Apple’s Multi-touch Trackpad – Quiet Yet Powerful Feature – James Meléndez

Apple’s Multi-touch Trackpad as featured on the MacBook and MacBookPro series is one of my favorite tools that has given immeasurable advantage of use in my daily computing. From my previous MacBooks sans Multi-touch Trackpad to my current configuration the experience has gone from good to very great.

While there are many great features that make a MacBook stand apart from any other non-Mac notebook and some of those are features that are so sleek and sexy that create plenty of crowd pleasing coos like the back-let keyboard, graphics capabilities, aluminum construction and an easy of use that makes initial impressions strong. While new software, think profile, better processors are also essential so are the inputs—each day we are painting content with our words—and that fundamental input is still with us today-that hasn’t changed too terribly much until now. The latest innovation of the Multi-touch Track Pad is not necessarily about inputting text but it is about a fundamental way of navigation.

Navigation is key and without a better technology we would be using a click pad and buttons to execute the most benign movements—loud click, simple movement. This Multi-Touch technology and it may seem to be a small feature is where computing should have been all along. I recently saw someone using their MacBookPro and they were clicking each function—it looked arduous and I pointed out some of the features and how it can make her computing experience a bit quicker and less distracting. For me it is elegant to use this Trackpad as I might a music instrument. The responsiveness is elegant.

Some features I find exceptional:

• I no longer need to click for web surfing or to view a drop down menu. It is an easy and sensitive response. I like that I can select text and do so without feeling like I am using an arcade game—it seemed to be a bigger task than it never needed to be. Beautiful responsivity—it is one of those things that you might ask—why wasn’t this done sooner?
• Two finger swipe scrolls up, down, left and right—works intuitively
• Three finger swipe helps to move from one action to the next or photo one to the next (wish there were more functionality with the three finger swipe)
• The four action is very handy and I use often. On the fourth finger usage each direction
o Four finger up – allows you to glance at desktop
o Four fingers down – allows you to see each window
o Four fingers left / right – go from one document to the next with ease.

Best of all the finger swiping function becomes part of your cognitive map—I no longer think about it but just complete it on the fly. The Multi-touch Trackpad is a quiet hero and it helps to build the brand identity that has made Apple so successful. Other notebook computer producers might have a check list of features and once complete their job is done; but Apple is a brand about a great and constant attention to detail—not just a check list item that when once complete is forgotten about. This one features rolls up into a succession of great features and functions. This has helped me to become even more productive. A great feature in my MacBookPro and Apple’s continuous and cumulative innovations leaves a great sense of satisfaction for the user. And this user is quite satisified.


© 2010 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez – All Rights Reserved.

James the Tech Guy is also James the Wine Guy. He is on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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