Apple Prepping iOS 14 for Expanded Mouse Support, Handwriting Conversion and More

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Image for article titled Apple Prepping iOS 14 for Expanded Mouse Support, Handwriting Conversion and More
Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

Yesterday, hints in early code from iOS 14 suggested that Apple is working on bringing support for blood oxygen monitoring to the Apple Watch. But now, new info has revealed a load of other new features that could find their way into iOS 14 and iPadOS.

Potentially the biggest change for the iPad is the addition of expanded mouse support. Currently, in iPadOS, you can connect external mice, but mouse support is part of Apple’s accessibility options and is relatively bare-bones. However, according to 9to5Mac, the next version of iPadOS Apple will include more full-featured mouse functionality including support for multiple pointers that could dynamically adjust depending on content and “Mac-like” gestures for when you want to right-click.

On top of that, iPadOS’s new mouse support adds weight to previous reports that Apple is planning to release an iPad keyboard accessory with a built-in trackpad, which would be a first for Apple’s iPad line.


Meanwhile, for people who prefer the Apple Pencil as their input method of choice, it seems Apple is developing a PencilKit API that can convert handwritten text into standard digital text that will work across a number of first-party Apple apps such as Notes, Messages, Mail, and more. Furthermore, it seems outside developers will also have access to PencilKit API, so they can add the same functionality to third-party apps as well.

When it comes to health and fitness, MacRumors claims Apple is working on a new app codenamed Seymour that will help guide users through various exercises and routines, and that Seymour will have tie-ins to iOS, iPad OS, watchOS, and even tvOS so that you can watch the accompanying workout videos on a variety of devices.


As for Messages, it appears Apple is borrowing some ideas from other messaging apps like Slack and Discord with the addition of “@” tags, so you can more easily ping specific people in the middle of a discussion. Other new Messages features may also include the ability to unsend or retract messages after they were sent (for both parties), typing indicators in group chats, and expanded functionality for the /me command.

Finally, there’s a handful of other assorted updates such as potential support for non-Apple wallpapers, native support for AliPay in iOS 14, and new alerts that can detect things like doorbells, sirens, and crying babies under Apple’s accessibility options.


The one big question that remains though is when Apple will detail all the new changes in iOS and iPadOS. Typically, Apple gives users a preview of new features at WWDC in the spring before the next version of iOS officially gets released in the fall alongside new iPhones.

However, with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on supply lines and product development, it’s currently unclear if WWDC will proceed as normal, or if Apple will opt for a livesteam-only presentation like Google has chosen to do for Googe I/O 2020.