Magic Track­pad 2

Can you feel the Force Touch?

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

£109 Man­u­fac­turer Ap­ple, ap­ple.com/uk Di­men­sions 0.49-1.09x16x11.5cm Weight 231g Con­nec­tiv­ity Blue­tooth, Light­ning to USB (ca­ble in­cluded)

Of Ap­ple’s three new in­put de­vices (see page 88), this is the only one to of­fer some­thing truly new: Force Touch. It also car­ries the largest price tag, which is enough make you pause for thought.

Force Touch com­ple­ments Mul­ti­Touch with an ex­tra ges­ture: af­ter a light press to click, press­ing harder pro­vides an­other level of hap­tic feed­back and can trig­ger a dif­fer­ent con­tex­tual ac­tion. It serves as a short­cut to things such as Quick Look pre­views in Finder, an over­view of an app’s win­dows from its Dock icon, and find­ing def­i­ni­tions of the word un­der the pointer.

The down­side to Force Touch’s im­ple­men­ta­tion on the Mac is that it isn’t al­ways ob­vi­ous what it will do. This is more pro­nounced on OS X than with 3D Touch on the iPhone be­cause its hap­tic feed­back can be am­bigu­ous – you get a click from deep press­ing even when noth­ing ac­tu­ally hap­pens, whereas the iPhone gives you a buzz of re­jec­tion on places such as the Home screen. De­vel­op­ers are al­ready making use of Force Touch in apps, which com­pounds the dis­cov­ery is­sues – while also making this track­pad a more worth­while pur­chase.

Of­fi­cially, Blue­tooth 4.0 is re­quired, but the track­pad worked fine with a 2011 iMac (ei­ther over Blue­tooth 2.1 or the bun­dled ca­ble). With lim­ited test­ing time, though, we can’t say for sure how less power-ef­fi­cient forms of Blue­tooth will im­pact the quoted month-long bat­tery life. Alan Stone­bridge As Force Touch adop­tion rises (due to MacBooks), this will be­come eas­ier to jus­tify, but right now it’s a lux­ury.

New ges­ture, hap­tic feed­back

Larger, with bet­ter di­men­sions

More pleas­ant de­sign

Lim­ited ben­e­fits so far

The track­pad wisely ditches its old squar­ish shape for di­men­sions more like your Mac’s dis­play.

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