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Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple's new Magic Trackpad clicks, has unique three-finger gesture

Released Tuesday, Apple's Magic Trackpad acts just like a bigger version of the multi-touch trackpads found on the company's notebook computers, though it does include one new, unique gesture for moving windows.

The customizable device can have certain features enabled or disabled through software, including options such as tap-to-click. Like the trackpad on a current MacBook or MacBook Pro, the entire surface can be pushed for a physical click as well.

According to Engadget, the hardware also comes with one exclusive new feature: a three-finger gesture that allows users to drag windows around quickly.

Much like can already be done on a Mac desktop via the Magic Mouse, the Magic Trackpad offers standard multi-touch gestures, including two-finger scrolling, pinch to zoom, rotate, and three-finger swiping. Users can also invoke Expose or switch between applications by using four fingers, all capabilities previously found on the company's notebook multi-touch trackpads.

In the Magic Trackpad's software settings, users can enable or disable tap to click, dragging, drag lock, a localized secondary click (such as tapping in a specific corner of the trackpad). Other features include inertia-based scrolling, screen zoom, pinch to open and close, and the aforementioned new three-finger dragging.

Trackpad 1


"It's made with smooth, wear-resistant glass that feels great to the touch," Apple said. "And it’s nearly 80 percent larger than the built-in trackpad on the MacBook Pro, giving you plenty of room to perform gestures. Because the entire surface of Magic Trackpad is a button, you can click on objects just as you would using a traditional mouse. And Magic Trackpad sits at the same height and angle as the Apple Wireless Keyboard, so you can go from trackpad to keyboard in one seamless motion."

The $69 wireless device works with any Bluetooth-enabled Mac, and can be connected up to 33 feet away. The device also detects periods of inactivity to conserve battery life, and has a dedicated on-off switch. Apple has said that the device will operate for "months at a time" without the need to replace its AA batteries.

Trackpad 2


In addition to two AA batteries — which are included, and which Apple now sells in a rechargeable form — the new Magic Trackpad requires users to have a Bluetooth-enabled Mac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.4 and the latest software update.