How to Get the Most Out of Your Magic Trackpad

How to Get the Most Out of Your Magic Trackpad

Gregory Han
Mar 2, 2011

Unplggd blogger tryout Kevin Whipps looks ahead to OS X Lion and how to optimize how to use an Apple input peripheral. Share your comments about Kevin's post below.

When Apple announced the addition of the Magic Trackpad to their desktop lineup, the result was a resounding "meh." But now with the introduction of multitouch features in OS X Lion, it's looking more and more like a touch capable device should be paired with your Mac. Once you've got your Magic Trackpad sitting on your desktop, it's time to figure out how to optimize it to your preferences and really get the best performance for your new toy. Fortunately, that's not a very difficult process.

Start by customizing the interface itself. Go to System Preferences > Trackpad to pull up a visual display of how the Magic Trackpad works. This window shows visually how to make the many multitouch gestures the peripheral is capable of, and also provides options to customize to your exact specs. Take my Magic Trackpad, for example: I find that clicking the entire device takes a bit more force than just clicking a mouse button, making the Magic Trackpad a bit of a chore to use. Instead, I've now chosen Tap To Click, which means a quick jab on the trackpad makes my selection for me. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it helps.

Other popular options depend on personal preference. You can isolate right clicking to just the corner of the trackpad, or add three and four finger swipes to your lineup. The Magic Trackpad can be setup a myriad of different ways, making it a great device for many people, and a welcome addition for others.

The Magic Trackpad isn't for everybody, and it does take some getting used to. But in the coming months, multitouch will become the next standard form of input on the Mac, so from my perspective, it's time to get used to the new features. Plus, for $69, it's cheaper than most high-performance mice on the market. A reasonable price and getting ahead of the curve? Not too shabby.

Post and photos by Kevin Whipps

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