“With iPadOS and now a dedicated trackpad keyboard, Apple may be going after the section of users that opt for Surface tablets.”
Apple is reportedly making a new iPad keyboard cover with its own trackpad, and may launch it alongside its new 2020 iPad Pro later this year. The report comes via The Information, and suggests that Apple is making a bigger push for its iPad Pro to eventually replace your laptop. While there are no renders of the rumoured iPad Pro keyboard with trackpad yet, it seems like the next logical step forward for Apple’s tablets, after they received their own iPadOS software version last year.
With iPadOS, Apple has aimed to make its iPads seem more attractive to users who want replace their laptops with the lightness and convenience of a tablet form factor. iPad OS offers a slew of new multitasking features such as multi-window operation for the same app, split-screen with slide-over navigation, and more. Within iPadOS, Apple also introduced support for an external mouse, which has been crucially amiss from iPads and held them back as full-fledged laptop replacements. However, Apple’s first implementation of mouse support seems like a ground test of whether iPad buyers use it or not, since it comes with an unorthodox pointer that deviates from the established UX, and the setting itself is buried deeper into iPadOS’ accessibility settings.
With its new keyboard and integrated trackpad, Apple might also be going after the market segment that is presently under Microsoft’s grip. The latter’s Surface lineup of tablets later diversified into convertibles and laptops, but before that, Surface devices were primarily known as laptop replacement tablets that ran on a full fledged desktop scale operating system, and supported full size USB ports as well. With iPadOS and now a dedicated trackpad keyboard, Apple may be going after the section of users that opt for Surface tablets.
Going forward, Apple is also expected to make major additions to its iPadOS ecosystem, with its 2020 iPad lineup also expected to bring a few new features to its tablet ecosystem. After multi-window working was introduced, it will be interesting to see if Apple also adds pen drive support and other features such as a more conventional pointer to the iPad, therefore creating a successful crossover point between the Mac and the iPhone.