How the new mouse and trackpad work in iOS 13.4

We already talked about the release of the public beta version of iOS 13.4 . All users registered in the open testing program can install “beta” .

Authorized developers have already received the Golden Master version , which with minimal changes will be available to all users on March 24 .

The most interesting feature in this update was the change in working with connected manipulators. They are needed for the new keyboard with a trackpad for iPad Pro 2020 release.

Fortunately, the software feature has not become exclusive and you can take advantage of the innovations on any tablet that supports iPadOS .

How to connect a mouse in iOS 13.4 or iPadOS 13.4

The process of connecting the mouse has not changed, pairing is still not the most intuitive, and the options are hidden in the Universal Access section. Most likely, the chip will officially become mass only with the release of iOS 14 .

  1. Turn on Bluetooth in the settings of the iPhone or iPad and put the mouse into pairing mode.

Depending on the manipulator, for this you may need to press a special button, hold down a key or simply turn off and on the accessory again. At my disposal were “rodents” from Apple and Logitech .

To connect the Magic Mouse, it was required to manually disable it in the Mac settings ( System Preferences – Bluetooth ), turn off the pointing device and turn it on again. Only after that did the mouse notice the iPad. During pairing on the tablet, you will need to enter the code “0000”.

To connect Logitech MX Master 2S, you just need to hold down the pairing button on the mouse and the device is available for connection from a smartphone or tablet. This model has 3 communication channels, one can be connected to MacOS, the second to Windows, and the third to iPad or iPhone.

  1. On the smartphone or tablet, go to Settings – Universal access – Touch – AssistiveTouch – Devices.
  2. Select a plug-in gadget and wait a few seconds for pairing.

What changes have occurred in iOS 13.4

Dynamic cursor changes and quick drag and drop of icons

Immediately after connecting you will see a nice little cursor, which is much better than a terrible huge circle with a dot from previous versions of iOS.

Now the manipulator can work with a mobile device in two modes: normal and for users with disabilities.

In the first case, after pairing, you do not need to do anything, and in the second, you will still need to enable the AssistiveTouch option ( Settings – Universal Access – Touch – AssistiveTouch ).

After turning on the mode, such changes occur:

▪️ increasing the cursor size

▪️ scrolling lists and pages can be carried out not only with the wheel (if it is on the mouse), but also with a swipe with the left button pressed

▪️ an indicator and a menu with AssistiveTouch actions appear

▪️ added ability to configure additional mouse buttons

If the first three points do not raise any questions, then the inability to configure additional mouse keys without AssistiveTouch is very frustrating.

When using a mouse or Apple trackpad, this is not needed (there simply are no additional buttons), but when using third-party manipulators with a button under the wheel, middle button or additional side buttons, you will have to enable the option for people with disabilities.

How the cursor behaves in iOS 13.4


One of the features of the new cursor is its ability to “stick” to various interface elements. If you bring a point to a button, input field or indicator, the cursor disappears and a dynamic selection of the element appears.

The chip is really convenient, on a small iPad screen it turns out faster to get to the necessary controls and interact with them.

It’s convenient to play with a mouse in applications with swipe management

A new cursor with icons on the desktop also behaves. It sticks to it one by one, and when you try to transfer it with the key pressed, it instantly activates the desktop change mode.

I am glad that the implementation of this option is exclusively systemic and after updating it works in all standard and many third-party applications. Application developers with standard controls will not have to finish the software for the new iOS 13.4 chip.

How to configure this Features

The settings of the connected manipulator are scattered over the universal access menu and generously mixed with the AssistiveTouch parameters. I hope that for iOS 14 the chip will get its own block of parameters.

Here’s what you can configure for the mouse with the cursor at the moment:

▪️ In the Settings – Universal Access – Touch – AssistiveTouch menu, there is a section for Configuring Actions , in it you can set three actions for pressing, double tap and long tap.

There are 22 system actions to choose from, such as switching to the home screen, locking the orientation, changing the volume or opening the dock. You can configure one of the six gestures for scrolling through the list or page, or activate any configured quick command.

▪️ In the Create a new gesture section, you can add a custom gesture (mouse movement with the button pressed, for example, a drawn circle or zigzag) and attach one of the available actions to it.

In practice, drawing the squiggles behind the clamped button is inconvenient, it is easier to attach actions to other buttons on the manipulator.

▪️ In the Settings – Universal Access – Touch – AssistiveTouch – Devices menu, a connected mouse will be displayed with the ability to configure any of the manipulator buttons.

▪️ In the Settings – Universal Access – Touch – AssistiveTouch – Mouse Buttons section sets the speed of the cursor movement and a few additional parameters.

▪️ At the very end of the Settings – Universal Access – Touch – AssistiveTouch section, auto-press and active angles are configured . The chip has become more convenient thanks to a clear indicator of operation.

What else needs to be improved

The chip already looks brought to mind after not the best implementation last year. However, it would be nice to refine a few more points.

Firstly , there are not enough cursor display options. Previously, you could select one of 7 colors for a plain cursor and change its size from large to huge, now these parameters have moved to the Settings – Universal Access – Virtual Controller menu .

Secondly , the speed of movement has a very limited range of values. Depending on the connected manipulator, I want to make the speed faster or slower available in the parameters.

Thirdly , it is just necessary to enable the operation of additional buttons on the mouse without activating the AssistiveTouch mode. So in addition to basic actions, one could hang a few more gestures on the manipulator. For example, you can adjust the volume with the mouse, run quick commands, or switch between applications.

Fourthly , the appearance of an additional menu with actions when you right-click is just asking for it.

This already includes actions in the settings menu for a long press or second mouse button, but the gestures themselves do not work yet, and there are no additional menus in any application yet.

Fifth , you need to refine the scroll and gestures. The MX Master 2S mouse perfectly scrolls vertical lists and pages with the wheel, and on the desktop it calls up Spotlight, but with horizontal scrolling and switching between desktops, the trouble is.

The second wheel works very unpredictably and jerkingly, it turns out to switch to the right or left screen from the tenth time. Faster click on the indicator point.

The original Magic Mouse generally does not know how to carry out side swipe, despite the magnificent touch panel. Anyway, I didn’t see any convenient gestures from the desktop macOS with the mouse.

We will also see how the chips work after the release of the new Apple keyboard with a trackpad. I am sure that useful gestures and actions will be brought there. I would not want such chips to become the lot of this accessory, because they can be easily implemented on third-party mice and trackpads.


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