Apple Pencil 2 is the iPad Pro’s Mouse

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Ben Bajarin argues that the Apple Pencil 2 is the iPad Pro’s mouse, especially with the new gesture support.

Apple’s new gestures clearly support this theory. Apple may be easing people into this new functionality but the idea of a multi-touch function on the Apple Pencil seems like a logical path forward. At the moment, you can customize the double tap gestures on Apple Pencil to switch between the two tools you use the most.

I agree with Mr. Bajarin; when you double-tap on the Apple Pencil 2, think of it as a right-click. The iPad Pro doesn’t need a trackpad or mouse, and I personally hope Apple won’t add them. Those are legacy tools.

Check It Out: Apple Pencil 2 is the iPad Pro’s Mouse

Apple Pencil 2 is the iPad Pro’s Mouse

6 Comments Add a comment

  1. John Kheit

    What a weird position. “The iPad Pro doesn’t need a trackpad or mouse, and I personally hope Apple won’t add them. Those are legacy tools.”

    It certainly does need them if you ever want that machine to do things that those input devices excel at enabling. The keyboard is even MORE of a legacy device than the trackpad and mouse, yet Apple makes that for those that need to write. For those that need more than email/web surfing/sketching, then a trackpad would be a boom.

    Hoping that those that could make use of them never get them is bizarre. I don’t use a keyboard on the iPad, but I certainly don’t begrudge those that do make use of it. And by the way, they use that tonnes faster and more efficiently than the non ‘legacy’ on screen keyboard.

    • Andrew Orr

      The reason I say that is because it seems to me that an iPad with a cursor/mouse/trackpad becomes a stripped-down Mac. It would turn into a device that fails to be a pure Mac, and also fails to be a pure tablet. Netbook 2.0. So when people say they want a device like this, I tell them to get a full Mac instead.

      • John Kheit

        I guess. But why dont you see the apple pencil is reverting the ipad into a tablet PC like steve jobs rightly derided? It only will be if it’s designed to do that.

        The tech industry is making false dichotomies, not realizing it. Windows sucks because they are BOLTING ON a stylus to an operating system designed from the ground up to primarily a be a desktop. By designing iOS to be a touch interface first and foremost, and then bolting the pencil on to it, it let the pencil be the pencil without perverting the OS to become worse. You use it only when you need to, but the OS doesn’t make you use it everywhere. How you design things to work with devices matters, not the devices themselves.

        Similarly, by bolting on the keyboard to the iPAD it didn’t turn it into some DOS/UNIX commandline system. It let the keyboard do what it does best, when the user wants/needs that.

        Similarly, if you add mouse support, when a user sits down and attaches their keyboard to write at length, and now if it had an integrated track pad, they could use it for cursor text selection which is WAY better with a track pad, rather than lifting their arm and breaking the plane like an animal.

        This narrative of ‘zero sum games’ for technology comes from ancient times. And it’s based on the false premise of only one or the other way is best. Reality is more nuanced, IMO.

        IMO whoever masters mixed mode UIs first will win a lot of users. Keyboards, mice, trackpads, stylus, voice, gestures. They all have a place where they excel. Making an operating system that integrates them, and others in the future, elegantly should be a goal, rather than an idealogy-over-usefullness holy war.

        As always, YMMV.

      • John Kheit

        I think the new ipad and the next release of iOS bring about all kind of cool blurred-lines possibilities.

        This year, for me, is a make or break year for Apple on if it decides to be progressive and PUSH the industry and its ideas forward, or will it just sit back, milk it’s loyal base ensnared in the ‘walled garden’. A lot of their pricing looks like gouging as of late, so I hope they do advance things.

        Making the iPad, now that it truly has so much horsepower, into something that can support broader PC users and uses, would show me Apple is not afraid to cannibalize the mac. Fingers crossed that 2019 is a good year with lots of bold moves by Apple.

  2. rob

    Why does everyone get this wrong? The Pencil is not, will NOT, be the iPad mouse. The reason is the same for why Apple won’t make touchscreen monitors for Macs. No one wants to hold their hand up to the screen on a continual basis.

    When you use a mouse, your hand is resting on the desk, which is comfortable and allows you to work without your arm or hand tiring. That is not the case when using a Pencil on the iPad.

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