With the release of iOS 13.4, Apple has finally enabled wireless mouse support on iPads (and iPhones). We will talk about which mice are supported, how to connect and configure manipulator control in iPadOS and iOS, in this article.
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Which mice work with iPad or iPhone
Roughly speaking, all wireless mice work with an iPad or iPhone. We were able to easily connect Apple’s Magic Mouse. In addition, Logitech Bluetooth mice are perfectly connected, for example, models: MX Master 2S, M535, M557, M720, etc. Even a mouse with a USB receiver (dongle) is connected to the iPhone or iPad. In this case, you need a Lightning / USB adapter cable to connect the camera.
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How to connect a mouse to iPad or iPhone
1. Open the application “Settings” and turn on Bluetooth to section Bluetooth, and put the mouse into pairing mode. This function is activated depending on the mouse model. For some, a special key is responsible for this, which you need to press, while for others you just need to turn it off and on again.
If you are using Apple’s Magic Mouse, then you will need to first disconnect it manually from the Mac. This can be done through the menu. System Settings → Bluetooth. Then turn the mouse off and on again. Only then the manipulator will be visible to the tablet or smartphone.
On most Logitech mice, you need to press the pairing button to make the device available for connection to a tablet or smartphone. The most advanced mice generally have several communication channels for connecting to various devices with different operating systems.
2. Search and pair the mouse in the Bluetooth section of iPadOS or iOS. After the mouse is detected, select it and the connection will be completed. The cursor instantly appears on the screen in the form of a point.
3. The settings for the connected mouse Settings → Accessibility → Touch → AssistiveTouch.
This location already suggests that Apple has no plans to make the feature publicly available. The company believes that it is intended for those in need of additional physical assistance. Mouse support is designed to replace touch input, and not as a complete cursor control, as it does on a Mac.
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How to use a mouse on an iPad
The first thing that catches your eye is the on-screen cursor (see video below). It is different from the usual mouse pointer. However, this element is not too distracting.
The usual mouse actions will become available immediately after pairing with the device – by default, you can scroll around the screen, launch applications, open the dock, Control Center, Notification Center, etc.
However, for full control, you must enable the AssistiveTouch function, after which the virtual Home button will appear on the screen. Clicking on it can bring up a menu with a number of additional options.
Using the Assistive Touch virtual button that appears, you can quickly go to the screen “Home”, in Notifications or “Command centre”, and you can also get the ability to control volume, lock and rotate the screen. All this is intuitive and neat, this type of menu is familiar to all those who once had to work with the inactive Home button on older iPhones.
Menu Settings → Universal access → Touch → AssistiveTouch section is located “Customize Actions”, in which you can assign actions for a simple tap, double tap and long.
The system offers a choice of 22 actions, such as switching to the home screen, opening the dock, changing the volume level or locking the orientation. In the section, you can configure one of six options for gestures for scrolling a list or page, as well as activate an already configured quick command.
In chapter “Create a new gesture” Now you can add a user-created gesture using the mouse. This may be her certain movement with the button held down, some kind of zigzag or circle. It remains only to attach one of the available actions to this gesture. The practical use of this feature is doubtful – than drawing zigzags with the button held down, it is easier to hang the function immediately on a specific mouse button.
Menu Settings → Universal access → Touch → AssistiveTouch → Devices will show the mouse connected to the device with iOS. You can immediately configure any of the buttons of the manipulator.
At the very bottom of the section Settings → Universal access → Touch → AssistiveTouch it is possible to customize Auto press and Active angles.
Unfortunately, using the Active Angles feature on iPadOS is significantly different than the one on macOS. To perform an action on a Mac, simply move the mouse cursor to one of the four corners of the screen, whereas on an iPad Active angles work only when the option is enabled Auto press.
That is, to perform a given action, you need to move the cursor to the corner of the screen and wait for the auto-press response time. This is not very convenient.
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Key Features of Using Your Mouse on an iPad
In order to go to the Dock in an open application, make a quick swipe to the bottom of the screen.
To open the Control Center, click on the battery icon in the menu bar and drag down.
To open the Notification Center, click on the time display in the menu bar and drag down. To hide the Notification Center, tap at the bottom of the screen and drag up.
To activate the icon editing mode on the home screen, press and hold the icon of any application.
The right mouse button does not work in iPadOS or iOS, the context menu, for example, in the Files application, is called up by pressing and holding the file.
Calling the context menu in text applications (copy, paste, etc.) with the mouse is not available.
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What is the result? So far so good!
We know that Apple does not recommend using the mouse in conjunction with the iPad and especially with the iPhone. However, this combination, however, works. The interaction scheme is not yet as simple as when working with a mouse on a computer. It may take more than an hour to understand how to use the mouse with iPadOS.
Professional Apple users can find more in this feature. Assistive Touch lets you create your own gestures. If you work a little with them, then with the mouse you can perform most of the tricks that users can do on the iPad and iPhone.
Unfortunately, working with assigning additional actions to mouse buttons is impossible without activating AssistiveTouch mode. In the meantime, only there, in addition to basic actions, you can also attach additional actions, including gestures, to them. A good solution seems to be the ability to use the mouse to adjust the volume, switch between programs and run quick commands.
Obviously, in the future it is necessary to create an additional menu that would allow you to assign specific actions when you right-click. A similar binding is provided in the settings menu for a long press or second mouse button, but gestures do not work, and there is no additional menu in applications.