iOS 13 Could Finally Turn iPads Into Real Laptop Replacements

Apple's iPads have plenty of computing power, but they've always lacked one key feature that would make them legitimate laptop replacements. 

Fortunately, that shortcoming could soon be a thing of the past. According to developer and leaker Steve Troughton-Smith (reported by BGR), mouse and trackpad support could be arriving on iPads with the forthcoming launch of iOS 13. That claim followed a bombshell statement by MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci, who, citing multiple unnamed sources, sparked the rumor on his Connected podcast that Apple would bring mouse and trackpad support to iPads in iOS 13.

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Viticci said mouse support would be enabled via the iPad's USB-C port. If that's true, then the feature would only be available on the iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9 to start as they are the only Apple tablets with a USB Type-C input. It would be a strange decision for Apple to limit the feature to USB-C mice only, as Troughton-Smith clarified on Twitter when asked if a wider range of iPads would support Bluetooth mice. 

"Mouse is mouse, I don't think they'd limit it to USB. It needs to support the Magic Trackpad at the very least," Troughton-Smith said.

The latest iPads are some of the most powerful personal computing devices on the market, but the absence of touchpad and mouse support limits their productivity. This is especially true when you compare them to their rival, the Microsoft Surface Pro, which supports mouse, keyboard and touch inputs. Even the iPad Pro, which Apple likes to consider a laptop or desktop replacement, makes for a better complimentary device than a primary machine. 

That's why we're hopeful these rumors hold true. However, you should be cautiously optimistic because, without an official statement from Apple, trackpad and mouse support for iPad is just that: a rumor. If the feature is coming, we'll likely hear about it at WWDC on June 3 where Apple is expected to announce iOS 13. 

We've reached out to Apple for confirmation and will update this article if we hear back.

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.