Can you use a mouse with an iPad? Apple says no, but Cydia says, yes. Now, this hack is nothing new, in fact it’s been around since 2010, but I figured I’ll post about it all the same.
So as most of you already know, the iPad already allows for Bluetooth keyboards, natively; no hacking required. But what about a mouse?
Now, a lot of Apple fan-boys will jump out and make the argument that the iPad is a tablet, not a laptop, and that the touch-screen works just fine. Well that’s just dandy, glad you’re happy with the touch-screen, but look, sometimes I want to work on something that requires greater precision than my own fingers can handle.
Pair your iPad with a Bluetooth mouse
Alright so how is this done? Well I’ll break it down for you real simple. There are two ways to do this, a jailbreak, and a non-jailbreak method.
Mouse & Keyboard for iPad (no-jailbreak)
- You want to buy this, Mini Keyboard + Trackpad combo which works with the iPad. I can’t say I’m aware of any other devices that give you a mouse-like functionality without jailbreaking.
Mouse & Keyboard for iPad using jailbreak (recommended)
Here is a short summary
- You’ll need to Jailbreak your iPad, head over here for instructions on how to do that. Honestly, jailbreaking an iOS device is super easy now-a-days. Without over-simplifying it too much, it basically consists of plugging in your iPad to your computer and running a small program.
- Go into Cydia and find a program called BTStack, this is a Bluetooth mouse driver… the one Apple was too lazy (or something else) to include.
- Start your Bluetooth on your iPad & on your BT mouse, then watch the 2 pair up like it’s New Years Eve.
Keyboard and Mouse (both guaranteed to work)
You can use any bluetooth keyboard you like, but here are my recommendations.
Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard – It runs on solar power, has MAC keys (no Windows flag, promise), is small, and get this; lasts 3 months on a single charge, even in pitch black. It can be charged by any light, inside or out, be it man-made or sunlight. Now look, I know a lot of people out there feel indifferently about using coal energy and think solar is a new-age hippie scam, but you’d hope they’d at least be partial towards saving money. I sure hope that, if you don’t want a keyboard that requires you to go out and buy new AA’s every 2 months, you’d consider one that’s small portable, has MAC keys, and runs on light; any-light.
Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 – Tested and working with this hack. Sorry Apple fans, not trying to throw you under a bus, but that Apple Magic Mouse doesn’t cut it for me. Now to be fair, yes, it’s true that the magic mouse does, through software, allow you to make left & right clicks. A feature which apparently, according to users, works very well. But I work with a lot of 3D modeling apps, and for those, you need a 3 button mouse; plus I like the scroll wheel.
Mainly, I’m recommending this mouse because it’s been tested to work on the iPad by others who’ve followed this same procedure. That being said, it’s a good mouse, has its own LED battery indicator, so no surprise dead mouse, and has a high quality tracking laser that delivers more than adequate precision.