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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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Apple’s Standalone Peripherals Are Getting Upgraded

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories | Posted on 22-10-2015

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A massive update is in store for the standalone products offered by Apple. This includes the company’s keyboard, mouse and trackpad, with ways of making each device a lot better than they used to be. One of the key changes coming to all the devices is the fact that they are all ditching their AA battery requirements in favor of built-in batteries that charge via Lightning cable. These new batteries are expected to last for about a month on a single charge and are supposed to quickly charge enough for nine hours of use after just two minutes of being plugged in.

Aside from the battery changes, each device is getting a design change with some being more than others. The trackpad is getting the biggest change in the fact that it is no longer terrible. The new trackpad comes with a flat metal base and a white top that slopes downward back to front. The surface of the trackpad is wider and has a more rectangular shape and also comes with some new tricks. Force Touch is now supported and, the feature that most people will love, you now have the ability to click the trackpad literally anywhere on its surface. However, all of these new bells and whistles come with an increased price tag as the new model runs $129.

The next thing to see a big change is the Apple keyboard. The new keyboard looks far different from its predecessor, having a single piece of metal that gently slopes down from top to bottom, much like the trackpad. As a matter of fact, the trackpad and the keyboard actually fit perfectly side-by-side. The keys themselves are slightly wider than the older model, reducing the air gap around them though their placement is identical. The function keys also see a change in size, shifting from tiny rectangles to full square keys that are very satisfying to press on.

Even though the keys are in the same place, they feel very different. These new keys are far shallower than their predecessors, which might not seem like a big difference until you factor in the slope of the keyboard. Each row of keys is closer to being level with the row next to it, meaning you have to move your fingers slightly more to reach certain keys. I’m sure you’ll get used to this quickly though you shouldn’t expect perfect typing right out of the box. This new keyboard is also getting a price hike to $99.

The Apple mouse sees the least amount of changes compared to the trackpad and keyboard. The new mouse looks practically identical to the old one, with the same flat top that looks like no other mouse on the market. The new one is slightly longer, which makes it feel less awkward in your hand. The biggest change is on the bottom of the mouse, where there is no longer a thin, removable plate covering where the batteries would be. This is significant because that thing was a pain to remove. Apple has also noted that it has redesigned the “rails” the mouse slides on though they seem pretty much the same. Like the other two products, the new mouse is increasing in price to $79.

All three of these products are also receiving slightly new names as well. The trackpad is now known as the Magic Trackpad 2 instead of the Magic Trackpad, the Magic Mouse is now known as the Magic Mouse 2, and the keyboard is called the Magic Keyboard. Why not the Magic Keyboard 2 you might ask? Well, because the old keyboard was simply known as the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Magic or not, I think the new one should be called the Magic Keyboard 2 for continuity purposes. All three products are currently available from Apple.

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