Astro HQ

Trackpad mode for Astropad

The idea is to have a keyboard shortcut assigned to a mode in astropad that will make the mouse move relative with the pen input (or finger input). Basically the iPad would become a typical trackpad for as long as you hold an assigned shortcut.

This sounds probably like a strange feature suggestion at first but I actually think this could make things much more efficient if you consider the following problem: Since the iPad Pro and Macbook Pro have different aspect ratio I don’t have my full screen showing on the iPad but a smaller part of it. (I know there is fullscreen mode but we loose too much screen space with it and the pixel interpolation is bad, so I don’t want to use it).
So when I draw stuff everything is fine. But when I interact with the interface of e.g. Photoshop I reach for my mouse and look at my actual Macbook screen. First because there is no annoying pixelation there and second because some parts of the interface are not shown on my iPad for said reason. Reaching for the mouse is ok, but it would be way quicker if I could just hold a keyboard shortcut and move the mouse cursor on my macbook by touching the iPad with the Pencil. Just like you do with your finger on a trackpad. The mouse input would need to be relative and not absolute for this of course. The advance here is that you don’t have to put the pencil away. As you usually have your other hand on the keyboard anyway (to use other shortcuts) all the time anyway this would get very efficient.


Trackpad/hover mode is definitely mecessary, the question is how to implement it so it’s easy to use and doesn’t take up much screen real estate. I’ve been thinking about it, and with one little snag, I think the ring button is a good way to implement this. The little snag is that what I’m suggesting changes some current functionality, so it will take some getting used to by current users.

The idea is this: The ring button dims/checkerboards the screen as today, but touching with a single finger (or stylus) moves the cursor to that point. Moving your single finger or stylus moves the cursor, not the viewport like it does today. If you are zoomed in and you move to the edge, the viewport moves so that the cursor continues to move in the direction of the edge you are at, until the cursor hits the edge of the host screen.

Moving the screen (without moving the cursor) is accomplished with two fingers: essentially a two finger gesture becomes “pan/zoom”, where zoom is accomplished by pinching/squeezing as today. If you keep your two fingers at more or less the same distance apart you get a pan/move operation.

I think this would be easier to use than a dedicated “trackpad/hover” button placed in addition to the ring button, or on the ring button menu.

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I agree . . This is an urgent update, developers !
This iPad could also detect the pencil position when it is,just above the screen but not touching it