Tag: iPad

What if the iPad trackpad is for focus, too?

I’ve been think­ing about the rumored iPad track­pad late­ly, and find myself hav­ing thoughts along the same lines as Dieter Bohn, name­ly that adding a cur­sor to the iPad would be a step back­wards. Not only would it inher­ent­ly inval­i­date and derail the cur­rent path of the touch com­put­ing par­a­digm, it could lead to lazy devel­op­ment of iPad apps that employ “touch tar­gets” that are at too fine a scale for actu­al touch. Slap­ping an arrow cur­sor onto the iPad is a cop out. The addi­tion of mouse sup­port for acces­si­bil­i­ty is great, for acces­si­bil­i­ty, and impor­tant­ly that addi­tion does­n’t mim­ic a tra­di­tion­al cur­sor.

Bohn sug­gests that the track­pad would be use­ful even if just for text manip­u­la­tion, but I think it could go fur­ther. Mul­ti-fin­ger ges­tures, of course, for access­ing slideover and expose, for instance; but as I heard Fed­eri­co Vitic­ci point out that there is no “focus engine” in iPa­dOS as there is in tvOS, it occurred to me that maybe the track­pad could per­form this func­tion, too. Apps on the Apple TV can’t respond to touch, of course, so every­thing is han­dled with the remote’s touch­pad mov­ing focus around. Would this be a use­ful addi­tion to iPa­dOS, giv­ing users the abil­i­ty to “tap” touch tar­gets with­out remov­ing their hands from the key­board?