboard with an Apple logo on it but missing what we really wanted.
Needs vs. Wants
From the perspective of Apple, the iPad maker just wanted us to keep buying gadgets, be happy, and never complain. Mac, iPhone, iPad. Apple didn’t even care about the order so long as we bought all three. What about that iPad keyboard?
Apple’s iPad could handle keyboards OK, but iOS didn’t have too many shortcuts, and navigating the display with anything but a finger or a stick was just out of the question. Apple’s iPad customers yelled and screamed and signed petitions and drew pictures of Tim Cook in effigy and posted them to Facebook and Instagram.
Too bad. Tim Cook doesn’t use Facebook or Instagram because privacy. Oh well.
Over the past few years, as iPad sales stalled and tanked, Apple decided that maybe what customers actually wanted– a keyboard with appropriate shortcuts and a mouse-like, non-finger-hand-wrist-arm-elbow-arm and shoulder effort to navigate— might be something we’d pay extra to own. iPad Pro was born and you could use a Pencil to navigate and there was a keyboard to buy.
With iPadOS, Apple even added a few dozen more keyboard shortcuts.
And… insert Mac360’s infamous drum roll right here… mouse and trackpad support.
If you can find it. Apple buried mouse support in the Accessibility section of iPadOS because they still don’t want mere mortals or paying customers to use because it is reserved for the otherwise accessibility deprived iPad customers.
Yet, there it is.
As you might expect, Apple is short on details for a feature and functionality they did not want to provide in the first place, but an iPad with a decent keyboard and a mouse or trackpad and a whole bunch more keyboard shortcuts starts to become more Mac-like in functionality for the rest of us.
Poor Apple. They often catch themselves between a rock and a hard spot.
I know they want us to buy iPhone, Mac, and iPad, and I’m likely to continue to do just that, but it would be nice to have an iPad with a lightweight clamshell keyboard with a built-in trackpad, and Mac-like keyboard shortcuts.
Or, replace the option to replace the trackpad with a mouse.
This is a very big deal, folks. Apple has kinda sorta mostly but not too publicly caved in to customer wishes.