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Apple’s Beginning the War on Mice?

by Travis Harvey | July 28, 2010July 28, 2010 9:30 am PDT

Yesterday Apple unveiled new iMacs, Mac Pros, a new Cinema Display, and Magic Trackpad via the always-subtle press release. If you’re looking for the details, we’ve got you covered . The upgrades are all well and good but now Apple might be looking to phase out the mouse for something a bit more in line with their touch technology. Will it fly?

The Magic Trackpad’s one-up over the MacBook track pads is the extra 80% surface area, room for more gestures than you might find comfortable on a laptop. In both cases, Apple can add new multitouch gestures like the new three finger drag to move application windows around; a task that wasn’t all that frustrating but an improvement none-the-less. Hopefully as Apple perfects more and more gestures, we see them software updated to all Apple’s touch-capable devices. Then again, the iPad screams for whole hand gestures and we’ve yet to see anything beyond the iPhone’s capabilities.

magic trackpad

Judging from Apple’s quarterly earnings call, they’re selling a whole lot of MacBooks and they’re well aware that more and more people are transitioning away from desktop computers. The track pads found in the MacBook line are among the best in the industry and Apple wants to cater to those who’d prefer a track pad to what the mouse will eventually be referred to as dated technology. Of course this doesn’t mean the mouse is going anywhere overnight. Hundreds of millions of users know and are comfortable navigating a computer with the keyboard and mouse and I know plenty (myself included) who get things done much quicker with a mouse than track pad. There’s a certain level of precision our fingers haven’t yet achieved.

For now, the Magic Trackpad is purely for those who prefer a track pad over the mouse. That might not be a majority of their user base but if Apple’s banking on touch, it only makes sense to bring a fraction of that to the desktop. For me it’s nothing special and at a fat $69 price tag, I’ll gladly pass on this for now. Are you in the same boat? Do you see the Magic Trackpad as the first step in the elimination of the mouse? Sound off in the comments.


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