Posts Tagged

trackpad

If your computer has a multitouch trackpad or you own an external one, you probably use two finger swipes to scroll down a page, show the Notification Center and flip through your photos. But why not put your powerful trackpad to some real use with customizable gestures?

Today we’ll be comparing three apps that build on the functionality of the multitouch trackpad and improve it: JiTouch, BetterTouchTool and MagicPrefs. Want to see which one is the best?
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Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t deny that Apple’s family of mouses (mice?) have come a long way since the dreaded Hockey Puck, and provide a dramatically different experience than almost any other mouse on the market. The entire line up of peripherals feature multi-touch gesture support, which can be modified (along with tracking behavior) quite extensively from the preference pane built in to OS X.

But why should it stop there? The mouse is the primary medium through which we interact with our computers, so it stands to reason that it should be an implement with almost limitless power. I’ve wrangled up seven great apps that extend the functionality of your mouse, whether you’re using a Magic Mouse, the external Magic Trackpad, or the built in trackpad. Heck, most of these even work with third party mice.

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Once upon a time, the Apple Mouse was just another reason for Windows PC users to hate Macs. Putting aside bizarre physical designs like the hockey puck, Macs seemed stubborn in their insistence on a primitively simple input device. When PC users were enjoying multiple buttons and even scroll wheels, we were still rolling our eyes and wondering why they needed anything more than one universal button.

When the Mighty Mouse came, many Mac users, including myself, realized that the PC folks might have been right about fancy mice. Having multiple clickable controls and a dedicated input for scrolling turned out to be a significant improvement!

Unfortunately, the scroll ball turned out to be the most frequently failing thing Apple had designed since the G4 Cube. Some users suggested rolling it on paper, others literally gave weekly toothbrush treatments to the cursed thing, just about everyone was forced to admit that it was a lousy piece of hardware.

After decades, it seems Apple has finally gotten in right. The Magic Mouse is, hands down, the best mouse I’ve ever used. Though some still complain about the shape being not ergonomic enough, I’ve used it extensively since it was first released with zero issues. Multi-touch scrolling is a dream (no ball!) and the bonus of gestures is far beyond what I could’ve hoped for in a mouse.

However, some still insist that third party tools are the way to go. Still others are content to use a trackpad 100% of the time and have absolutely no need for a mouse. The Magic Trackpad is certainly a fantastic input device and offers desktop Mac owners even more versatility and functionality than the Magic Mouse.

Today we want to know what you use for input on your Mac. Are you a purist, bent on only using Apple products or do you have a third party input device? Do you mostly use a mouse or a trackpad?

For my part, I use my Magic Mouse most of the time and my MacBook’s trackpad when I’m not at my desk. After you vote, leave a comment below telling us about your setup! Which products do you own and use?

When Apple first included the trackpads on the Macbook Pros a few years ago, we got to use some gestures in the trackpad with Snow Leopard like two-finger scrolling and going back a page with a three-finger swipe, but the full potential of the trackpad gestures was not yet exploited as much as it could’ve been.

That is, until Lion came out last week with a handful of new and very useful trackpad and Magic Mouse gestures for pretty much anything you can imagine. With all the great gestures available for trackpad users, is the Magic Mouse providing a limited experience for Lion users? Let’s compare the available gestures for each one of them.

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Your MacBook trackpad (and the back of that fancy new Magic Mouse) is a blank slate. It’s simple, sleek, and elegant. The functionality of these pieces of gadgetry has gradually improved with every release, and recent “multi touch” capability has made your trackpad far more useful.

In fact, the ability to track multiple touches and swipes isn’t really used to its full potential by default. There are plenty of applications and utilities that can really boost the functionality of your trackpad and Magic Mouse – today we’ll be looking at a selection!

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Apple’s introduction of Multi-Touch trackpads into their latest laptops was a huge step forward for notebook technology, making interacting with your Macbook far easier than ever before. One main criticism was the relatively small number of gestures available.

Although Apple did this to keep things simple for the average Mac user, the developers behind jitouch weren’t satisfied. This small utility opens up a whole new range of trackpad gestures, all of which we’ll be taking a look at today.

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