Some misconceptions on Apple's new glass-trackpad

Multi Track Pad Misunderstood!

So Apple launched a bunch of brand new Macbooks and Macbook Pros early this morning (Singapore time). I’m not going to talk about them because I’m saving all that for this Saturday’s 65bits with the crew. However, I have to talk to all of you who have been complaining about Apple removing that button from the track pad. Seriously, before you start ranting, make sure you dig up the facts first!!

Note, this isn’t a “Woot! I love Apple!” post, it’s a “What are you guys talking about!?!” post.

The button is STILL THERE
First of all, there is a button. THE WHOLE TRACK PAD has become a button. And I’m not talking about the touch thing that you find in all of today’s laptops (i.e. if you tap on the track pad, it’s a click). I’m talking about a physical “push-and-the-track-pad-sinks-in” button. In fact, according to Engadget, if you’re used to pushing that button at the bottom of the track pad, it shouldn’t feel any different. It’s one of those “it’s there, you just don’t see it” things.

We actually don’t hate the all-clicking trackpad much at all. (If your thumb muscle memory makes you click at the bottom where the button used to be, it works and feels pretty much the same.)

In fact, now you have more!
Here’s a fact that many people missed out. There’s actually preferences that allow you to set “multiple buttons”. That means you can set regions on your track pad to be buttons, like the Mighty Mouse. In other words, you can set the bottom right of the track pad to be “right-click”, and when you click (as in really push that corner of the glass down) that region of the track pad, it will right click! So not only did they not remove any button, they added an extra one!

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.

See? Multi-Button via software! It's from Apple's keynote!!

You can get multi-buttons via software, so if you’re a Windows user coming from Windows and you’d like that right-click button, no problem, just turn it on in Preference and you got it.
– Steve Jobs, Apple Keynote (21:36)

His Steveness only mentioned it once, and didn’t show it off. He should have, because this is a pretty useful feature! How do I know? Because everyone is complaining that it’s not available! This is better than having a right-click button!!

So what does all this mean?
This new glass track pad has the best of both worlds! It allows you to have any kind of button you want, including a PHYSICAL right-click button (c’mon, you have to admit it’s about time, right?), yet still increases the track-pad’s area by 37%! Only Apple can pull that off! So now can you stop complaining about the new track pad? I can’t believe I have to do all the work for you… Apple, you owe me one.

Catch Episode 93 of 65bits as the Tech65 crew talk about the new products that Apple launched, and why we weren’t excited enough to make a mid-week episode for it. Or better still! Join us this Saturday morning 10:30 am at Geek Terminal and tell us what you think!

  • Fantastic. Concise post – something that seems real difficult for me… Apple does owe you one. 🙂

  • DK

    I’m looking forward to try the new touchpad myself.

    Currently, the only problem I foresee is that we need to learn the gesture for dragging.

  • NTT

    @DK Not really. If you think about it, you can still do the drag gesture the old way.. using your index finger to control the mouse, and thumb to press the button. Just that NOW, your thumb doesn’t have to be placed on the button, but can be anywhere on the touchpad.. This means it’s gonna be much easier for people with smaller hands..

  • you’ve got to watch the apple’s video to see the compliance mechanical trackpad in action.

  • @NTT Why is my face on your comment again? Did I forget to log out on your computer or something? :S

  • NTT

    No lah.. I just didn’t log in..

  • podcampsingapore

    hey tech65!

    OMG without looking at your clarifications I might be one of those who have missed this out and indeed the new trackpad is fantabulous! However, i still didn’t like the design of the new macbook! i think the black and the slivery-white surface dont really go unlike the full black macbook..

    and thank you once again for sharing! (:

  • Hmm perhaps I haven’t configured something correctly, but it seems that with another finger on the trackpad, you can’t click (this is after half an hour playing with it so sorry if I’m wrong). So if I’m right, then the most ideal way to navigate and click is to do both with the same finger, which I think takes abit of getting used to, but will prove extremely convenient in the future as one gets familiar with it.

    Four-finger swipe Expose is a godsend btw.

Daniel Tsou is our fabulous host, who decides mostly what we talk about and basically calls the shots, Yes, he does. I, writer of this bio on Mr Tsou is very much afraid that by commiting this post to words, I will be dragged off in the night by a black Truck, or a Segway more like. Other than that, Daniel is tall, lived for a period of time in Venezuela and Spain, and is enthusiastic for all things tech.
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