Apple introduced today a device called Magic Trackpad. This device is the equivalent of a MacBook’s touchpad but for a desktop computer. Apple’s Magic Mouse already allows users of desktop models to use a subset of the gestures available on the touchpad of a MacBook, but with the Magic Trackpad users will now be free to use all the gestures which are supported in the latest models of Macbooks.
The gestures that are implemented in the touchpad of Apple’s notebooks are already very close to what you have in an iPhone or iPad. This makes it easy for users to use the same gestures to accomplish similar results.
Apple put out a driver for the Trackpad through its software update today, and it adds some new functionality to the latest generations of MacBooks, allowing the user to have inertial scrolling, for example, on the notebook. Inertial scrolling is one of the great features of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad lines. Flicking your fingers up or down with different velocities you cause the target surface to move faster or slower.
If you look closely at the picture above you will notice that the design of the Magic Trackpad closely matches that of the Apple Wireless keyboard and the new device also works through a bluetooth interface and is powered by a pair of AA batteries, just like the current generation of the Apple Wireless Keyboard.
This is one more step that Apple is taking to help get its users into the habit of using touch controls and get more and more developers used to the idea that they should attempt to take advantage of multi-touch based gestures in the creation of their OS X applications.
This is one more small step on the road to the future unification of iOS 4 and OS X.