Tag Archives: multi-touch

The Magic TrackPad, One Month Later

As reported in an earlier post, I received an Apple Magic TrackPad about one month ago. At that time, I replaced the existing Magic Mouse, now relegated to a drawer in my desk.

I must say that I give the TrackPad a 4.5 out of 5. My greatest complaint at this point is the definite slice I have developed when playing Tiger Woods PGA 2008. The multi-touch capabilities are very similar to the current trackpads available on the MacBookPro lineup, but with a larger surface for your fingers to wander.

One multi-touch action which I tried, but disabled was the One Finger tap for a single mouse click. I found myself clicking inadvertently as I used the device. I, instead, used to manual click for that feature.

Battery life appears to be viable. After one month of constant use, the battery is holding at 60 percent.

Overall, I am very satisfied with my purchase and would certainly recommend the Magic TrackPad for other Mac users.

The Magic TrackPad

Earlier this year, I purchased the Magic Mouse from Apple. Initially, there was the battery drain issue with the Apple Wireless Keyboard caused by the original Magic Mouse driver update. Once this was corrected, I have been using the Magic Mouse on a daily basis. The device performed well, although, I did notice a few sporadic interruptions to the Bluetooth connection.

Now the Magic TrakPad is out, and, of course, I had to order one. I have been using a similar device with my 2008 MacBook. With all my other laptop computers, I had always added a mouse to my equipment list and used the supplied trackpad as a “last ditch” interface. That changed with the MacBook. I have never used or needed a mouse. The MacBook trackpad was so responsive and easy to use, that a mouse was no longer a required alternative. The multi-touch function of the MacBook trackpad and the Magic TrackPad add to the ease of use.

My hope is that the Magic TrackPad desktop version will have the same effect. I’ve placed my mouse in the drawer, and I sit here alone with my keyboard and trackpad.

Transitioning from a traditional mouse to the Magic TrackPad will have a steeper learning curve. I suffered through this when I moved to the Magic Mouse. Use of the MacBook trackpad and Magic Mouse seems to have prepared me for the Magic TrackPad with the exception of Tiger Woods 2008. I am not quite as effective now. It’s very similar to switching golf clubs or changing your swing.  I’m getting better.

What Do We Want from an Apple Tablet?

As the temperature cools down, the news around the release of the long-rumored Apple Tablet heats up.

Sites around the internet are buzzing with tidbits of information that can be arranged in a way to predict the impending release (MacRumors & 9to5Mac lead the way), but i am more interested in what the new Tablet will bring to us functionally rather than when it will arrive or what the name will be.

There has been speculation that the Tablet will be an overgrown iPod Touch or will be targeted to the burgeoning eReader market. I hope that the Tablet provides more than these limited areas of function.

Some of the features I look for, in no particular order of precedence, include:

  • Multi-tasking
    Most people need the ability to execute multiple programs. Multi-tasking is a must. Hopefully, multi-tasking support will also appear in a later release of the iPhone software as well.
  • RAM
    Apple needs to push the RAM toward the 1.0 Gigabyte level.
  • Storage
    On board storage needs to be a least 64 GB. Recent enhancements to NAND appears that this should be a lock.
  • Operating System
    A variant of Mac OS X. More capable than the iPhone OS.
  • iPhone App support
    Support for iPhone Apps either natively or via an embedded emulator.
  • Platform Software Freedom
    The ability to install software by means other than being tethered to iTunes. Treat the Tablet as a Mac, not a phone.
  • Multi-touch
    We are now spoiled by the intuitive touch interface provided by the iPhone. This UI is now “required” for the Tablet. We need the “pinch” and “swipe” motions we have become accustomed to.
  • Input/Output
    I need to be able to plug in a USB device and, hopefully, a media card.
  • Wireless Networking
    802.11n Wi-Fi, full Bluetooth support and a wired RF-45 connection. Provide 3G as a option. Not all of us want to pay for an additional Data Plan.
  • eReader
    eReader functionality with support for Text-to-Speech for those of us with low-vision difficulties.
  • Accessibility
    Integration of Mac OS Universal Access capability

These are just a few items. What features would you like to see in the new Apple Tablet?

The Magic Has Arrived!

Apple announced a refresh of their computer line. I had a chance to view the new iMacs at a local Best Buy and, I must say, the 27″ iMac display is stunning.

But, alas, my wallet won out. I did, however, draw from the new line-up with the purchase of the new Apple Magic Mouse to replace my current Apple Bluetooth Mighty Mouse for my desktop machine. The Mighty Mouse will probably find a new home in my laptop bag although, the multi-touch touchpad on my aluminum MacBook tends to eliminate the need for using a separate mouse.

There were four basic reasons I decided to purchase the Magic Mouse.

  • Let’s face it. I’m a geek at heart and this is a NEW gadget.
  • I was intrigued by the Multi-touch Interface. I suffer from repeated occurrences of Repetitive Strain injury caused by the constant rolling of a mouse scroll wheel or Mighty Mouse scroll-ball. No wheel, no ball, just swipe anywhere on the top surface.
  • Scrolling Debris – Maybe I’m the only one that encountered dust, dirt, cracker crumbs or other foreign substances clogging up the scroll function on my mouse. Again, no wheel, no ball, just a smooth multi-touch surface.
  • Multi-touch – I have used an iPhone since it’s inception (June, 2007) and I am hooked on a multi-touch user interface (Apple Tablet?)

MagicMouseWell,  the Magic Mouse arrived today by FedEx. The packaging was like braking into Ft Knox. I finally freed the mouse from it’s tape prison.

The setup instructions are future-based, referring to a  Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8 or Snow Leopard 10.6.2 requirement. Snow Leopard 10.6.2 has not been released yet.

Not to fear, the device paired flawlessly with my Mac Pro, but no multi-touch function. A quick trip to Google directed me to the Apple Wireless Mouse Software Update 1.0. Once the update installed and the Mac restarted, the Magic Mouse was fully operational.

First Impressions

  • Definitely a different form factor from the Mighty Mouse.  Slightly lighter, more slim in width, lower profile. The rounded surface of the Mighty Mouse is replaced by a more “table top” look with noticeable edges on the sides of the mouse.
  • Normal mouse functions, tracking, item selection, etc. feel the same. The “click” is still there. Loss of Expose and Dashboard selection capabilities though. Hopefully, a later version of the Magic Mouse software will provide these functions as additional multi-touch gestures.
  • Now scrolling can be activated by moving or flicking your finger on the top surface of the mouse. I’m no longer chained to the scroll-ball. Due to low vision, I use the Mac Screen Zoom feature extensively.  The Magic Mouse has the ability to Zoom with or without Momentum. This is a nice feature.
  • Inadvertent touching – Similar to learning to use a touchpad on a laptop. Sometimes you scroll unintentionally by lightly touching the top surface. I’m getting better.

So far, I am pleased with the purchase.