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Frequently asked questions. Apple magic trackpad 3

Review: Apple Magic Trackpad 2 outclasses any other pointing device on any OS

If you have been reading my articles for the past twelve years in English (or decades if you also read Castilian), you know that I am into quality, open usability (worldcams), clear nomenclature (non-integer framerates supported and properly expressed), good UI, proper 48 kHz audio sampling, ergonomics and health. You already know that I love high quality matte screens, proper terminology in menus and that for decades I’ve successfully evangelized the unique advantages of physical Spanish ISO keyboards worldwide, even for those users who only type in English or other non-Hispanic language(s) of which there are now six official ones (excluding unofficial ones). At times, Apple has been poor in some of those key areas, but in others Apple has excelled without due credit. I have previously applauded Apple for being the only mainstream computer manufacturer to openly offer open sale of all of its Spanish ISO keyboards even in the United States (the number 2 Castilian-speaking country in our planet), both external keyboards and the inboard ones available in built-to-order MacBook laptops. Another area where Apple doesn’t get enough credit is with its amazing yet under-promoted Magic Trackpad 2. In this review article, in addition to praising the Magic Trackpad 2’s unparalleled smooth operation, I’ll dispel myths about its connectivity and its multiplatform compatibility, all in a very positive way.

My journey from mouse… to trackball… to trackpad

The first computer to arrive to my family when I was in my early college years was the original 128k Macintosh.

That prehistoric beast came with a single-button wired mouse which connected vie the now defunct ADB (Apple Desktop Bus), which was a a proprietary serial peripheral bus that connected low-speed devices to computers.

From there, I moved to a Logitech trackball (shown above, the only form factor I ever liked in an external trackball). I loved the jump from mouse to trackball:

  • To save space on the desk.
  • To avoid having to pick up the mouse and bring it back to the initial position to continue navigating.
  • It’s more ergonomic according to many.
frequently, asked, questions, apple, magic

But then gestures on trackpads changed everything, both in general computing and when editing audio and video. These are the first category:

Below are some that work in FCP X and other editors:

Above, Josh Petok goes over more gestures that can be added for DaVinci Resolve using a shareware app called BetterTouchTool.

Major differences between the original Magic Trackpad (1) and the current Magic Trackpad 2

The original Magic Trackpad (1) is no longer available from Apple, but there are second-hand units available from online sources like eBay.

The original Magic Trackpad (1) is wireless-only (Bluetooth) and works only with internal AA batteries, which can be disposable or rechargeable. The original Magic Trackpad (1) has a physical click mechanism inside, which means that it works without any driver on practically any platform. The biggest annoyance of the original one (which I used for many years until recently acquiring the Magic Trackpad 2) is the frequent need to change batteries.

On the other hand, the current Magic Trackpad 2 is larger, can operate wired (LightningUSB) or wireless (Bluetooth). It has single internal battery which is not officially user-replaceable. Although my friends who own the Magic Trackpad 2 always using it wirelessly, the best reliability can be achieved with the wired connection, so that’s how I’m using it. Apple says that the internal battery will last about a month before recharging. Those who want to minimize their EMF exposure may prefer the wired connection too. The Magic Trackpad 2 feels like it has a physical click mechanism (similar to the original one) but it does not. Instead, the Magic Trackpad 2 has haptic feedback via Apple’s built-in Taptic Engine.

Haptic feedback

Per Gabriel Robles-De-La-Torre. International Society for Haptics: Haptic technology, an animated explanation. haptic technology (aka kinaesthetic communication or 3D touch) refers to any technology that can create an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. That’s why it feels like the Magic Trackpad 2 has a physical click. However, you will feel absolutely nothing at all when trying to click when completely disconnected… or connected to a computer platform which lacks drivers for the Magic Trackpad 2. In the case of the macOS, there is built-in support since version 10.11 (El Capitán, where Apple sadly neglected to include the accent mark) and up to the current Catalina 10.15.x. Presumably, this will continue with the successor of Catalina (10.16), which should be announced on June 22nd, 2020 at WWDC. Ahead in this article, I’ll cover available driver support for the Magic Trackpad 2 in ChromeOS (Chromebook), iOS/iPadOS, Linux and Windows 10 LTSC.

Force Touch technology

The Magic Trackpad 2 also incorporates Force Touch technology to allow distinguishing various levels of force being applied, via pressure sensors. Apple first unveiled its Force Touch technology during the introduction of the first Apple Watch in 2014, fifteen months before the launch of the Magic Trackpad 2 in 2015.

Magic Trackpad 2 with ChromeOS (Chromebook) and Linux

It might surprise you, but today there is direct support for the Magic Trackpad 2 in ChromeOS because thankfully, Google contributed patches to the Linux kernel for Magic Trackpad 2 support included in version 4.20 released in 2018. My friend George Par has been using a Magic Trackpad 2 with his Chromebook for many months,

the same model I reviewed in 2018 (illustrated above). That model fortunately features an IPS matte screen.

Above, Robby Payne of Chrome unboxed demonstrates how well the Magic Trackpad works with ChromeOS.

Magic Trackpad 2 with iOS/iPadOS

As I covered previously, full support for trackpads arrived to iOS/iPadOS version 13.4. This superseded the haphazard trackpad support which arrived under accessibility settings with the first version of iOS 13 and iPadOS in 2019.

Magic Trackpad 2 with Windows 10 (LTSC)

There are many different ways to accomplish it. Here is my favorite one so far:

Above, J Tech Workshop demonstrates the method using Windows Precision Drivers. Here is the link to download the free driver he mentions in the video. I actually prefer to connect the Magic Trackpad 2 wired (as opposed to wireless), so I am happy with this method. The video also compares the gestures with this method on Windows versus the native macOS gestures.

I followed this with my Windows 10 LTSC and it worked perfectly as described. Although I mainly work with macOS, I am becoming more aware of the possibilities that exist with Windows 10 LTSC.

As I have covered previously, I prefer Windows 10 LTSC over Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home since Windows 10 LTSC comes with about 5GB less bloatware compared to Pro. See my article Windows 10 LTSC: better for production sanity than Home or Pro (illustrated above) for more information.

Still image credits for this article

The image of the 128k Macintosh is courtesy of Fresh On The Net, Some Rights Reserved. The gesture images are courtesy of Apple.

Conclusions

As I stated in the title, the Apple Magic Trackpad 2 outclasses any other pointing device on any OS. That includes your Chromebook, iOS/iPadOS, Linux, Windows 10 LTSC computer and iPad (Pro) in addition to macOS. In my experience as I work, the Magic Trackpad 2 becomes an extension of my brain. I prefer the Magic Trackpad 2 over a touch interface. Some things are worth the price, even as an accessory for an inexpensive Chromebook, as my friend George discovered. The Magic Pro 2 is available directly from Apple in two different colors: Space Grey (almost black) for ≈US149 or Silver for ≈US120.

frequently, asked, questions, apple, magic

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FTC disclosure

Allan Tépper purchased the Magic Trackpad 2 with his own funds for his own work and for this review. No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations, including Apple many years ago. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units, including HP and Logitech, but not Apple. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur. BeyondPodcasting CapicúaFM or TuRadioGlobal programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own. Allan Tépper is not liable for misuse or misunderstanding of information he shares.

Copyright and use of this article

The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!

Frequently asked questions

In short No. If there would be one we would support it.

  • In 2011 Apple released the first external trackpad with 2xAA batteries, they named it the Magic Trackpad.
  • In 2015 Apple released a much improved rechargeable trackpad, they named it the Magic Trackpad 2.
  • In 2021 Apple released a Magic Trackpad with rounder corners, this is sometimes referred as “Magic Trackpad 3″ but that’s misleading, in fact Apple simply named it Magic Trackpad only. Technically it is the very same as the “Magic Trackpad 2”.

The same is true for any color variants, they are technically a “Magic Trackpad 2”.

Apple ColorYearMac modelSurface colorBody colorRemarks
Silver 2015 White Silver
Space Gray 2018 iMac Pro Space Gray Space Gray
Space Gray Silver 2019 Mac Pro Space Gray Silver We call it “Space Silver”
Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, Orange, Purple 2021 iMac White iMac colors Rounder corners
Black 2022 Mac Studio Black Silver Rounder corners

How to ignore thumb touches?

By default the entire surface area of the Magic Trackpad is touch sensitive and every touch is processed.

But some people like to rest their thumb on the trackpad surface which generates unwanted touches.

To ignore these thumb touches simply enable the button area.

Is the internal trackpad of a MacBook supported?

No, we support only the external Magic Trackpads.

Touch device FAQs

Is there a pinch zoom gesture?

No, we currently do not support the pinch zoom gesture:

Hold the Ctrl key and scroll vertically to zoom on Windows,(note this is not a smooth zoom, it steps by 10%).

While Windows touchscreens do support smooth pinch zoom, it’s not available via the classic mouse interfaces.

We are still evaluating the best way on how to initiate a real Windows zoom gesture.

License related FAQs

How does the trial version work?

We offer a 28 day trial period to test the Magic Utilities.

There is only one general trial period for all software components (keyboard, mouse, and trackpad). This means:

  • When the trial period starts, it automatically begins for all Magic Utilities components, installed or not.

I already tried the Magic Utilities, how can I try my new Magic device?

If you don’t have a license, contact us for a trial extension.

I already have a license, how can I try my new Magic device?

You need to contact us. We’ll send you an updated license which includes a new trial period.

How does a license work (license terms)?

A license is locked to the provided device serial numbers and is valid for the selected period (1 or 2 years) from date of purchase or (in case of a renewal) when a previous license ends. This means:

  • A license is only valid for these devices. You can’t use other keyboards, mice or trackpads.
  • A license is portable. It can be used on any compatible Windows computer as long as you use the same devices.
  • If a license expires all features provided by version 3 stop working until you renew your license.

What happens if my device has been replaced because of a repair?

You need to contact us. We will update your current license with the new device serial numbers. The expiry date will not change.

I already have a license, how can I try my new Magic device?

You need to contact us. We’ll send you an updated license which includes a new trial period.

Apple Magic Trackpad 2 vs Logitech MX Master 3 | Choose the right one!

Is a license a subscription?

Yes, but there is an important difference to common subscriptions.Even a license expires eventually after one or two years, it does not renew automatically.

If you liked the Magic Utilities, you buy another license.If you don’t use it anymore, you do not pay any accidental fees a year or two later.

The Magic Utilities will give you a license expiry reminder, so you don’t need to “manage” anything other than renewing your license.

Are the remaining days kept when renewing a license?

Yes, you can renew early. Your new license will contain the remaining days from your current license.

Can I buy a permanent license?

No, we offer only one and two-year licenses. We are aware that some people do not like this, but without the subscription model, the Magic Utilities 3 would not exist. It’s that simple.

As you can imagine we operate in a tiny niche market. What looks like magic for you. Install it with five clicks and it works. is pretty complicated and is still a vast amount of work which is only sustainable with a subscription model.

On a two year license, the cost per month per device is about 1 US dollar. We think this is a fair price.

Why is my device serial number different from the printed number?

For practical reasons we use the unique Bluetooth address to license your device and not the printed serial number at the bottom of the device.

frequently, asked, questions, apple, magic

How do I upgrade?

  • Connect all your Magic devices with USB cable or Bluetooth with your computer.
  • Install and runall related Magic Utilities version 3 for your devices.
  • Make sure all your version 1 and 2 licenses are activated on the computer where version 3 is running,There is no need to install the version 1 and 2 applications.
  • In one Magic Utility click the Buy now button to start the wizard.Your existing licenses will be detected and your upgrade discounts will be applied on the payment web page.
  • Your previous licenses (version 1 or 2) remain valid. Keep in mind that you can upgrade only once per previous license.

We are here to help. If you face any problems contact us.

Payment related FAQs

Are there any non-profit, educational, disability, pension, veteran or other discounts?

No, we don’t offer any additional non-profit, educational, disability, pension, veteran or other discounts.

All available discounts are listed on our pricing page.

On a two year license, the cost per month per device is about 1 US dollar. We think this is a fair price.

How do I get a quote or invoice?

You get a “live quote” on our payment website if you press the Buy now button in the Magic Utilities application.

You get an invoice after a successful payment. We do not offer an invoice before the payment.

To our Ge rm an friends: “Wir bieten keine Bezahlung auf Rechnung an.”

Where do I enter my address and VAT number?

  • Press the Pay now button on the payment web page.
  • In the payment popup click Continue.
  • At the left click on Add VAT or similar named link.There you can enter your address and VAT number.

In case you missed this step, you can enter your address and VAT number later.

How is a payment processed?

The payment process is conducted by our online reseller. who is the Merchant of Record for our orders. provides all customer inquiries regarding payments. In case you press the Pay now button you are redirect to.com, which has their own terms and privacy policy.

Why shall I use a private email address?

If you buy a license or contacting us, it’s really easier for both sides to use a private email address like GMail, Yahoo, Hotmail, @me.

Company mail servers and firewalls have very strict filtering systems for SPAM and Malware. They block any suspicious email without notifying the sender. That’s why we send two emails, one notification email and one which contains the license.

But it still happens often that someone buys a license from a company email account but never gets any of our emails. They start complaining, we answer, but they don’t get our answer. This all takes time (and work) and can be frustrating for both sides.

General FAQs

Why is the app only 32bit even my Windows is 64bit?

Windows 64bit can execute 32bit and 64bit applications. A 64bit version is usually only required if more than 4 GB memory (RAM) are required. As our apps requires less than 20 MB memory we provide only a 32bit version to keep the download size of the setup installer small.

However, our drivers (which do the actual magic) are 64bit on Windows 64bit installations.

Can I wake up my computer via Bluetooth connection?

Waking up a computer via a Bluetooth connection is beyond our control. It’s technically not possible on most Windows computers.

  • In general, it’s not possible for hibernation since the computer is physically turned off.
  • For computers in sleep state it only possible on machines which support Modern Standby. which are usually modern laptops. But these computers don’t really sleep, low idle is a better description as they are still turned on (and can remotely wake up accidentally, for example in a backpack).

Why is my device not working after I restarted from macOS?

It’s a well-known issue on Apple Mac computers. In theory you can’t keep the same Magic Trackpad working on two operating systems, even it’s the same Magic Trackpad, the same Bluetooth adapter on the same computer. That’s because both operating systems use a different random token (kind of password) to encrypt the Bluetooth connection.

Bluetooth BIOS pairing

However, some Apple Mac computers seem to store the Bluetooth pairing information in the BIOS, so the paring can be shared between macOS and Windows.

But this seems only to work if you always shut down your Apple Mac computer before you boot to a different operating system, so do not restart the computer.

If you only restart your computer (without shut down) your Magic Trackpad might basically work but will not be detected by the Magic Utilities as it is seen only as a HID device and not as a Bluetooth device, hence our driver can’t load.

First things first

Before you try anything else:

Workaround 1

In case your Magic Trackpad still doesn’t work on Windows try this:

  • Boot to macOS
  • Now shut down your computer (do not restart).
  • Turn your Mac computer on and boot to Windows.

Workaround 2

  • In Windows remove your Magic Trackpad in Windows 10 Settings Devices.
  • Shut down your computer.
  • Boot to macOS.
  • In System Preferences Bluetooth, remove your paired Magic Trackpad.
  • Shut down your computer
  • Boot to Windows
  • Pair your Magic Trackpad again as Bluetooth device.

Note: You can use the 2nd generation Magic Trackpad with the USB cable on one or both operating systems. USB connections always work after changing the operating system.

Is Windows on ARM supported?

No. Even technically possible, for some reasons we do not support Windows running on ARM processors, like the Microsoft Surface X or the Samsung Galaxy Book S. Only x86 and x64 processors are currently supported by the Magic Utilities.

We might consider to support the ARM architecture if ARM on Windows becomes more popular. For example if Apple supports native Windows via BootCamp on their Mac computers with Apple Silicon processors.

Where are the social media links?

We don’t use social media like. Instagram or to protect your and our privacy.

Our privacy policy is available on the contact page.

You can follow us on our News page (which has an RSS feed) or by using auto-update in the Magic Utilities application.

Where is the Installation directory located?

All Magic Utilities automatically install to location defined in the “ProgramFiles(x86)” environment variable.On English language systems this usually is:

“C:\Program Files (x86)\MagicUtilities\” on Windows 64bit.

“C:\Program Files\MagicUtilities\” on Windows 32bit.

Starting the application from a directory outside of the “Program Files” directory would limit the functionality in some cases. This has a very technical reason and is enforced by Microsoft.

That’s why the installer doesn’t offer to choose the installation directory.

Copyright © 2023 Magic Utilities Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved. This site is independent and not related to Apple Inc.

Magic Mouse vs Magic Trackpad: Which should you buy?

With a large, nearly flat surface, the Magic Trackpad makes it incredibly easy to navigate your Mac’s system with more gesture versatility. Use Force Touch to access Look Up for additional information.

For

  • Larger surface
  • Force Touch support
  • Low profile design
  • Comfortable clicking

Against

Stationary hand

The Magic Mouse 2, which comes with every iMac, is perfectly suited to macOS. The multi-touch gestures make it ideal for quick pointer actions and the Mac’s specific side-swiping features.

For

  • Small footprint
  • Free with Mac desktop
  • Multi-touch surface
  • Apple aesthetic

Against

Both of Apple’s branded computer navigation devices feature multi-touch gesture support. Both move the pointer around on your Mac, allow you to swipe up, down, left, and right, and have customizable settings to perfect your personal experience. The Magic Mouse is better for small spaces, while the Magic Trackpad is better for full gesture movement.

Magic Mouse vs. Magic Trackpad: What are the differences?

The most obvious difference between the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad is. well. one is a mouse, and the other is a trackpad. With the mouse, you rest your hand on the curved surface and move your arm around to move the pointer up, down, to the left, and to the right. With the Magic Trackpad, you move the pointer around by swiping with one finger on the surface.

When considering which pointer peripheral you should have for your computing needs, think about how much space you have. Do you have room for a trackpad that is about 6 inches wide by 4.5 inches deep? If not, the Magic Mouse is better. Do you suffer from finger cramping when using a mouse, especially the pinky finger? A trackpad solves that stationary finger issue.

Battery lifeChargingUse while chargingMulti-touchForce Touch supportWeightWirelessBluetooth
2 months 1 month
Lightning Lightning
No Yes
Yes Yes
No Yes
3.52 Ounces 8.16 Ounces
Yes Yes
Yes Yes

Magic Mouse vs. Magic Trackpad: Arm saving vs. space saving

If your desktop has room for a trackpad measuring about 6 x 4.5 inches, I highly recommend the Magic Trackpad. Personally, I find it the be more comfortable from an ergonomic standpoint. You don’t keep your hand resting in the same place for long periods like you do on a mouse, which is overall better on your hands unless you’re specifically using an ergonomic mouse. You don’t have to move your whole arm around to move the pointer. With a mouse, your desk’s surface (or a mouse pad) is what you use to move around on the screen. With a trackpad, your finger does the walking.

If you’re limited by space, the Magic Trackpad may be too big for you if your desktop area is small. Sure, you need space to move the Magic Mouse around on, but there’s a level of flexibility that doesn’t exist with the Magic Trackpad. If you’re using the Magic Keyboard with Number Pad, for example, on a keyboard tray, there may not be enough room on that tray for the keyboard and trackpad, but you could make it work with a mouse.

Plus, the Magic Mouse is more portable. You can lift it with the same hand you navigate, move it to a different surface, and continue clicking without missing a beat. You can shove it in your back and take it with you on the go. The Magic Trackpad is a little too big to lift with one hand easily, and it definitely doesn’t fit in your back

Magic Mouse vs. Magic Trackpad: Gestures vs. Force Touch

The Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad support almost all of the same gestures, like swiping between pages and full apps, scrolling with one finger, and double-tapping to access Mission Control.

The Magic Trackpad, however, has a couple more cool gestures, like pinch-to-zoom and image rotating.

The Magic Trackpad also supports Force Touch, which is sort of like 3D Touch on an iPhone. You click on the trackpad surface and then press down. You’ll feel a second sort of click when it’s been triggered.

Force Touch only accesses Quick Look and Look Up, which are nice additions but not overly helpful on Mac. Again, like 3D Touch on the Home screen, it’s nice, but not anything that totally changes the way you use your Mac.

Magic Mouse vs. Magic Trackpad: Price

If you’re buying a desktop Mac, and price matters the most, the Magic Mouse is a no-brainer. It comes with every Mac desktop. A Magic Trackpad will cost an additional 50. If you want both the Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse, you’ll pay a total of 129 for both. That’s if you’re buying a new Mac desktop.

If you’re buying a Mac laptop or already have a desktop, the price of both goes up, but the Magic Trackpad is still more expensive than the Magic Mouse, and getting either in Space Gray will set you back an additional 20.

If your wallet is thin and saving money is your top priority, the Magic Mouse is the better priced of the two, especially if you’re buying a Mac desktop because the price is zero extra dollars.

Magic Mouse vs. Magic Trackpad: Charging while working

With the Magic Mouse 2, Apple did this unusual thing and put the charging port on the bottom. This was likely the only place they could put the port and still keep the iconic low-profile design. It is, however, inconvenient, at best.

You can’t use the Magic Mouse 2 while it’s charging. You have to wait at least 15 minutes for it to juice up enough for you to finish your current project, and then you can plug it in for the night.

On the other hand, the Magic Trackpad can still be used while charging, so you never lose productivity while in the middle of something important.

Magic Mouse vs. Magic Trackpad: Bottom line

The Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad are ideal on Mac because they support certain gestures that no other mouse or trackpad support. Either one is going to make you happy.

ERGO FAILURE! Apple Magic Trackpad 3, reasons NOT to buy. Save hand and wrist pain!

If I were to recommend one over the other, however, I prefer the Magic Trackpad. I have both and use them both interchangeably at my desk. I find the Magic Trackpad to be more comfortable, and the pinch-to-zoom gesture works with my personal workflow.

Magic Trackpad Gestures, Tips, Tricks

It is no secret, Apple believes in touch interfaces. It is almost as if they were inspired by the computer interfaces shown in the movie Minority Report in 2002. Since the success of their iPhone touch interface Apple has introduced more and more touch devices. They’ve improved gesture techniques and options on their notebook computers and most recently the Magic Trackpad. There are a number of Magic Trackpad Gestures available to help you increase your productivity.

The trackpad of course is believed by Apple to be a viable replacement for the mouse interface. The Magic Trackpad is part of Apple’s long term plan to move users to an operating system that combines the best features and functionalities of iOS and MacOS.

Apple doesn’t seem to be helping their case either. Unlike most Apple products, the installation process for the Magic Trackpad was a bit more complicated. But I must admit that once you have the device installed it is a delight to use. It combines the easy to use trackpad of the Apple Notebooks with a larger surface area that makes it easy to use on the large screen iMacs. As always, the features of the Magic Trackpad is what makes it a great device and what makes it a critical part of the long term Apple strategy.

Magic Trackpad Gestures

The Magic Trackpad’s Gestures are designed to make it easier to interact with files and applications that you’re working with. Depending on your version of MacOS trackpad may support as many as 19 gestures.

Below are a number of Track Pad Gestures you can use with Apple’s Magic Trackpad or the Trackpad found on your MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or other Apple trackpad. You can control the settings and make customizations to each of the Magic Trackpad gestures under System Preferences Trackpad.

Point Click Trackpad Gestures

  • Point – This gesture is what allows users to navigate around their desktop.
  • Click. or Tap to Click – The gesture allows you to select or interact with an object on your screen
  • Double Click – Some applications require additional input from the user for interaction. Tapping twice on the Magic Trackpad acts as a double click on the mouse
  • Look up data detectors – This force click with one finger allows you to look up the mean of words or specific data.
  • Right Click or Secondary Click – It has been years since Apple only supported 1 button mouse input, but many still believe that “right click” doesn’t exist in the Mac environment. To Right Click on the Magic Trackpad tap the screen with two fingers at once
  • Click Drag – To click and drag a window or object around your desktop, tap and hold the trackpad and slide your finger around the pad to drag it around the screen
  • Silent Clicking – enable this feature so that no noise is made when you click on your magic trackpad.

Scroll Zoom Trackpad Gestures

  • Two Finger Scroll – One of my favorite features of Apple’s trackpad. To scroll up and down a browser window, through files in Finder or other areas, touch the trackpad with two fingers and slide them up and down, left and right
  • Scroll Direction: Natural – scrolling with two fingers pushes content the way your fingers move.
  • Rotate – To rotate an image clockwise or counter-clockwise, simple tap two fingers on the trackpad and twist them like you were hands moving on a clock.
  • Zoom in or Out – To zoom into or out from an image or object, touch the fingers to a trackpad and either pinch or spread your fingers in an application that supports the input
  • Screen Zoom or Smart Zoom – To zoom into a part of your screen, press control and then slide up or down with two fingers on the trackpad
  • Rotate – With two fingers (one at the bottom of the trackpad and the other at the top) rotate your fingers to the left or right to rotate the selected object that direction. Great for photo editing.

Gestures

  • Swipe between pages – Some applications like Safari and iPhoto allow you to quickly jump to the previous page or image. Touch two fingers to the trackpad and swipe left or right. Note: in options you can change this gesture to use three fingers.
  • Switch Applications – To switch between open applications, touch four fingers to the trackpad and swipe left or right
  • Notification Center – swipe left from the right edge with two fingers
  • Mission Control – swipe up with three fingers
  • Launchpad – ping with thumb and three fingers
  • App Expose – To enable the expose feature of OS X on your Magic Trackpad, touch three fingers to the trackpad and swipe up and down. This may have to be activated on your Mac

The features are a great start for a touch interface interaction with OS X. It will be great to see what other gestures Apple or other developers will be able to come up with for the Magic Trackpad.

My gaming mouse died. Then, I used the Apple Magic Trackpad on Windows.

April 24th, nighttime. A supposedly peaceful Sunday after-dinner gaming session went haywire as one of the inputs on my Razer Viper Mini isn’t functioning as intended. At first, it wasn’t registering any right clicks no matter how many times I gave it a thorough push, soft and hard. The first thing for me to verify whether it is completely dead is going for a mouse test. And I did.

But the result is still what I expected. Left-click? Check. Scroll up? Check. Scroll down? Check. Right-click? Dead.

To give it another go, I rebinded one of the side buttons to be the right-click to make sure that it is not the logic nor the software screwing my mouse up, and indeed, it works via a macro. So the problem is the actual right-click button after all. Pronouncing my mouse’s sudden stroke as an actual fact, I left it connected to my PC and proceed to game with my trusty DualShock 4.

Hey it’s ya boy, your mouse

While playing Blue Reflection: Second Light – a game that supports both controller and the usual keyboard/mouse combo, things started to get weird when I paused within the Status page to read notifications on the phone. The game just quits the status page and right back into the game without me doing anything.

After several minutes of trial and error, I found out that “right-click” is essentially the “back” button in this game. And the moment I go back to the “status” menu, it quits me out immediately.

Yes, not only my mouse is having a stroke and presumably having a half-dead body, but it is also going into hyperdrive by sending microsecond intervals of right-click commands to my PC. Why microseconds, you ask? Because modern game changes the button layout based on what input you’re currently using and the game just flickers between the ABXY and keyboard/mouse indicators faster than I can imagine.

With no backup mouse at my disposal and no ways to stop the swapping state between a semi-paralyzed digital “critter” and a tri-headed snake brand vermin that just keeps jolting around and ruins my gaming experience, I have no choice but cut the power.

Sleep tight and thanks for your 2-year service.

Turn of the Tide

After securing a stock mouse unit from the office, an idea struck me. Why not try to be edgy for once and go for less mainstream input items like what I did with my keyboard Keychron K3?

For one, mice are definitely out of the question. For two, drawing boards are either used by actual digital artists or rhythm gamers that just want to up score their Osu Standard records, and certainly, I’m neither of those people.

Then, the bulb lighted as I reminded myself of the mouse replacement that was revolutionary back when laptops came down – the trackpad.

Funnily enough, I actually worked backways as to using something designed for mobile devices in a desktop setting and with how terrible touchpads can be in laptops (it was not until recent years that selected premium-class ultrabooks started to get fitted with a decent one, let alone their price), I decided to scour for one.

Google it before you ask somebody a question

Keying in “best trackpad 2022” and hitting the “enter” key resulted in my face getting bombarded with “top 10” lists curated for people who seek the same thing as me. Among those lists consists super high-grade stuff over the RM1000 mark and also budget 2-in-1 packages combining touch and keystrokes for absolute value. However, only 2 products really caught my attention and my drift – The Jelly Comb Trackpad and the Apple Magic Trackpad 2.

Being a native Windows user since Windows 98, of course, the Microsoft-centric touchpad is my first reference point for the category. Sporting a clean silver-colored rectangular shape, its market position is basically aimed at those that want a Windows version of the Magic Trackpad by Apple.

With no wireless capability as it relies on a USB connection, at least it is plug and play and requires no additional driver installation. After taking a good look at its RM400 price point, at that time, the reason that is stopping me from doing more research or straight placing an order for it is Jelly Comb products, especially the premium items, have little to no presence in Malaysia.

Right after that, I checked out the cream of the crop, king of touchpad crowned by mass reviewers around the Internet – the Apple Magic Trackpad 2. Needless to say, at least in my experience, Apple products are long-lasting enough to justify their price (Most of the time) and with a price tag of RM489, I’m actually planning to get it.

That is until one of my co-workers who owned the Magic Trackpad 2 is interested in getting some perspective on how well Apple stuff performs on Windows machines, so I got his for a couple of weeks, and here’s what I’ve experienced.

Setting up the Magic Trackpad 2

Anyone that is tech-savvy enough in 2022 might have already known that despite being one of the richest companies in the world, the Apple ecosystem is completely close-sourced and its own products only work within that circle of theirs, at least officially. So in order to get the Magic Trackpad 2 to work on Windows 10, fellow Github user “imbushuo” wrote a simple driver based on the Windows Precision Touchpad Driver where you can install it first and then connect the device afterward.

The installation is dang easy too. After unpacking the ZIP file, you get these files and all you need to do is Right-Click the AmtPtpDevice.inf file and click Install. Let the wizard go through everything, hit the OK button and it is ready to go. Next, either connect the Magic Trackpad 2 via a USB-C to Lightning cable or via Bluetooth, the system should immediately recognize it by now.

Setting Exploration and Customization

Assuming everything went the correct way, the Devices panel should have the Touchpad selection now and inside it, you can find all the usual options like what you would dig up in a Windows 10 laptop. We’ll touch on the reasons behind some of the selections I’ve made later.

The scroll and zoom function is on by default and I definitely appreciate that too. In case you’re a Standard instead of the Inverted where most touchscreen devices these day utilizes, you can change that at the Scrolling Direction too. The best thing about it is the Three and Four finger gestures, specifically the Taps customization that allows me to play or pause an ongoing YouTube video without going for the media keys on my keyboard. Neat!

With all the setup done, let’s talk about my struggles of getting along with the flat guy as a dedicated writer.

FPS with controller Trackpad for working

My daily job starts off with checking my email and picking those that are relevant and deleting those that are just straight-up spam or phishing. And boy, the frustration immediately got to me due to the cursor speed being set to 8 for a quick navigation profile to mimic back my high DPI mouse settings but it just backfired as I spend 3 seconds ticking an email and another second deleting it. Therefore, the inability to micro-manage via a trackpad is definitely a disadvantage for someone that prefers little movements returning large motion feedback.

Not only do you need to be precise on your horizontal movement, but the vertical axis is also a big factor in ensuring a vital trackpad experience. In my case, the 1-tap and 2-tap gestures have to be straight up and down because the Magic Trackpad 2 apparently just doesn’t have any tolerance for style. No jitters, no unnecessary flicks, no fun allowed. Failed to comply with that and you’ll end up moving your cursor and not getting your clicks in.

And don’t even get me started on using it within Photoshop with all the clicking and dragging you need to perform but I don’t really feel frustrated not because it doesn’t respond as I expected but rather the inefficiency of getting my job done compared to an actual mouse.

Lastly, don’t get anything, I mean, literally anything onto the surface of the Magic Trackpad 2 running the High/Most Sensitive profile or suffer through a million registers of swipes, gestures, and possibly clicks within seconds.

Not every day is a bad day

If complaints are the only thing that I could think of after running the trackpad as my mouse replacement for a week, laptop manufacturers and the rest of the trackpad industry would be crying. But instead, I did find some quirky or fun experiences to share with.

For starters, while browsing stuff in a web browser (particularly Chrome, I didn’t use anything aside from that), you can instantly gain access to the Zoom function with a two-finger gesture with opposite movement, page back by swiping left and page forward by swiping right. This actually saved some time and hassle when navigating through multiple layers of tabs.

Additionally, if you really want some quick left-click, you can do a 1-finger tap in quick succession with 2 different fingers like the index and middle combo, just as long as you register each tap clearly.

If you really want to drag stuff like Windows and files around, I recommend that you use your thumb to physically actuate the down click of the trackpad and use another finger to drag and depending on the direction, indexmiddle for left and middlering for right – just some natural gesture that I and maybe you could come across easily.

By the way, if you’re wondering in terms of scrolling through webpages both horizontally and vertically, the trackpad wins. No doubt. But not until you pit it against the infamous Interstellar Mouse.

Yes, not every day is a bad day, except the day the battery died

Although a full charge could hold the Magic Trackpad 2 for up to approximately one month of uptime, by the time I got it the third day it just stopped responding. Plugging the USB-C to Lightning cable easily solves that problem and it quickly boots back up in a matter of seconds. And props to the guys working on that custom driver, you can use the Magic Trackpad 2 via wired connection, and thanks to it being wired, it is way more responsive and provides a more compelling overall experience.

Provided that you don’t mind a setup with more cables around, you can keep the trackpad connected as you probably don’t have the need to constantly reposition it. But if you do really strive for a wireless setup, the Magic Trackpad 2 will get fully juiced in about 10 to 12 hours. I gave mine a good old half-a-day treatment and it is as good as new.

And disclaimer, while I use a 3rd party USB-C to Lightning cable by Ugreen, it still has the MFi certification which guarantees compatibility with any associated Apple product in terms of power and data lines. If you don’t mind paying the Apple tax, go for an official one.

Trackpad Life – Good or Bad?

To sum things up, I’ve experienced both scales of the spectrum and it is within the condition that it is the Apple Magic Trackpad 2 provided such an environment, options, and feedback on Windows 10 that honestly, I don’t mind those “bad points” within a casual setting like when I’m not working.

Therefore, if your job doesn’t involve lots of clicking and dragging like photo editing (or anything that requires lots of precise clicks like video editing) – you’re not Hyper-competitive in your job plus you’re not time-constrained to do your tasks, it is actually quite fun to use a trackpad over a mouse since it eliminates the plaguing posture of holding a mouse for a long time. And you can get some really fancy accessibility functions right at your fingertips. Also, you get to look very classy while doing it.

For me, I’d still go back to the mouse definitely for the daily job and perhaps bringing out the white, flat boy when my internal edgy spirit is calling me once again.

Author

Goltilar

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