Mouse and keyboard support coming to iPadOS 14

Illustration for article titled iPad will soon allow gamers to play with the mouse and keyboard

Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

As the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off, we begin to see more and more features of its updated operating systems that were not revealed during yesterday’s inaugural conference. That includes the ability to play games on the iPad using a mouse and keyboard instead of the touch screen or a gamepad.

Mouse support was first introduced on iPad with iPadOS 13 in September 2019, and then expanded earlier this year in March with version 13.4. The feature allowed the iPad to work with a mouse and an on-screen cursor, but was limited to emulating the physical touches of the fingers. So while in PC games like Minecraft It allowed players to look around simply by moving their mouse, on the iPad it required additional clicks to emulate the interactivity of players by tapping and dragging their fingers on the screen. It was still far from recreating the PC gaming experience on the Apple tablet.

As an alternative to touchscreen controls, which in most cases are terrible for games ported from other platforms, Apple also introduced support for the Xbox One and PS4 Bluetooth controllers last fall. Dramatically improved iPad gaming skills for racing games and platforms, but first-person shooters like the popular cross-platform FortniteThey were still dominated by mouse and keyboard gamers on the PC.

However, that will soon change, as at Apple. WWDC 2020 website there’s a list for an upcoming video titled “Bring keyboard and mouse games to iPad“With the following description:

Level up your iPad games and add keyboard, mouse and trackpad controls. Find out how to use the Game Controller framework to augment your existing titles, bring in games from other platforms, or dream completely new interaction experiences. Learn how to integrate keyboard and mouse “delta” coordinate events for player movement, and disable pointer system gestures like the Dock or Control Center to get the most out of full-screen gaming.

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Unlike the current iPadOS implementation of mouse support, iPadOS 14 It will include updates to its Game Controller framework that goes beyond gamepads. The exact details of this bracket aren’t fully known yet, but it seems like a proper bracket for a keyboard and mouse while a game controller is on the way.Which is great news for fans of first person shooter games who have migrated to iPad as their preferred gaming system. (Wait, do they really exist?) Just don’t expect your favorite mobile game to be instantly mouse and keyboard compatible when upgrading to iPadOS 14. It looks like developers will have to specifically implement this support in their games, so the deadlines will vary.