iPad Pro's new Magic Keyboard trackpad brings some macOS gestures

Peter, 19 March 2020

Apple brought the iPad closer to the laptop form factor with the introduction of the Magic Keyboard with an integrated trackpad. Is the iPad even ready for cursor support? It is and this is one of the reasons why Apple split the tablet OS from the iOS found on iPhones.

You can see a quick demo of the trackpad and cursor below (we've cued the video up). The cursor isn't the usual arrow you know from desktop PCs, instead it's a circle (since the iPad UI doesn't require pixel-perfect precision). In fact, when you move it over a button, it expands to highlight the whole button.

One place where precision is needed is text editing. Then the cursor transforms into the familiar vertical bar and you can select and manipulate text with the same precision as on a laptop (well, once the keyboards become available in May).

The iPad Pro + Magic Keyboard combo not only looks kind of like a MacBook, it will start acting like one too. Bringing the cursor to the bottom of the screen reveals the dock. You can also swipe up with three fingers to get the app switcher or swipe left and right to move between open apps (this way you can even swap between Slide Over apps).

The trackpad will work with most third-party apps even if their devs do nothing. However, Apple is opening up new APIs, so they can benefit from additional functionality (and Apple's own apps are getting updated to make the most out of the trackpad).

You can watch a more in-depth demo of the Magic Keyboard and its trackpad in a video that Apple shared with The Verge (Craig Federighi himself is doing the presentation).


Reader comments

Apple has beaten everyone again. This table + keyboard combo is brilliant. Too bad no one thought of it before. Microsoft & Google need to up their game.

  • Anonymous

A laptop is full of restrictions, too because it is not easy to use it when you are on the go. It’s not convenient.

  • Anonymous

Wow this is REALLY cool! I’ve been contemplating on buying a personal laptop but I don’t really see the point of it now... I’m using my iPad mini for everything I do and I don’t seem to be missing anything other than playback from multiple audio sour...

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