The iPad is a revolutionary device. Many people, including myself, have regarded Apple’s tablet as one of the gadgets of the decade, and it’s certainly hard to disagree. When you consider that the iPad is dominating the tablet industry—and undeniably so—it’s also worth remembering that the folks at Apple aren’t resting on their laurels when it comes to the continued evolution of the iPad.
See, Apple obviously sees the iPad as the future of computing. We’ve seen them push in that direction with the development of iPadOS, along with the inclusion of Smart Keyboard support for their most affordable tablet: the “iPad”. The Smart Keyboard connector, in case you didn’t know, basically means that your keyboard will connect to your iPad via magnetic contact points—one of the biggest benefits here is that you won’t need to separately charge your iPad keyboard.
And as someone that has used an iPad for work pretty extensively, I’d say that a keyboard is an absolute must for anyone that intends to use the iPad for anything productive. But something that has always been missing, for me, is a trackpad. Anytime I use my iPad along with a Smart Keyboard, I invariably start feeling around with my index finger for a trackpad—years and years of using conventional laptop keyboards have conditioned me, I reckon.
And as we all know, the iPad does not have actual mouse support. Instead, the AssistiveTouch support emulates touch, which basically means that it doesn’t feel all that natural (in comparison to mouse on computer, that is), and there is also no left-click/right-click support. But years and years of complaints have seemingly been taken aboard by the folks at Apple, if a new report is to be believed.
According to The Information, Apple has plans for a new iPad keyboard that will feature a built-in trackpad. The new accessory will be announced along with the next iPad Pro, which is expected to be sometime in the first half of 2020. That’s pretty awesome, and I’m sure that plenty of users will appreciate that Apple is including a feature that feels like it would be part of a natural progression for the iPad.
And Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi tweeted that iPadOS will continue to be developed:
If you can’t quite wait to have a trackpad on your iPad, there’s actually something similar that’s already available—although you’ll have to order one via overseas shipping. Accessory-makers, Brydge, earlier announced an iPad keyboard that has an integrated trackpad. In fact, the trackpad also appears to support Mac-like functions like the two-fingered scrolling, the shortcuts, and so on.
But still, I’m not sure how well that works with iPadOS. I’ve never used the Brydge keyboard myself, but I do think that Apple’s own accessory—the one rumoured by The Information—would probably stand a better chance at working well with iPadOS in terms of compatibility.