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Apple's new $69 Magic Trackpad allows multi-touch gestures on desktop

post #1 of 144
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Apple has brought the multi-touch gestures available to MacBook users to the desktop with its new $69 Magic Trackpad, as well as a new battery charger for wireless devices like the Magic Trackpad, Apple keyboard, and Magic Mouse.

Magic Trackpad

The Magic Trackpad offers Apple's patented multi-touch technology through a smooth glass and aluminum design. It enables users to scroll smoothly up and down a page with inertial scrolling, pinch to zoom in and out, rotate an image with fingertips and swipe three fingers to flip through a collection of Web pages or photos.

The Magic Trackpad can be configured to support single button or two button commands and supports tap-to-click as well as a physical click.

Photos of Apple's Magic Trackpad first leaked earlier this summer, showing the multitouch desktop accessory before it was even announced. Earlier this month, the device received FCC approval, though at the time it was simply identified as a mysterious Bluetooth device.

Apple first brought multi-touch functionality to its desktops last year with the Magic Mouse, a Bluetooth wireless mouse that allows users to use their fingers to scroll and zoom via the surface of the hardware. Every iMac and Mac Pro comes with the Magic Mouse, though users can now order the new Magic Trackpad for $69 as an option.





Apple Battery Charger

Apple claims its new Battery Charger sets a new industry standard by having the lowest standby power usage value or "vampire draw" of any similar charger on the market. That's the energy most chargers continue to draw after their batteries are fully charged.

Instead, the Apple Battery Charger senses when its batteries are done charging and automatically reduces the amount of power it needs. In addition, the reusable batteries that come with each Apple Battery Charger are designed to maintain a high charge capacity for hundreds of charges, so you no longer have to buy new batteries or toss them every few months.

Each Apple Battery Charger comes with six AA NiMH batteries, intended to allow users to run their keyboard keyboard and mouse or trackpad, while allowing two more for spare charging.

"Unlike many other reusable batteries, these batteries have an incredibly long service life up to 10 years," Apple said. "Which means you can finally break the cycle of buying and disposing of those toxic, single-use alkaline batteries. The batteries that come with the Apple Battery Charger kit also have an extraordinarily low self-discharge rate. Even after a year of sitting in a drawer, they still retain 80 percent of their original charge. That way you always have backup power when you need it."
post #2 of 144
Great! Exactly what I was waiting for! Can't wait to test this!
post #3 of 144
For some reason I'm not to enthusiastic about this. Hopefully this may mean wider support of multitouch with the Mac in 10.7 instead of using it for the most pedestrian of features.
post #4 of 144
they also brought out this accessory http://www.apple.com/battery-charger/
post #5 of 144
hmm, where's the new Apple TV?
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post #6 of 144
Some people here said the want a Mac with a touchscreen. It has (rightly!) been pointed out that this is all but ergonomic. I think the Magic Trackpad is actually the touch Mac - in a real ergonomic way. That's why I am looking forward to this new, neat accessory.
post #7 of 144
I wonder how popular this device will become. There will be some people who find it useful, but I can't help but think there are a lot more people who won't find a need for it.
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post #8 of 144
I assume my Apple Store will have these today and I will be getting one. More to follow.
post #9 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post

I wonder how popular this device will become. There will be some people who find it useful, but I can't help but think there are a lot more people who won't find a need for it.

That's what people said about te iPad
post #10 of 144
.....
post #11 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It enables users to scroll smoothly up and down a page with inertial scrolling, pinch to zoom in and out, rotate an image with fingertips and swipe three fingers to flip through a collection of Web pages or photos.

That's it? Fingerworks' iGesture pad from almost ten years ago did a heck of a lot more than that. Okay, the iGesture cost quite a bit more, but it was worth it. That had a whole ranges of gestures, each using one to five fingers, not just limited to three. I remember being able to control the mouse cursor, text cursor, click, double click, right click, center click, cut, copy, paste, zoom, open file/app, close window, quit application, scroll up/down/left/right, find, command-tab through applications, press "enter," and a bunch more functions that I can't recall now.

Unless they upgrade this, I'm not buying, especially at $70. How disappointing. In terms of "magic," this is like some kid's party prestidigitator compared to iGesture as Merlin. Damn you, Apple, how could you buy such a powerful portfolio of technology and water it down so much?
post #12 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post

That's what people said about te iPad

But technically he's right. There are hundreds of millions or BILLIONS of people who find they don't have a need for one

Personally, I'm going to get one. 2-finger scrolling and 2D scrolling works great on my MacBook, and isn't quite as easy with a mouse. And this should be more kid-proof than my current mice.
post #13 of 144
Sweet, sweet, and sweet.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #14 of 144
I'm not ready to abandon the mouse. It's just more maneuverable/precise than the track pad. If I'm going to be working for a while on my MB Pro, I always bring a wireless mouse with me.
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post #15 of 144
I want one that is wired for my PC. I'd still pay $70 for it.
post #16 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

Some people here said the want a Mac with a touchscreen. It has (rightly!) been pointed out that this is all but ergonomic. I think the Magic Trackpad is actually the touch Mac - in a real ergonomic way.

Exactly. Everyone wanting a touch-screen Mac missed the most fundamental point: this kind of technology is appropriate for small devices only. No way to do all kinds of UI manipulations from a sitting position by touching a 27" screen for hours.
post #17 of 144
I think this could actually be the perfect remote for couch surfing/navigating of your mac or apple tv.

It depends on if/when Apple will build onscreen keyboards that will work with this trackpad.
post #18 of 144
I hope it works better than the magic mouse. Mine only kept it's 'magic' capabilities for a week or so. This is a common issue with the iMac + magic mouse.
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post #19 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob1varghese View Post

I think this could actually be the perfect remote for couch surfing/navigating of your mac or apple tv.

It depends on if/when Apple will build onscreen keyboards that will work with this trackpad.

You don't need them. The wireless Apple keyboard is more practical and it is probably conceived that small for that reason (using it in unusual positions like while on the couch).
post #20 of 144
I'm definitely getting the battery charger. As for the touchpad, I wish they allowed an option for you to chose either/or when you buy a new Mac. So instead of the Magic mouse, people can chose the trackpad instead. I don't need a mouse AND a trackpad!
post #21 of 144
Interesting... I wonder if I've finally found a replacement for my ancient wireless Kensington Turbo Mouse trackball. But somehow I doubt the trackpad will be very good for gaming - can't hold down a button & move at the same time, possibly pushing the second button along the way. E.g. when strafing & throwing grenades.

If I had $70 burning a hole in my pocket, I might pick one up for work, though. But I think I'd pick up a SpaceNavigator first.

- Jasen.
post #22 of 144
What is the capacity of the batteries and what is the charge time? Can you use 3rd party batteries?
post #23 of 144
Apple TV running iOS4 + Magic Trackpad. Sign me up.
post #24 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

But somehow I doubt the trackpad will be very good for gaming - can't hold down a button & move at the same time, possibly pushing the second button along the way. E.g. when strafing & throwing grenades.

Besides functionality, your best bet for gaming is wired peripherals, unless I missed something lately.
post #25 of 144
Outrageously overpriced, but I want one.
post #26 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

You don't need them. The wireless Apple keyboard is more practical and it is probably conceived that small for that reason (using it in unusual positions like while on the couch).

Sometimes you need a mouse/trackpad. I don't want to be lying on the couch with two input devices.

A full keyboard on the couch is overkill for the minimal amount of typing that you'll be doing.
post #27 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob1varghese View Post

I think this could actually be the perfect remote for couch surfing/navigating of your mac or apple tv.

It depends on if/when Apple will build onscreen keyboards that will work with this trackpad.

Was hoping this came out with the revamped Apple TV with iOS. This would be perfect for controlling that from the couch.
post #28 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob1varghese View Post

Sometimes you need a mouse/trackpad. I don't want to be lying on the couch with two input devices.

A full keyboard on the couch is overkill for the minimal amount of typing that you'll be doing.

Well, if we talk about really minimal typing then I agree.
post #29 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Outrageously overpriced, but I want one.

Why is this Outrageously overpriced?!

Precisely machined aluminum and glass don't come cheap. Have you ever designed and solicited quotes from machine shops for something like this?

Apple is delivering really great value lately, if you VALUE tight tolerances and high quality materials. If you are fine with injection molded plastic then I guess I understand that you may think Apple's hardware is overpriced...
post #30 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post

I wonder how popular this device will become. There will be some people who find it useful, but I can't help but think there are a lot more people who won't find a need for it.

Sort of like the iPad, huh.
post #31 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

What is the capacity of the batteries and what is the charge time? Can you use 3rd party batteries?

The Apple Charger + Batteries is actually a very nice deal. I just picked one up. It comes with 6 AA incredible batteries, plus you can charge your own 3rd party rechargeable batteries.

From the site:


More charges. Less waste.

The Apple Battery Charger sets a new industry standard: It has the lowest standby power usage value — or "vampire draw" — of any similar charger on the market.1 That's the energy most chargers continue to draw after their batteries are fully charged. But the Apple Battery Charger senses when its batteries are done charging and automatically reduces the amount of power it needs. In addition, the reusable batteries that come with each Apple Battery Charger are designed to maintain a high charge capacity for hundreds of charges, so you no longer have to buy new batteries or toss them every few months.

Standby Power Usage
After your battery charge cycle is complete, the Apple Battery Charger reduces its power intake to 30 milliwatts — that’s more than 10 times better than the industry average.1

30 mW
Apple Battery Charger
315 mW
Average Battery Charger

The smarter way to charge.

When the Apple Battery Charger recharges your batteries, it not only maximizes battery performance and lifespan, it also conserves energy. Thanks to an intelligent power management system, the Apple Battery Charger uses less power once your batteries are fully charged, making it one of the most energy-efficient rechargeable battery solutions ever. The Apple Battery Charger can recharge one or two batteries at a time. It's optimized for Apple-supplied batteries and it works with AA NiMH batteries from other companies, too.

Fully loaded. And then some.

Each Apple Battery Charger comes with six high-performance AA NiMH batteries: two for your keyboard, two for your mouse or trackpad, and two for charging. Unlike many other reusable batteries, these batteries have an incredibly long service life — up to 10 years.2 Which means you can finally break the cycle of buying and disposing of those toxic, single-use alkaline batteries. The batteries that come with the Apple Battery Charger kit also have an extraordinarily low self-discharge rate. Even after a year of sitting in a drawer, they still retain 80 percent of their original charge.3 That way you always have backup power when you need it.

It’s a beautiful fit.

The Apple Battery Charger is as well designed on the outside as it is on the inside. It has a sleek, compact shape so you can plug it in between tangles of desk wires or pack it neatly in your computer bag when you travel. And like Apple power adapters, the Apple Battery Charger is designed with a removable AC plug, so you can replace it with plugs that fit different outlets around the world.

What’s in the box
Wall outlet charger
Six rechargeable AA NiMH batteries
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post #32 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob1varghese View Post

Sometimes you need a mouse/trackpad. I don't want to be lying on the couch with two input devices.

A full keyboard on the couch is overkill for the minimal amount of typing that you'll be doing.

Are you talking about for the AppleTV? Why not just use the remote app for the iPhone?

I plan to get one to replace a my trackball for my desktop. I prefer the trackpad in my laptop over the trackball because of multitouch and can't use a mouse (causes carpal tunnel symptoms).
post #33 of 144
Goodbye Magic Mouse. Getting ready to go to the store right now.
post #34 of 144
I'm wondering if MagicPrefs, BetterTouchTool, MouseWizard, etc. will eventually support the new Magic Trackpad...

My initial knock against the Magic Mouse was the loss of Expose functionality I've always had with my Mighty Mouse.


Edit: Never mind my basic lack of reading comprehension.

Quote:
The entire surface of Magic Trackpad is one large button, so you can click and double-click anywhere. Magic Trackpad also supports a full set of gestures, including two-finger scrolling, pinching to zoom, rotating with your fingertips, three-finger swiping, and activating Exposé or switching between applications with four fingers.

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post #35 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

Goodbye Magic Mouse. Getting ready to go to the store right now.

I just ordered a TrackPad from the Apple online store. I've been wanting one of these for years!

I've been using a Cirque trackpad as a substitute. Because the Cirque offers no support for Macs, it's a far cry from equalling what an Apple trackpad can do. Can't wait.
post #36 of 144
The new Trackpad looks pretty light. One thing I found I couldn't do on the Magic Mouse was the sideways swipe because the mouse would move everytime I tried. Now, if the Magic Trackpad is even lighter, does it have a very sticky rubber surface on the undercarriage?

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post #37 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The new Trackpad looks pretty light. One thing I found I couldn't do on the Magic Mouse was the sideways swipe because the mouse would move everytime I tried. Now, if the Magic Trackpad is even lighter, does it have a very sticky rubber surface on the undercarriage?

Probably the same surface as on the bottom of the keyboards.

The issue with the mouse is that you expect to be able to move it. A trackpad or keyboard doesn't need to slide around. I'd be surprised if this was a problem.

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post #38 of 144
BTW, based on how I use my MBP at home, I could definitely see having a mouse and a trackpad (and a Wacom ) on the same desktop computer.

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post #39 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob1varghese View Post

Sometimes you need a mouse/trackpad. I don't want to be lying on the couch with two input devices.

A full keyboard on the couch is overkill for the minimal amount of typing that you'll be doing.

easy, if you're on the couch with the keyboard on your lap, put the trackpad next to your leg...this is actually more ergonomic than it sitting at a desk. I can't see using this trackpad without resting my wrist on it somehow...
post #40 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

Great! Exactly what I was waiting for! Can't wait to test this!

I emailed Steve last December about how I loved my new iMac 27" and the wireless keyboard and mouse but that it was a pain to have 2 things on my desk instead of one. I told him it would be great to have a wireless keyboard/trackpad.

Now if they could just attach the 2 it would be perfect.
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