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Apple Introduces New Multi-Touch Trackpad



image Apple introduced their new notebook line up today, but what really caught my eye was the new etched glass multi-touch trackpad. They’ve done away with the button, relying totally on the pad. In addition, they’ve introduced three and four finger gesture support.

Here is Apple’s explanation on how the new multi-touch trackpad works:

The amazing new trackpad doubles as a button — just press down anywhere and consider it clicked. No separate button means there’s 39 percent more room for your fingers to move on the silky glass surface. Now that Multi-Touch gestures have come to MacBook, all the function is in your fingers. Use two fingers to scroll up and down a page. Pinch to zoom in and out. Swipe with three fingers to flip through your photo libraries. Rotate to adjust an image with your fingertips. Using the new four-finger swipe gesture, swipe up or down to access Exposé modes and left or right to switch between open applications. If you’re coming from a right-click world, you can right-click with two fingers or configure a right-click area on the trackpad. The more you use the Multi-Touch trackpad, the more you’ll wonder what you ever did without it.

Sounds intriguing, but that button-less multi-touch trackpad is going to take some practice, especially for right-click stuff.

Along the lines of touch / multi-touch, during a Q & A session, Steve Jobs was asked about touchscreen and he said that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to him.



  1. Amitai Rosenberg

    10/14/2008 at 1:39 pm

    That looks cool!

  2. John

    10/14/2008 at 2:03 pm

    11:03AM Q: You’ve put a lot of work into the new touchpad, do touchscreens not make sense?
    A: Steve: so far it hasn’t made a lot of sense to us.

    Umm, iPhone, iPod touch? Sorry Steve but for note taking a tablet is a must, so much easier than typing and drawing. I wonder if they are ignoring this option till wacom comes out with their active/capacitive digitizer, which we should start seeing in products the first half of 2009.

  3. Sumocat

    10/14/2008 at 2:05 pm

    “Steve Jobs was asked about touchscreen and he said that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to him.” — That, of course, is Jobsian for “We’re working on one, but we’re going to act like we’re not because everything we do must be a secret.”

  4. JC

    10/14/2008 at 2:16 pm

    Or Steve Jobs might be saying that a touchscreen on a laptop doesn’t make very much sense for Apple right now. (And yes, there is a difference between a cell phone and a laptop.) Very little about this round of new Apple laptops was a secret.

  5. davidm

    10/14/2008 at 2:48 pm

    Jobs has a tendency to slam things that are not part of their strategy. BlueRay is a “bag of hurt,” Java is a “ball and chain.” Not very mature.

    Anyway, I wonder if it would be possible to use the big trackpad as a writing surface?

  6. GoodThings2Life

    10/14/2008 at 4:35 pm

    He’s also on record for slamming Adobe/Macromedia Flash for crying out loud. If it doesn’t fit what Steve wants to see, it’s not a priority… kinda like how copy/paste on the iPhone isn’t a priority for them despite the continual outcry for it; or consider the fact that Mac OSX is still an Apple exclusive and has never been allowed to flourish off Apple hardware.

    Anyway, the touch pad on the new Macbook Pro is pretty cool and I don’t think it would take as much getting used to as you think. I currently tap my touchpad on my laptop to single click, and if there were a gesture to do right clicks I’d use it, since I would love to just turn the buttons off completely.

  7. GoodThings2Life

    10/14/2008 at 4:38 pm

    OK, seriously… look at this image and tell me that touch wouldn’t be fantastically useful…

  8. wickedpheonix

    10/14/2008 at 6:28 pm

    Maybe, if you use one of those stylii for the iPhone but I doubt it.

  9. Bradtastic Brad Chin

    10/16/2008 at 12:20 pm

    I’m not quite-sure what I think of this… it’s been something that I’ve been considering since I saw the ad via-email the other day; on one hand, having more space is cool and the multi-touch features are probably very-handy (I don’t have one, so I can’t say whether or not it’d be something that I’d use regularly–played with it at the Apple Store and I like it), however I also like having a button. I ALWAYS turn-off the double-tap feature of the trackpad because of how many friggin’stupid accidental clicks I make.

    I dig the LED screens, however. I’m going to have to consider the 24″ LED screen for my iMac 24″

    — Caught this post from Tumblr. —

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