New iPad OS feature will further blur the lines between tablets and laptops

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The debate over whether an iPad can be a laptop replacement has been raging for years. It now appears that 2020 will be the year that one of the big arguments against that idea gets crushed. Based on the latest rumors, the iPad 2020 will have a keyboard with a trackpad and combine it with extensive mouse support found in iPadOS 14 (via 9to5Mac).

Now, if this sounds familiar, or you are already using a mouse with your iPad, then yes, Apple did add mouse support with iOS 13 and we were reasonably impressed when we tested it out. But what they are implementing in iPad OS 14 goes beyond what's there now.

According to the report based on code in the iOS 14 build, this will add system-wide support for the mouse included in the standard operating system as opposed to the currently limited support, which must be triggered in the Accessibility settings.

Some of the updates include the cursor disappearing after a few seconds of inactivity, with the assumption that you switch to touch at times and that a persistent cursor would be an unnecessary distraction.

Multiple pointer icons is another major update, meaning icons will change when, for example, you hover over a link. 

Support for at least some trackpad gestures found on the Mac are coming over to iPad, and a "tap to click" setting indicates that there could be a haptic feedback motor present in the keyboard touchpad. 

This aligns with the previous rumor that the new iPad Pro keyboard will have the scissor-style Magic Keyboard of the MacBook Pro (16-inch)

Given the power of the iPad Pros, the updates in iOS 14, and this new keyboard with trackpad, the 2020 iPad Pro lineup is sure to be enough of a laptop for a lot of users.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.