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Using Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2 With Desktop Macs

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer | Posted on 09-11-2015

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Trying to use your new Magic Trackpad 2 on your Mac desktop? Well if you’re having trouble then let me be of assistance. The Magic Trackpad 2 requires you to be using a Bluetooth 4.0-enabled Mac desktop with OS X v10.11 or later. Obviously this means that not every Mac is going to be able to take advantage of this peripheral. If you’re wondering about your Mac, most made in 2012 or later and some made in 2011 should be compatible with the Magic Trackpad 2. There are a few notable exceptions, including the late 2011 MacBook Pro models and the late 2011 iMacs. There are reports that you can finagle the trackpad to work on these older devices though Apple doesn’t recommend it.

So, if your Mac is compatible then you should connect the trackpad to the Mac using the Lightning to USB cable. Once you’ve done this, switch the trackpad on and the device should automatically pair with your Mac in Bluetooth Preferences. Once you’re all setup the trackpad works similar to an iPhone, offering you a Force Touch surface that you can use to move the pointer and issue gesture-based commands. In addition to that, the trackpad is also capable of telling the difference between non-imperative hand rest positions and actual commands. You can set up gestures and even create your own optional commands by going to System Preferences > Trackpad.

If you’ve used Force Touch on the latest Apple laptops then you will already have a feel for how this trackpad works. The UI features allow you to access items while reducing the steps it takes to get there. Multitouch is also supported and there are different commands you can issue, including Click, Force Click, Two-Finger Click, Pinch-to-Zoom, and Swipe. Click allows you to press anywhere on the trackpad and utilize it like a mouse click. You can also enable “Tap to Click” in the preferences. Force Click allows you to firmly click anywhere on the trackpad until you feel a deeper click. Use this to have more contextual information about an on-screen item or to access things like word definitions or a preview on Maps. Two-Finger Click allows you to click with two fingers to open shortcut menus. Tapping with two fingers allows you to do the same thing if you have Tap-to-Click enabled. Pinch to zoom works the same as it does on the iPhone. If you swipe left or right with two fingers you will scroll through web pages, documents or iBooks.

In addition to tall of that, the trackpad also offers a lot of tools for getting around apps. If you pinching closed with four or five fingers allows you to open Launchpad to find and launch apps. Swiping left or right with three or four fingers will switch between full-screen apps, and swiping up with three fingers will gain you access to Mission Control. If you go to Help > Mac Help in the finder menu and search for “Trackpad” you can access more information about using the device.

Hopefully, this helps you get through using your trackpad on a Mac. None of these things are really complicated and it should be easy for almost anyone, even those unfamiliar with Mac devices, to jump right in and start using their new Magic Trackpad 2 right out of the box with no hassles.

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