Magic Trackpad Details: Software Update Required, Clicking Feet, and a New Gesture

155046 magic trackpad desk
Apple's Magic Trackpad next to MacBook Pro (Source: MacRumors Forums)

Announced earlier today, Apple's Magic TrackPad is already making its way into the hands of reviewers and customers, and a few tidbits of interest have been coming out about the Bluetooth device.

One of the first observations made by purchasers who have been able to get their hands on the device is that it requires a software update to enable full functionality, an update that has just been posted on Apple's site in Mac OS X, Windows 64-bit, and Windows 32 -bit versions.

To use the Trackpad, you need to install a software update that Apple will release later Tuesday. The software update enables full multitouch and gesture customization, including tap-to-touch and program-launching clickzones. Even without the software update, the Trackpad works like a regular non-multitouch trackpad. While Apple geared its full suite of multitouch gestures toward Macs, the Magic Trackpad will perform in its basic functions when paired via Bluetooth to a Windows PC--we tried it.

155046 magic trackpad feet
Underside of Magic Trackpad showing clickable feet (Source: Macworld)

Macworld notes that the trackpad does support a physical click but that it is generated by two feet near the front edge of the bottom of the device rather than with a movable surface on the body of the device.

Despite the Magic Trackpad's thinness and its support for the same tap-to-click feature as MacBook trackpads, you can also click by pressing down. The trackpad surface itself doesn't depress, though--instead, when you press on the trackpad, the force from the surface it's sitting on will depress the two round feet at the trackpad's base. That's what registers a click.

Finally, Engadget reports that the Magic Trackpad comes with an optional new three-finger gesture that allows users to easily drag windows around the screen, a feature not present on trackpads integrated into Apple's current notebook computers.

There's also a new gesture, if you're keeping track -- a three-finger move that lets you drag windows around (very helpful), though you give up the functionality of being to navigate stuff like iPhoto galleries with a swipe (it's an option you can toggle in preferences -- you have a choice).

Apple's Magic Trackpad is priced at $69 and requires two AA batteries, available as part of Apple's new battery charger set also released today.

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Coming Soon With These New Features for Your iPhone

Monday February 26, 2024 6:08 am PST by
In a press release last month, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU, Apple Podcasts transcripts, and an iMessage security upgrade. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay...
applearcade

Game Developers Describe 'Smell of Death' Around Apple Arcade

Monday February 26, 2024 7:24 am PST by
Some game developers are dissatisfied with Apple Arcade amid concerns about the subscription service's future, a new report claims. Sources speaking to mobilegamer.biz described a "smell of death" around Apple's games subscription service and noted the difference between the company's investment in TV and music, and its interest in games. "At the very top of the company there needs to be a ...