Most Macs are notebooks. Mac notebooks have Multi-Touch trackpads. iMac, Mac mini, and MacPro users rejoice. Apple brings the joys of Multi-Touch to the desktop with the Magic Trackpad.
Think of it as a significantly larger MacBook Pro trackpad with Bluetooth. Swipe. Double-tap. Slide and scroll. Is Magic Trackpad the portable interface of the future? Or, another way for Apple to increase revenue? Or, the mouse that roared “the future is here?”
I Loves Me Some Magic Tracking Devices
Apple is a strange technology beast. It took the company over two decades to figure out that users could handle a mouse with more than one button. Remember the much ballyhooed and decried Mighty Mouse.
Then, Apple goes all 21st century with a Multi-Touch mouse—Magic Mouse.
Now, our favorite Mac maker merges the Mac notebook trackpad with the Magic Mouse to gives Mac desktop users a little more portability and pzazz with Magic Trackpad. It is what you think it is. Big.
Magic Trackpad is a Multi-Touch trackpad, about 80-percent larger than the trackpad on a MacBook Pro, shaped similar to the iMac keyboard (cylindric roll in the back to hold batteries), full of Bluetooth portability goodness.
Portable? Uh, yeah.
The aluminum clad Magic Trackpad is wireless. That’s right. No cable. No USB to the Apple keyboard or Mac. Just tasty Bluetooth combined with a MacBook Pro’s touchpad capability but in a larger, handheld package.
The Magic Trackpad features the same glassy trackpad surface as Apple’s Mac notebooks, yet just as tactile? Tactile? Yep. Rubber feet on the bottom front act as the buttons that click when you click a Mac notebook trackpad. Clever.
Apple has finally adopted Bluetooth in a big way. As with Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard and Bluetooth Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad needs to be paired with your Mac, but do so after updating the Magic Trackpad and Multi-Touch Trackpad software to get full trackpad functionality.
Configuration comes via the Trackpad’s preference settings in System Preferences, which also displays battery level. You’ll get the same updated gesture options from recent Mac notebooks which include the ever popular three-finger gesture, inertia scrolling, flipping through pages to navigate.
I look forward to what enhancements third party software makers like MagicPrefs can provide to Magic Trackpad.
Imagine The Possibilities
Now we’re talking a little innovation and perhaps a quick look into Apple’s future. Sure, you can use Magic Trackpad to control your iMac from across the room. But who’s going to do that?
Magic Trackpad might have other capabilities that go beyond mere Mac control. There’s that shiny new Mac mini with HDMI output that puts a Mac in your shiny new flat screen LCD television.
Now you can control your Mac mini without a Mac screen.
Just use the Bluetooth powered Magic Trackpad from across the room, from the safe confines of a thick and cushy sofa. The possibilities are growing on you, right? No need for a mouse. No need for an Apple Remote Control.
Use the Magic Trackpad to control your Mac. Or, control a Mac mini which controls your television. Add Elgato’s EyeTV to the mini and dispense with AppleTV.
Wait. There might be more. What if Apple improved AppleTV, made it smaller but with more power, and gave it more capability (like a built-in DVR), and it could be controlled by the remote Magic Trackpad?
Wait. There might be more. Apple knows a revenue opportunity when it sees one. I don’t know about you, but my Magic Mouse goes through batteries faster than politicians go through taxpayer money. So, what does Apple do to help Mac users with all these battery powered devices?
It’s yet another way for Apple to help us keep the environment green while spending $30. You get a recharger and six AA batteries for your Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad and wireless Mac keyboard. But hope that the batteries for all three devices don’t die at the same time. Recharging is two at a time.