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iPadOS 13.4: cursor support at last!
#1  tomsem 03-26-2020, 11:36 PM
This is a game changer for me: no more cheesy Assistive Touch cursor. This is the real thing, and it is very slick. It is for all iPads running iOS 13.4.

Apple’s Craig Federighi demonstrates:

https://youtu.be/jijhJj_rNDI

I was able to pair my Magic Trackpad to my iPad mini (and even a stupid USB mouse with USB to lightening adapter), and it just works, and much better than expected.

4/2 finger gestures work just as with usual touch screen gestures, Control Panel, Notifications, Slide Over and Dock appear when you ‘push’ the cursor into the respective swipe zones. It’s a little tricky to hide Slide Over app (you have to give it a little ‘shove’), but I think I’m getting the hang of it.

You can also use mouse and trackpad at the same time.

External keyboard support improvements are not evident to me as yet. I’d like them for switching workspaces, etc, and hold for diacritics just like on macOS. Some of this will have to wait for App developers to take advantage of ‘access to keyboard events’.

[EDIT: I have just discovered Full Keyboard Access in Accessibility. Maybe it will do some of what I’m looking for.]
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#2  OtinG 03-27-2020, 11:02 AM
I’m glad cursor control works for mice/trackpads, but it still blows chunks for finger use. I have no way to hookup a trackpad or mouse, and wouldn't if I could as I actually use my iPad as a tablet, not an underpowered laptop wannabe with lackluster tablet apps. And BTW, for anyone with a bit of age in their bones, most of those stupid multi-finger gestures they use are crap. I would need to hire an octopus to execute many of those, especially since I’ve got arthritis.

Over all I’m still highly annoyed and angered that iPadOS 13 basically destroyed the use of my iPad Pro 9.7", turning it into a slow, battery killing, POS that cannot seem to manage memory very well at all. Maybe it works well on newer iPads, but it pretty much is a fiasco for mine. So I have a single finger gesture for Apple on that!
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#3  tomsem 03-27-2020, 01:00 PM
My wife’s hands were severely damaged with RA, and multi-touch gestures are basically impossible for her, so I can appreciate that a trackpad would do nothing for you. She uses a stylus almost all of the time to interact with her phone and iPad, but she doesn’t spend much time with either, preferring to do everything with her computer. She also uses styluses (pens etc.) to interact with the keyboard there, along with mouse.

Easy for me to say, but if my hands were unusual I believe that I would get more adept with voice control and dictation, which got a lot better in iOS 13. No doubt it falls short of perfection, but as with any physical challenge, there are no one size fits all solutions.

As it is, about 90% of my interaction with iPad Pro 12.9 involves using it with an external keyboard while it is on a desk (which makes touching the screen very un-ergonomic), so I’m looking for the sort of productivity (keyboard shortcuts) that have been standard for years with desktops and laptops. And we’re still not there. And I appreciate that none of that interests you.

Of course it is trivial to hook up a mouse, there are any number of inexpensive Bluetooth mice that would suffice. But that doesn’t work unless you use iPad on a stable surface, which I infer is not how you like to use yours.

For the hand-held scenarios, I like to have a stylus at hand for better precision (for my mini, that’s a Logitech Crayon).

Text selection by touch is the main difficulty I think everyone has, but if it is worse in iOS 13, I have no available basis for comparison. For me, a trackpad will mitigate this fully when I manage to de clutter my desk to make room for one (or get newer iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard, if that happens first).

As one example, support for this iOS 13 feature
Quote
Text selection
Select text just by tapping and swiping. For quick sentence and paragraph selection, triple- or quadruple‑tap.
Is basically non-existant. App developers haven’t bothered to implement it. I would like to use it, but apart from Notes and maybe Pages, where does it actually work as described?

The 3-finger gestures for Copy/Cut/Paste - does anyone use them? It requires specific dexterity, maybe even classical pianists would be challenged. I admit I haven’t tried it very much as it does not intersect with my use cases much, given how much I rely on external keyboard.

Wonder if any of your issues are cataloged here:
https://labs.levelaccess.com/index.php/IOS_Accessibility_Issues
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#4  OtinG 03-29-2020, 02:28 PM
Unfortunately, using Siri for dictation is a waste of time. It screws up more often than not, and I wind up spending more time correcting things than I do if I just typed them. Dragon Naturally Speaking worked better than Siri 20+ years ago on Windows.

Much of my difficulty in selecting text might be because iPadOS 13 quite literally turned my iPad Pro 9.7 touchscreen into a POS! It is way worse than it was before iPadOS 13 was installed. Even using the Apple Pencil v1 Doesn’t help, not that it can even stay charged anymore. I get all kinds of weird behavior when trying to drag one side or the other to increase or decrease the text selected, especially if I try to drag I to another line of text. It often just freezes and I have to close the keyboard and reopen it. The keyboard is nearly useless in iPadOS 13 though, as it appears when it shouldn’t, fails to let me get to fields I need to populate on forms, etc. Apple really screwed my iPad Pro 9.7 up big time with iPadOS 13. iOS h13 works fine on my iPhone XR, but not on my iPad Pro.

Personally, if I wanted a small laptop I would go with a MacBook Air rather than a pricey top of the line iPad Pro with expensive add-on keyboard and trackpad. At least then I would have apps that can actually work for documentation, spreadsheets, etc. Trying to use office apps or image processing apps on an iPad is useless because those apps just simply suck. They are streamlined garbage designed for use on tablets. I can accomplish ten times more on my MacBook Pro when using those kinds of apps than I can on a tablet. Tablets or great for casual use when I want to sit in my recliner and surf the internet or do tablet related tasks that don’t require full blown apps. Tablet suck ad laptop replacements though, and the best iPad is no exception, at least in my situation. Everyone is unique of course, but for me trying to make an iPad function as a laptop is futile and I would wind up spending more than if I just bought a decent laptop, and I would get less done as well. I’m glad ipads work for some people as laptop replacements, but they simply fail in that role for my usage.
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#5  tomsem 04-23-2020, 03:51 PM
I finally have been able to reconfigure my workspace and allocate one of my Magic Trackpads to the iPad Pro, which spends 95% of the time functioning as an extended display for my MacBook Pro and for more independent tasks. It is a far better experience (ergonomically and productivity-wise) than with a external keyboard alone. More precise for many tasks than touch or Pencil. And no fingerprints generated... Now I want the cursor to behave the same way on macOS.

The only problem is it’s not a particularly portable solution. I’m on the lookout for wireless keyboard/trackpad which can switch quickly between devices, maybe where the trackpad slides out for more compact form when it is not required. I have an older iPad Pro and there aren’t any solutions that use smart connector with trackpad. I prefer something that can switch devices quickly anyway.
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#6  ilovejedd 04-25-2020, 11:46 AM
Quote tomsem
The only problem is it’s not a particularly portable solution. I’m on the lookout for wireless keyboard/trackpad which can switch quickly between devices, maybe where the trackpad slides out for more compact form when it is not required. I have an older iPad Pro and there aren’t any solutions that use smart connector with trackpad. I prefer something that can switch devices quickly anyway.
Logitech Combo Touch ($150)

The keyboard/trackpad is completely separate from the kickstand case. Even though it's only marketed towards the iPad 7th gen, Air 3 and Pro 10.5, it does work on other models with the old-style Smart Connector. Need iOS 13.4 minimum. Alas, trackpad is not removable.

From left-to-right:
2016 iPad Pro 9.7, 2017 iPad Pro 10.5, 2017 iPad Pro 12.9
IMG_6731.jpg IMG_6730.jpg IMG_6734.jpg IMG_6735.jpg IMG_6732.jpg IMG_6733.jpg 
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#7  OtinG 04-25-2020, 12:16 PM
Quote ilovejedd
Logitech Combo Touch ($150)

The keyboard/trackpad is completely separate from the kickstand case. Even though it's only marketed towards the iPad 7th gen, Air 3 and Pro 10.5, it does work on other models with the old-style Smart Connector. Need iOS 13.4 minimum. Alas, trackpad is not removable.

From left-to-right:
2016 iPad Pro 9.7, 2017 iPad Pro 10.5, 2017 iPad Pro 12.9
That basically turns your iPad into a tabletop, not a laptop. At least with a laptop (MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air) you can set the LCD angle and hold it in your "lap". With that thing it has to be on a table/desk/solid surface. So you get basically one angle. I just don’t see the benefit of that kind of keyboard accessory for my usage. Maybe if Apple gave the cursor concept a good revision in iOS and iPadOS it would make for a better situation, but currently it is like putting lipstick on a pig--no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, it is still just a pig! If I need to sit in my recliner typing on a device, it will be my MacBook Pro, not one of my iPads which have terrible text entry and editing features and horrible cursor control, not to mention lackluster apps for text editing, spreadsheets, etc.
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#8  ilovejedd 04-25-2020, 12:50 PM
Quote OtinG
That basically turns your iPad into a tabletop, not a laptop. At least with a laptop (MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air) you can set the LCD angle and hold it in your "lap". With that thing it has to be on a table/desk/solid surface. So you get basically one angle.
Which is exactly what I needed anyway.

I'm still working and I often find it helpful to use iPads in addition to my dual monitor Windows desktop. I have a Logitech K780 keyboard and MX Ergo Plus trackball that I switch between desktop and 12.9" iPad. I needed something with mouse/trackpad that can work interchangeably with a Pro 10.5, Air 3 and 7th gen without constantly having to tinker with Bluetooth pairing. The Logitech Combo Touch fits the bill nicely.

The angle, I can't make it recline more but I can get it straighter by putting Post-It pads between the back shell and trifold cover stand. Don't really need to since the case angle works fine for me on my desk.

At home, I just use the onscreen keyboard on the iPad when I need to type something. I'm usually fully reclined in bed with iPad sitting on my tummy or chest so a laptop doesn't really work well in that scenario anyway. Before I got an iPad, I'd often use the laptop in bed and have it fall to the floor with hinge/LCD open when I fell asleep. Talk about a wake up call.
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#9  tomsem 04-30-2020, 03:42 PM
Quote ilovejedd
Logitech Combo Touch ($150)

The keyboard/trackpad is completely separate from the kickstand case. Even though it's only marketed towards the iPad 7th gen, Air 3 and Pro 10.5, it does work on other models with the old-style Smart Connector. Need iOS 13.4 minimum. Alas, trackpad is not removable.

From left-to-right:
2016 iPad Pro 9.7, 2017 iPad Pro 10.5, 2017 iPad Pro 12.9
That looks nice, but for me it probably needs to be Bluetooth and keys to switch pairing (like the Logitech keyboard I’m currently using, except with built in trackpad). Logitech does not seem to have this, and another vendor has one but it doesn’t support multi-pairing. Logitech makes keyboard/trackpad combo but they use usb wireless dongle (mostly for using with game console/smart TVs).

So looks like I cannot improve on my current configuration for the time being.
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