Apple has a thing with touch. It’s everywhere. The Mac notebooks have the Trackpad.
Desktop Mac users get the best of both worlds. The Magic Mouse does touch. So does the Magic Trackpad, Apple’s giant trackpad for desktop Macs. What’s missing? A bunch of features that Apple does not stuff into the standard mouse and trackpad software. Here’s how to get more.
More Touch Is Better
Assuming you’re a fan of Apple’s touch device efforts, and who’s not, then you appreciate the Mac maker’s latest efforts—Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad.
What we want more of is control over each device. Apple gives us the bare minimums.
That means we have to hit the third party market for mouse and trackpad enhancements.
The latest is jitouch, a Mac preference pane app that enhances the Multi-Touch gestures on Apple’s Mac devices. That includes all the MacBook trackpads, plus the Mac Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad.
Magic is Apple’s new word for Reality Distortion Field.
Touch Me If You Can
After having used all of Apple’s touch devices and the third party enhancement apps, I now know why Apple gives us the minimum of Multi-Touch gestures. All those extra finger contortions are difficult to remember.
Mouse and Trackpad enhancement apps would want us to believe that Apple leaves out functionality. If they do, then they do so for good reason. The jitouch app brings you the Middle Click for the Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse.
There’s also the Full-Screen function, and an option to rearrange windows side by side (just like, shudder, in Windows 7). That’s two ways you won’t find on Apple’s Multi-Touch.
And, if you can spell with your fingers, jitouch has a built-in character recognition system so you can draw on the Magic Trackpad (I couldn’t get it to work on the smaller surface of the Magic Mouse).
Trackpad gestures include Next/Previous tab, Open Link in a new tab (I like that), Close tab, Quit, Refresh, Open Recently Closed tab, Zoom and many others. Magic Mouse gestures are similar and include Show Desktop, Exposé, and the all important Move to a Neighboring Space (I jest).
Gesture With Your Fingers
Character gestures are interesting and somewhat intuitive. Draw a B to launch the browser. Draw part of an F and launch the Finder. Draw N for New, O for Open, and S for Save. You get the idea, but there are many other ways to touch that go beyond the basics from Apple.
And that’s the problem. There are too many gestures to remember.
The whole idea of using a mouse or trackpad and a graphic interface is so we can navigate quickly, intuitively, without having to think of the old command line interface keystrokes to get anything done.
All these apps that enhance Apple’s Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, including jitouch, are great, but have reached the point where a manual is necessary to remember the gestures. It’s like learning sign language to communicate with your Mac.
I prefer to be a Mac infant. I point, grunt, and click to get what I want.