Move the pointer above a button and the circle morphs into the
button itself, “snapping” into it, enveloping it like an amoeba,
causing it to glow in a pleasing way. What this means is that the
usual precision of a trackpad isn’t required to get exact hits on
navigational elements. If you own an Apple TV, you’re already
familiar with this vibe — it’s how the cursor on the TV “jumps”
from icon to icon with a kind of sticky momentum. Similarly, on
the iPad home screen, you can “lazily” slam the cursor around and
have it lock onto applications with an eerie telepathy not
experienced on a desktop OS.
The cursor itself, too, has momentum. It continues to glide on the
screen for just a short millisecond after you stop moving your
finger on the trackpad. This sounds more annoying than it is in
practice. (And you can modify almost all these behaviors to your
liking in Settings → General → Trackpad, and Settings →
Accessibility → Pointer.) What I’ve found is that this momentum
creates a subtle design cohesion between scrolling and scroll
bounce, selecting applications, locking onto buttons, and just
generally moving things around the screen.
Best piece I’ve seen on the joy and utility of iPadOS’s new pointer support. Five days in and I can’t imagine doing without it.