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Snippet: Trackpads and iPads ☇

Shared on February 16, 2016

Dave Mark for The Loop, commenting on a piece by Jean-Louis Gassée:

The iPad is built around touch and, more specifically multi-touch. With a mouse and trackpad, you need a cursor that stays on the screen to mark your current location. That persistent marker gives you an instant focus to get back to where you were working.

With iOS, there is no persistent cursor, no marker that holds your place on the screen. As soon as you raise your finger from the glass, the memory of your interaction is wiped. Your next touch starts from scratch.

I can see the appeal of some sort of indirect manipulation of a cursor, either with a mouse or trackpad, as an appealing addition to the iPad. While it would have to work more like the new Apple TV or text cursor on the iPad/iPhone 6S, I can see it as a workable alternative for some things, especially if the iPad is propped up or connected to an external display. We already have the ability to add an external keyboard, which does not change depending on the context, so why not at least offer the option to shoehorn in another pointing device? That being said, I don’t think Apple has to do it for the iPad to feel complete.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.