How to use a keyboard and mouse with your iPhone

Laptops and tablets are clearly converging at a rapid pace. Laptops are getting thinner and thinner, with touchscreens becoming more and more common. Apple’s iPad tablet, on the other hand, is becoming a serious competitor to both Windows laptops and MacBooks. Not only does Apple pack PC-grade hardware into them, but iPadOS brings with it a host of features that aim to make the iPad a serious work tool.

In fact, the entire line of iOS devices is packed with seriously useful features. Not least among them is the ability to use a keyboard and mouse for your iPhone.

Important: Upgrade to iOS 13.4

iOS 13.4 is an important milestone when it comes to using a mouse with iOS devices. With this version of Apple’s mobile operating system, Apple has officially created a complete mouse input system for the iPad. Yes, at the time of this writing, only iPads officially work with trackpads and trackpads.

iPhones still work with Bluetooth mice, but this method is different from iPads updated with at least iPadOS 13.4. We will cover two separate methods. No matter which of these two devices you have, just update to the latest iOS version at the time of your reading before doing anything else.

Which mouse will work?

Apple Wireless Mouse

iPad has now received both trackpad and trackpad support. Any iPad compatible with at least iPadOS 13.4 will work with the mouse. You can use both wired and wireless mice, as long as the wireless technology in question is Bluetooth.

To use a wired USB mouse with iPad, you’ll need an adapter. If your iPad uses a Lightning connector, you’ll need a Lightning to USB adapter. If you have a USB Type-C iPad, then you’ll need a USB-C hub or a USB-C to USB-A adapter.

The Apple Magic Keyboard, with trackpad, works with 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro models by using the direct connector on those iPads.

There doesn’t seem to be any real limit to what third-party mouse lists will work. Although we have seen some users on older iPads report that mouse performance on some complex mice is not great. The average regular mouse will work fine. Apple trackpads like the Magic Trackpad also work.

Which keyboard will work?

Apple Wireless Keyboard

Apple’s wireless keyboard works with both iPad and iOS. Most USB keyboards also work fine. We tested a Windows USB keyboard with an iPad Pro 2018 and it worked without any fuss.

As mentioned above, all you have to do is use the appropriate USB adapter and connect a wired keyboard for it to work. Getting a Bluetooth keyboard to work with your iPad (or iPhone) works exactly like using any other USB device. Simply go to Settings > Bluetooth Devices. Make sure to turn on the Bluetooth switch and then put your keyboard into Bluetooth pairing mode according to the manual.

When it appears on the list of available devices, all you have to do is touch it and enter the passcode on the keyboard if it asks.

Why use a Keyboard and Mouse with iPad?

iPad with keyboard attached

The case for using the keyboard and mouse with the iPad is not too difficult to do. iPad is powerful enough to function as a fully functioning personal computer. Its main limitation is not performance, but software support and its input methods. iPadOS, as it is today, is a true multi-tasking operating system that serves as a host for full-featured video editing, photo editing, office suites, and creative production software. . For example.

The touchscreen interface works great for some of these apps, but you won’t want to do any serious writing on the touch keyboard. We’ve been using the keyboard with our iPads for years, as authors of various stripes. However, using touch input to select, copy, or edit text is ergonomically problematic (literally) and too imprecise to be effective.

Having the option to use a mouse and keyboard as needed turns the average iPad into a much more versatile and serious work machine.

How to Connect a Mouse to Your iPad or iPhone

With all that essential information in mind, let’s take a look at how to actually connect a mouse to an iPad or iPhone. Remember that you can connect a USB mouse to your iPad or iPhone in exactly the same way you would with a USB keyboard. Some people also report that wireless keyboards and mice using proprietary USB receivers also seem to work, but your mileage may vary.

Connecting a mouse on an iPad running the latest version of iPadOS works exactly like connecting any other Bluetooth device. You don’t have to activate anything in the settings menu. This is a step-by-step process.

  • First, put your Bluetooth mouse into pairing mode. You will have to consult its instructions on how to do this.
  • Next, go to Settings > Bluetooth on your iPad.
Bluetooth in the Settings window
  • Make sure Bluetooth is turned on, then check below available devices to see if your mouse is listed. If it is listed, tap it to connect.
Bluetooth devices in the Bluetooth window
  • If all goes well, the mouse should work.
Bluetooth mouse activated

If you want to use your mouse with an iPhone or iPad that’s too old for iPadOS 13.4, here’s what to do:

  • Go Settings > Accessibility > Touch.
  • Knock on AssistiveTouch.
  • Turn AssistiveTouch above.
  • Knock on Pointing device.
  • Clap Bluetooth devices.
  • Put your mouse in pairing mode.
  • Tap it when it shows up on the list.

Hopefully you will now have control of the mouse on your iPhone. Just keep in mind that iPadOS mouse features are very different from Accessibility mode’s touch emulation. This is not meant to act as a productivity tool, but rather to allow people who cannot use a touchscreen to operate the phone.

That’s it! You will now be moving around iOS like a pro. Keep in mind that Apple is actively working on this feature, which means other iOS devices could also get enhanced mouse support in the future. We’ll update the post if and when that happens.

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