Office appears like the perfect opportunity for iPad owners to take advantage of iPadOS’ improved mouse and trackpad capabilities, but Microsoft isn’t prepared to introduce full support just yet.
It’ll take some more time for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and their related apps to tap into Apple’s upgraded controls through the Magic Keyboard and similar accessories. In a report, The Verge revealed that Microsoft plans to roll out mouse and trackpad support sometime in 2020. TechCrunch initially shared that it would debut this fall, but The Verge’s report claims that mouse and trackpad support will arrive by the fall. So the feature might get added in a software update due out soon, or it could take until much later this year for Microsoft to finally integrate support into its productivity apps on the iPad.
Microsoft isn’t commenting on a timeline despite the flurry of reports discussing its schedule. It did, however, release the redesigned Office app for iOS in February. Since it doesn’t offer a mobile operating system anymore, Microsoft often acts quickly to distribute features across iOS and Android. Microsoft also focuses on the iPad, enabling Split View with the Outlook app last year.
Apple’s iPadOS 13.4 update ushered in mouse and trackpad capabilities for existing iPad models. It’s not limiting access to the new iPad Pro, welcoming units as far back as the iPad Air 2, iPad (2017), and iPad Mini 4. Of course, all iPad Pro editions are also included. Just grab an appropriate Bluetooth keyboard, and you’re able to navigate the entirety of iPadOS in an experience that’s a lot like what’s found on a traditional laptop or desktop. Apple just needs third-party apps to get on-board with full support as well.
Users with the Office app or the standalone apps representing Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others in Microsoft’s suite should all gain access to full support. Microsoft isn’t expected to retire the standalone versions available on iPadOS, and instead they’ll continue to receive updates containing new features and bug fixes while users migrate to the all-in-one Office app.