by Jason Snell
iPad pointing devices
A trackpad on the Smart Keyboard for iPad? John Gruber’s on board:
I fully admit this is not a perfect idea. But I do think it would greatly improve the efficiency of text editing on an iPad, and if text editing isn’t an essential task for iPad users, I don’t understand why Apple bothered making the Smart Keyboard in the first place. And, unlike adding touchscreen support to MacOS, adding trackpad support to iOS would not harm anything that is good about the way things already are.
As this site has been saying for a while now, iOS can gain pointing-device support without becoming macOS. And the moment that Apple added a text-editing cursor to iOS, the genie was kind of out of the bottle. Using a cursor makes editing and selecting text far more efficient, and to John’s point, if the Smart Keyboard isn’t designed to make writing and editing text on an iPad more efficient, why does it exist?
I don’t want a floating arrow cursor on my iPad so I can click on icons and UI elements. But some sort of Smart Keyboard with trackpad, for text editing? Absolutely. I’d love it. I’d also love Apple to support Bluetooth pointing devices on iOS for the same reason. Apple doesn’t need to add more cursors and things into the iOS interface—but the ones already in there would be greatly enhanced by hardware support.