The trackpad on the new Magic Keyboard is exactly what the iPad Pro needed

12.9-inch iPad Pro
12.9-inch iPad Pro (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

Apple finally announced new iPad Pros with upgrading specs, new internals, new sensors, and more, and while that's exciting, it's not nearly as exciting to me as the new Magic Keyboard. That's right, I'm more excited about a keyboard than the actual new iPad, and it's all because of that brand new trackpad.

While the iPad Pro still rides the line between a full laptop and a tablet, the launch of iPadOS 13 last year did give the ability for iPads to use a mouse or a trackpad via Bluetooth or a wired connection. It was a welcome change for lots of users who wanted more control over where they were tapping/clicking, not to mention a huge boon for people who needs help with a touchscreen due to mobility issues, but it was a bit of a clunky system.

How to use a mouse or trackpad with your iPhone or iPad

We all know how Bluetooth can be a little unreliable at maintaining a solid connection sometimes, and not to mention Bluetooth mice and trackpads need to be charged (albeit not that often), which can sometimes mean you're stuck without a mouse when you really want one, but no more.

iPad Pro Magic Keyboard (Image credit: Apple)

The new Magic Keyboard for the 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is finally giving us a much simpler way of utilizing the iPadOS software by giving us a built-in trackpad. No longer will you have to worry about connecting a Bluetooth mouse and then going into the accessibility menu to set up your mouse. You're going to be able to put your iPad Pro in the case and start using the trackpad as you would on your Mac laptop, no fuss at all. It will truly feel like magic, and because it's a bespoke system from Apple, it's going to feel much better than the clunky workaround system we had before. Plus, Apple also has made the new Magic Keyboard compatible with the 2018 models of iPad Pro so you don't need to upgrade to the newest device to take advantage of this new keyboard.

Don't get me wrong, I'm super happy that the ability to use a Bluetooth mouse with your iPad exists and this new Magic Keyboard doesn't change that. If you want or need to use a mouse with your iPad Pro, you still can, but now there's a well-implemented solution directly from the source, and more options are always better.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

  • $300 is pretty steep for a case. With that being said, glad they are making improvements to mouse/cursor in 13.4 and bringing it to all iPads that run 13.4.
  • "The trackpad on the new Magic Keyboard is exactly what the iPad Pro needed" I don't agree, nor would Steve Jobs if he was still around, he would've never let this release. Great for people with accessibility problems but it should be advertised as such, otherwise the iPad Pro is a touchscreen device which is clearly visible from the UI elements that are large, and gesture controls both designed for touchscreen use. The iPad Pro has become a very confused device, it does "some" Pro things, but not others, and now it has mouse control on a device when the software is designed for touch screen. I genuinely thought we'd be at a point now where Apple has their full suite of Pro software on the iPad "Pro", and we'd be able to pretty much do any development task that you can do on your Mac, but the iPad Pro remains again a limited device, which is only Pro depending on your profession.
  • The new keyboard makes the iPad Pro a much more versatile device. Both extremely portable when you need it to be and quite functional when you need it to be. The touch interface leaves a lot to be desired when doing detailed work.
  • Apart from text selection/manipulation, what detailed work do you struggle with?