Multitouch gestures on iOS devices

If you’ve been following any of my topics of discussion you might already know that I’m currently in the biggest quagmire I’ve faced in determining what software I should use to write. Should I stick with Scrivener, or go back to MS Word? Regarding my next computer purchase should I buy a Surfacebook and use MS Word, or should I get an iPad Pro and use Scrivener?

One huge disadvantage in typing long documents with an Apple tablet is the inability to use a mouse. Thus I’m putting this idea out to Keith and his posse, in the hopes that they’ll make my decision easier to make in the future: the use of multitouch gestures when using an iPad. Perhaps two fingers to select an entire sentence. Three fingers for a paragraph. Four fingers to scroll to the end and the beginning of the document. I think if I had these features it would compensate the lack of a mouse.

Until then, I might have to settle with the oh so dreaded MS Word…

Stupid question time: why would you want to support a manufacturer who tells you that you can’t use a mouse with their hardware because they know best, and voids your warranty for taking the steps to correct their oversight? I mean seriously – that’s the physical hardware you bought that they’re limiting you from using. (Even Microsoft allows you to turn off SecureBoot on Surfaces so you can boot to Linux!)

I would say go with the third option – get a Surface or SurfaceBook and use Scrivener for Windows, knowing that it’s a compromise on functionality for now, but 3.x is coming.

I’m glad someone finally agrees with me that not being able to use a mouse on the iPad really, really, really sucks to the nth degree!

For some use cases, it’s what works the best. As avid of a touch typist as I am, there are times using the keyboard doesn’t help me manipulate things as quickly or accurately as I could and so I have the choice of hand to mouse, pick up the stylus, or touch the screen. Each of those options is right some of the time.

I get Apple’s philosophy, but they are just a touch too helicopter parent for me to want to reward them with my cash.

I really don’t see why they can’t just include it. It would make the experience, fundamentally complete. IMHO, it’ll never replace a laptop until it can do this one basic thing.

Very frustrating, because otherwise the product is spot on.

Oh, my favourite is Apple coming out strong against not putting touch screens on Mac hardware (and rightfully so in my opinion)—and even stooping to make fun of PC vendors for doing that—then they turn around a few years later and release a tablet which they try to hype up as being a “laptop replacer”… and it is 99% shackled-by-fingers. Uh. :slight_smile:

The secret to Apple potentially winning at everything:

  1. Make a device that can run both MacOS and iOS apps (kinda like what Google’s doing with their Chromebooks).
  2. Make a device that has a touchscreen that’s as good as the one on an iPad, so that you can touch, draw, or use with an Apple pencil.
  3. Make the device mouse compatible, as well as have a trackpad.
  4. Make it versatile like the Surfacebook, only without that stupid hinge in the middle and without of course the viruses Windows comes with.

I don’t think these are unreasonable demands. I’m just fed up of being alone in thinking this way…


Please, Keith, make multitouch gestures available for Scrivener, if you can. Two fingers to highlight a sentence. Three to highlight a paragraph. 4 to highlight a page. I could go on and on with the possibilities if such a thing can be done.

Wondering if anyone is gutsy enough to try one of these:

I’ve cleaned four instances of malware off of Windows PCs in my home since Windows 7 came out, and those were on my mother-in-law’s laptop.

In my experience, it is the people who insist on ignoring every best practice Microsoft gives, and using software that ignores it, who get the malware. If you are picky about the websites you go to, picky about the software you install (NOTHING from Cnet or and of the driver download sites or other “free” places), keep up with your updates, and don’t try to keep XP on life support, you can stay malware-free on Windows quite easily.

All of that crapware that people INSIST they need (registry cleaners, super-uninstallers, defraggers, Norton/McAfee/Symantec ANYTHING, all of that ilk) are entry vectors into the system. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve helped people clean malware off the Windows machine with NormanAfee while the machine setting next to it on the same network with only native Windows Defender/AV is untouched and has the same threat sitting quarantined. All of the alternative browsers loaded up with dodgy plugins making calls to who knows where (and they cry about Windows 10 telemetry!!!) silently letting in the malware. Disabling UAC because “it’s not convenient.” Disabling that feature. Using the dodgiest of dodgy all-in-one “unified driver downloaders.” But most of all, REFUSING TO ACCEPT THAT A COMPUTER IS NOT A FIRE AND FORGET TOOL AND THAT YOU NEED TO LEARN THINGS.

Those are the people who get Windows malware these days, on modern, supported Windows systems. The rest of us have no problems.

I got a virus on my old Windows machine once. Long story short, I ended up having to cancel both my credit cards, losing 500 bucks (I still haven’t gotten the money back), and calling a government office, to check if my name had been altered. Yeah, it was insane! Never, ever want to experience that again. It’s a small thing considering the likelihood of getting a virus is minimal. Still, it’s there, I experienced it, and never want to go through that again!

But back to the subject at hand. Should I get an iPad with scrivener, it would be nice if the app had multitouch gestures. Here are some thoughts (some of which I’ve already said, some new):

Two-finger touch – highlight a sentence
Two-finger touch, hold and move – move the sentence somewhere else
Two-finger sweep, left, right – delete a sentence // undo delete
Three-finger touch – highlight a paragraph
Three-finger touch, hold and move – move the paragraph somewhere else
Three-finger sweep, left, right – delete a paragraph // undo delete
Four-finger touch – highlight an entire scrivening
Four-finger sweep, left, right – scroll page by scrivening // delete a scrivening (maybe)

These are just some ideas I have…of course, this all depends on whether technology allows it.

Why do you need a mouse? Isn’t the built-in trackpad enough, especially with the very handy controls in iOS Scrivener?

I usually don’t have a mouse when I use my Macbook, because the trackpad is enough, and on the iPad I have both keyboard, touchscreen and trackpad. If you use the iPad only as a screen, with an external keyboard and a mouse (if your wish came true), why not take the logical step and switch to a Macbook instead?

The thing with an iPad is that you don’t have a keyboard or anything like that. Only the portable touch screen, for all those occasions when the laptop is too bulky.

Maybe it’s gravity. No, literally, gravity. With a mouse, you are not fighting with gravity. The vertical forces are balanced by the surface the mouse is situated on, leaving you only with quasi-horizontal movements or whatever.

With an iPad your hands are up in the air, fighting gravity.

It sound’s silly, but after hours of use, I can see myself quite tired using a iPad.

The MacBook doesn’t have a touchscreen. I’m not totally averse to using one. In fact, when I draw, I especially don’t want to use the mouse because it isn’t natural. But when I write with Scrivener I want a mouse.

In other words, I want a device that can do everything, and can do everything well.

My hope is that Apple changes its policy with the mouse on iOS devices. Or, perhaps someone creates a workaround.

:unamused: sigh

Stop waving it around and you won’t have to fight gravity!

You place it on the table surface, either horisontal or slightly tilted, like you would with a paper, and then you type, swipe, draw, whatever.
The iPad has a built-in mouse! The keyboard area acts as a trackpad if you use two fingers, allowing you to move the cursor just like you do with at mouse.

Ah, you still think a super-multi-tool is better than dedicated specialized tools? :unamused:


Sir, you are too practical, and down to earth. I guess I’m a creature of habit. And old habits die hard. I’m a mouse-fiend, and dislike change I guess.

Yeah, I like swiss-army knives too…

It’s a far cry from asking for a super-multi-tool and asking that Apple’s tablets be allowed to sync up with BT mice under factory defaults. The latter is allowing oneself to customize the specialized tool one is using. Apple has no ground to stand on for this one – jailbroken iPads can do it trivially, showing that it’s technologically possible; Apple allows BT keyboards (what, touch screen isn’t good enough for that?); no other tablet maker that I’m aware of connects with BT keyboards but not BT mice.

There’s only two right? Android and Windows tablets; both of which you can use a mouse.

Here’s the thing, though: how would the cursor work? One thing I only recently realized is that iOS devices are cursor free. I almost entirely didn’t notice this very fundamental thing. I think that’s what Apple was trying to ‘revolutionize.’ Develop a system, that was as simple as possible to use, and that meant for the folks at Apple, to develop a device so that you could navigate cursor-free; to develop a device that you could ‘organically’ use with your fingertips, and be literally, as close to the user interface as you possibly could be, to be as close to the experience of the computer as you possibly could.

But this is doctrinaire, I think. The problem, of course, is that in many cases, it’s more organic to use a mouse. At least it is for me. But still the problem remains, how would you escape apps in iOS? There are no red, yellow, green buttons. You wouldn’t be able to use the secondary button as that often more than not would be useful for other purposes. You’d have to entirely recreate the secondary-mouse-button protocol. I’m sure it could and would be done, but Apple is finicky, and, it seems, desires simplicity above anything else when using their idiot-proof machines.

You got it, exactly. That’s what Apple is about. And it’s so fundamentally their concept for, like, ever, so trivial and well known that I wonder: Why bother, why ask for change? Nothing is more in vain and only provokes some shoulder shrugging by us Apple fanboy zombies who happily tap and navigate away on their oh so unusable gadgets,

Best regards,

Christian (typed on my new Logitech keyboard folio for iPad mini) 8)

And yet when you jailbreak them, you can use a BT mouse with them with no problems. So clearly the underpinnings are still there.