PDA

View Full Version : Original MacBook Air Capable of 4 Finger Gestures Through Software Update




MacRumors
Nov 14, 2008, 01:03 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/11/14/original-macbook-air-capable-of-4-finger-gestures-through-software-update/)

Hardmac points (http://hardmac.com/news/2008-11-14/#9164) back to a post (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=6475187&postcount=28) made in our own forums which details the experience of one user enabling four finger gestures on his 1st generation MacBook Air.I can confirm the four finger gesture is possible on pre-October 2008 laptops, and I currently have four finger Exposé and Application Switching working on my January 2008 MacBook Air.This method is very much a "hack" at this time and is certainly not recommended for the casual user, but does suggest that Apple could enable the four-finger gestures on early 2008 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs through a simple software update.

When Apple introduced the new notebooks in October, they introduced a new four-finger gesture that could be used to invoke Expose. It hadn't been clear if the four-finger gesture would be possible on existing multi-touch trackpads which have shipped in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro since early 2008.



Article Link: Original MacBook Air Capable of 4 Finger Gestures Through Software Update (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/11/14/original-macbook-air-capable-of-4-finger-gestures-through-software-update/)



h.21
Nov 14, 2008, 01:07 PM
That's great. Too bad Apple probably won't do that. Someone needs to come out with a user-friendly way to do this, however. I would gladly pay for the ability to use four finger gestures on my 1st gen Air.

shoebobs
Nov 14, 2008, 01:07 PM
I don't think its a shock to anyone that this is possible on pre-October 2008 models. It's just apple being apple

La Porta
Nov 14, 2008, 01:07 PM
I wonder just how much of "gesturing" is really hardware-based if this pans out.

Beric
Nov 14, 2008, 01:10 PM
Would a similar version of this "hack" work on previous-edition Macbooks? Or did the Macbooks ever get 4-fingered gestures?

TheSlush
Nov 14, 2008, 01:13 PM
Has Apple ever been known to backwards-enable new functionality in old products? Not that I can think of, but I'm curious.

Beric
Nov 14, 2008, 01:16 PM
Has Apple ever been known to backwards-enable new functionality in old products? Not that I can think of, but I'm curious.

Ipod Touch software updates, anyone? ;)

JeffTL
Nov 14, 2008, 01:16 PM
Would a similar version of this "hack" work on previous-edition Macbooks? Or did the Macbooks ever get 4-fingered gestures?

The pre-multitouch laptops have trackpads designed by Synaptics rather than Apple, if I recall.

arn
Nov 14, 2008, 01:16 PM
Would a similar version of this "hack" work on previous-edition Macbooks? Or did the Macbooks ever get 4-fingered gestures?

Previous generation MacBooks will not be able to.

There are 3 different types of trackpads out there:

Regular trackpad (non Multi-Touch) which does offer two finger scrolling
Multi-Touch Trackpad - came with MBA and Early 2008 MBPs
Glass Multi-Touch Trackpad - came with Oct 2008 MBs and MBPs

It seems the functionality of the Glass and the non Glass multi-touch are similar enough that they can both detect 4-finger gestures. I don't believe it's possible for the regular trackpads to do anything but what they already do.

arn

Dejavu
Nov 14, 2008, 01:18 PM
Apple for the longest time opposed a two button mouse, now they expect us to use two or more fingers? This is outrageous. Maybe in the future we can reboot our macs using a 12-finger gesture.

Beric
Nov 14, 2008, 01:21 PM
Thanks, Jeff and Arn, for the reply to my question.

Apple for the longest time opposed a two button mouse, now they expect us to use two or more fingers? This is outrageous. Maybe in the future we can reboot our macs using a 12-finger gesture.

LOL. That made me crack up. :D

justflie
Nov 14, 2008, 01:24 PM
I wonder how much they would charge for this software update? $10? I would very highly doubt it would be for free given their reasoning behind charging for previous-gen iPod touch updates...

hayduke
Nov 14, 2008, 01:26 PM
Apple for the longest time opposed a two button mouse, now they expect us to use two or more fingers? This is outrageous. Maybe in the future we can reboot our macs using a 12-finger gesture.

Or perhaps they would design it to detect a single middle-finger gesture for reboots.

CaptainCannabis
Nov 14, 2008, 01:26 PM
I hate when apple does stuff like this.
Just because they want to have something new and unique on the newer laptops :mad:

MasterNile
Nov 14, 2008, 01:28 PM
Has Apple ever been known to backwards-enable new functionality in old products? Not that I can think of, but I'm curious.

Wireless N enabler for Intel Wireless G iMacs, but yes you probably will have to pay for it like the enabler or the ipod touch updates.

longofest
Nov 14, 2008, 01:29 PM
Previous generation MacBooks will not be able to.

There are 3 different types of trackpads out there:

Regular trackpad (non Multi-Touch) which does offer two finger scrolling
Multi-Touch Trackpad - came with MBA and Early 2008 MBPs
Glass Multi-Touch Trackpad - came with Oct 2008 MBs and MBPs

It seems the functionality of the Glass and the non Glass multi-touch are similar enough that they can both detect 4-finger gestures. I don't believe it's possible for the regular trackpads to do anything but what they already do.

arn

Better description would be the following, actually:


Regular trackpad (non Multi-Touch) does NOT offer two finger scrolling.
Scrolling trackpad with two finger scrolling
Multi-Touch Trackpad - came with MBA and Early 2008 MBPs
"Glass" Multi-Touch Trackpad - came with Oct 2008 MBs and MBPs


2 finger scrolling was built-in to Macs and OSX from 2005 onward. Some pre-2005 laptops were able to have their trackpads 2-finger scroll enabled using a 3rd party driver (http://iscroll2.sourceforge.net/), but G3 iBooks and TiBooks and before all are definitely "regular trackpads"

aristobrat
Nov 14, 2008, 01:46 PM
Has Apple ever been known to backwards-enable new functionality in old products? Not that I can think of, but I'm curious.
IIRC, Apple added the 2-finger right-click to PowerBooks in 10.5. Before that, it was only a feature on the MacBook Pros. Maybe they waited for Leopard because purchasing Leopard counted as the "upgrade fee".

fyrefly
Nov 14, 2008, 01:49 PM
I've used a MacBook Aluminum Restore DVD to get 4-Finger-Swipe on my 1st Gen MBA. It's great, but I use a BT Mouse most of the time so I don't really need it. I don't see why Apple wouldn't enable the feature later - or at least have the drivers for it in 10.5.6 --> you need to edit a plist file inside a ktext to enable it even with the right software.

This has also been reported in the MacBook Air forums on MR for almost a month now that the 4-finger swipe was possible - it just makes the front page now?? ;)

nacengineer
Nov 14, 2008, 01:51 PM
Or perhaps they would design it to detect a single middle-finger gesture for reboots.

Of course since you never really need to reboot a Mac... except for software updates which you would presumably do on your own volition and not out of frustration

sinking Stone
Nov 14, 2008, 02:06 PM
Please apple, please.

reda
Nov 14, 2008, 02:12 PM
Do you know why the new MacBook Air still has a button on the trackpad ?

HiFiGuy528
Nov 14, 2008, 02:22 PM
Why is this on Page One if your not going to show us how to perform the hack?

arn
Nov 14, 2008, 02:22 PM
Do you know why the new MacBook Air still has a button on the trackpad ?

I'm guessing they didn't want to have to redesign the case just to add that glass trackpad.

Why is this on Page One if your not going to show us how to perform the hack?

it's linked off the article. click on it.

arn

juanster
Nov 14, 2008, 02:30 PM
I hate when apple does stuff like this.
Just because they want to have something new and unique on the newer laptops :mad:

yeah aple could just do it with a software update, but i doubt they would. that is what people want..sooo not very appleish, it's usually what they want,a nd we take it and think of t amazing and learn to love it..

broncopde
Nov 14, 2008, 03:00 PM
Wirelessly posted (iPod touch: Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F137 Safari/525.20)

Has Apple ever been known to backwards-enable new functionality in old products? Not that I can think of, but I'm curious.

Wireless N enabler for Intel Wireless G iMacs, but yes you probably will have to pay for it like the enabler or the ipod touch updates.

Don't they claim they have to do this because of some weird fiscal accounting?

err404
Nov 14, 2008, 03:01 PM
I've seen some demos of the early 08 MBP/MBA track pads tracking 12 independent points (look around on youtube). Once you have the hardware for that, the rest is just the driver. I'd be surprised if the sensor for the glass trackpads are any different then those.
The scrolling (two finger) trackpads don't appear to be able to "track" more then one point. All they seem to do is recognize that two fingers are on the pad and then track the average position.

HiFiGuy528
Nov 14, 2008, 03:10 PM
I'm guessing they didn't want to have to redesign the case just to add that glass trackpad.



it's linked off the article. click on it.

arn

Look at the date, it's old news. The person who did it have not responded to anyone's questions.

ross.zentner
Nov 14, 2008, 03:17 PM
i have multiclutch on my early 08 macbookpro so i have use the three finger gestures in firefox.

shigzeo
Nov 14, 2008, 03:21 PM
add this functionality if it is possible. rubbish to let the old users out in the cold just for a software lack.

Kilamite
Nov 14, 2008, 03:46 PM
I'm curious to see whether the regular trackpad MacBook Pro's can do this.

The trackpad knows the difference between one, two and three fingers.

DKZ
Nov 14, 2008, 03:47 PM
It's like missing the two finger right click, on the iBook G4. It's capable of two finger scroll, so it can't be any thing else then a software matter to make it do right clicking via two fingers.

morespce54
Nov 14, 2008, 04:29 PM
I'm not holding my breath on this one but it would be pretty cool.

It would be a change for Apple since they use not to enable new features on (old) hardware specially if there is a new version out.

I never really understood that but I guess it's (also) a good way to sell the new stuff.

Stridder44
Nov 14, 2008, 04:38 PM
WHOA. Guys, slow down.

I mean my current MacBook Pro can do three-fingered gestures, but you're all suggesting it might be able to do FOUR!?!?? :eek:

http://www.virginmedia.com/images/gruesome_scanners_431x300.jpg


Impossible. There's no way. Clearly the hardware is the problem here. :rolleyes:

smartalic34
Nov 14, 2008, 04:38 PM
I guess this has no hope of working with my core duo MBP... no multi-touch, just two-finger scrolling:(

Clive At Five
Nov 14, 2008, 04:38 PM
"Waaaaaaaah! Hacks are unethical!!! Blah Blah Blah, you hackintosh owners should perish in flames!!"

Now genuine Mac owners have to hack to gain full access to OS X's features. I'm laughing on the inside.

-Clive

SimonTheSoundMa
Nov 14, 2008, 06:08 PM
What gets me is my mid-2007 MBP can do multi-touch using a slightly different implementation to what Apple uses in their current versions, they can do pinch, four finger swipes etc just fine. Takes 10 minutes in Max/MSP inputting the trackpad as a HID to prove it.

Why Apple is restricting such gestures annoys me. Even iBooks and PowerBooks can do these gestures.

137489
Nov 14, 2008, 06:09 PM
But on the subject of one-fingered gestures.... the pinch effect is ok, but my wacom has a circular pad at the top and I can use one finger to scroll up/down and zoom in/out. Nice little feature. I wish there was a way to add multi-touch to my early white 2008 macbook, the way I got my desk setup, I have the keyboard below me and the mac off to the left (I am left handed) for using the trackpad, while I am hooked to my 19-inch monitor. Works nice, but more gestures would be great.

Other than that I am much quicker than on my windows PC using a mouse.

Saladinos
Nov 14, 2008, 06:18 PM
It'll probably be added in 10.5.6. The new machines have a slightly updated version of OSX which enables four-finger gestures.

It'll definitely be available in Snow Leopard. The devices are capable of four-fingers (they use the same controller as the iPhone), and the multi-touch framework would expose that.

fleshman03
Nov 14, 2008, 06:20 PM
Maybe we'll get lucky and Apple will get this on the non-glass multitouch trackpads. But I just seem to doubt it.

"Hacking is not a crime!"



I never really understood that but I guess it's (also) a good way to sell the new stuff.

Are people really going to buy a new laptop because they could use four fingers now instead of three?

albertcc
Nov 14, 2008, 06:23 PM
I'm not sure if this is new, but in fact the iPhone has 4 finger sensitivity. I knew this when I'm playing with an app called minipiano.

GSMiller
Nov 14, 2008, 06:56 PM
Has Apple ever been known to backwards-enable new functionality in old products? Not that I can think of, but I'm curious.

Not usually. I bought an aluminum keyboard for my white iMac and when first plugging it in, the USB 2.0 ports worked, but after updating my system so all the buttons would function properly the USB ports don't work period, not even for something as simple as a flash drive. It's all rather frustrating.

137489
Nov 14, 2008, 07:04 PM
It'll probably be added in 10.5.6. The new machines have a slightly updated version of OSX which enables four-finger gestures.

It'll definitely be available in Snow Leopard. The devices are capable of four-fingers (they use the same controller as the iPhone), and the multi-touch framework would expose that.

Quicker machines due to the graphics cards:D
multi-gesture due to new trackpad:)
smaller foot printer and quicker os due to snow lep:)

Oh yeah - I can see myself with a new macbook or pro in about a year. :D

Hopefully by then they come out with a true dock, if not will just have to do the same setup I got now. Hopefully touchscreen/tablet comes out by then too. I mean the OS already has inkwell and a wacom works great with it - :apple:could do this easily

zacman
Nov 14, 2008, 07:12 PM
It'll probably be added in 10.5.6.

I'm afraid it's more likely that Apple will disable the hack in 10.5.6.

queshy
Nov 14, 2008, 07:23 PM
4 finger gestures would be nice...

heffeque
Nov 14, 2008, 10:33 PM
I'd love to have the 4 finger gestures on my mid-2008 MBP. Can anyone make a step by step tutorial? I can't quite understand the process.

twoodcc
Nov 15, 2008, 12:01 AM
this sounds great, but i'm not sure if i want to hack my air. i hope that apple releases an update for this

gotzero
Nov 15, 2008, 12:23 AM
I think it will come out as a silent update in 10.5.6. It would be a little embarrassing for them to continue to say it is impossible (which they never should have done after it became common knowledge that the trackpads had iphone guts).

As much as I use spaces, I am going to hack my OS to make it work if they do not come out with an enabler for it in 10.5.6.

QuarterSwede
Nov 15, 2008, 01:13 AM
Has Apple ever been known to backwards-enable new functionality in old products? Not that I can think of, but I'm curious.Apple has enabled such things in the past. It just takes a really loooong time. When all of the PowerBooks were updated with two finger right clicking the 12" wasn't (even the last revisions that had two finger scrolling). It wasn't until 10.5 that it showed up unannounced. That was AT LEAST a year later.

I wonder how much they would charge for this software update? $10? I would very highly doubt it would be for free given their reasoning behind charging for previous-gen iPod touch updates...
Wireless N enabler for Intel Wireless G iMacs, but yes you probably will have to pay for it like the enabler or the ipod touch updates.If Apple is kind and adds the driver to the other MBs then I highly doubt they'd charge for it. That has to do with how Apple financially tracks the iPhone (subscription) and iPod touch (one time sell). This tactic sounds fishy to me (and doesn't make a whole lot of sense) but other financial experts agree that businesses have to do this legally. Anyway, all that to say, they don't track the MBs the same way.

As far as I know, Apple has never charged for a trackpad driver update.

oticon6
Nov 15, 2008, 02:56 AM
Better description would be the following, actually:


Regular trackpad (non Multi-Touch) does NOT offer two finger scrolling.
Scrolling trackpad with two finger scrolling
Multi-Touch Trackpad - came with MBA and Early 2008 MBPs
"Glass" Multi-Touch Trackpad - came with Oct 2008 MBs and MBPs


2 finger scrolling was built-in to Macs and OSX from 2005 onward. Some pre-2005 laptops were able to have their trackpads 2-finger scroll enabled using a 3rd party driver (http://iscroll2.sourceforge.net/), but G3 iBooks and TiBooks and before all are definitely "regular trackpads"

Dunno what support they did have, but I do know that iScroll2 sucked. It was ok, but quite clear why Apple didn't support 2 finger scrolling on the things. Behaviour was jumpy and occasionally erratic.

alphaod
Nov 15, 2008, 04:25 AM
Software update? Yeah, it's as a likely as they will recall computers for failing video cards.

Digital Skunk
Nov 15, 2008, 07:36 AM
Still grabbing the new one for the graphics update, but it's nice to know that the Rev A users can get the gesture goodness too.

mariov
Nov 15, 2008, 08:39 AM
It's like missing the two finger right click, on the iBook G4. It's capable of two finger scroll, so it can't be any thing else then a software matter to make it do right clicking via two fingers.

iScroll2 does that... i have two finger scroll and right click on my ibook g4. The big point is, even if adding a feature is as easy as a little software update, apple won´t do that since they want us to buy the new toys.

QuarterSwede
Nov 15, 2008, 09:52 AM
iScroll2 does that... i have two finger scroll and right click on my ibook g4. The big point is, even if adding a feature is as easy as a little software update, apple won´t do that since they want us to buy the new toys.
As I said in my earlier post, Apple has added that feature to the 12" PB. It just took them until 10.5 to give support to it.

sfh
Nov 15, 2008, 10:38 AM
Has Apple ever been known to backwards-enable new functionality in old products? Not that I can think of, but I'm curious.

Yes ... iPods have done it alot lateley

jk000
Nov 15, 2008, 01:10 PM
I hope this becomes available for Multi-touch MBP's (early 2008).

Although there's so many gestures now it's getting confused.

Three finger back/forward in Safari is the most useful gesture I know, I've even stopped using the Mighty Mouse whilst browsing.

SleepyHead157
Nov 15, 2008, 01:33 PM
i love the gesture features and might even think about getting a macbook air again now that I could use a 2nd computer for home use. Interesting stuff.

Digital Skunk
Nov 15, 2008, 04:12 PM
I hope this becomes available for Multi-touch MBP's (early 2008).

Although there's so many gestures now it's getting confused.

Three finger back/forward in Safari is the most useful gesture I know, I've even stopped using the Mighty Mouse whilst browsing.

I love the four finger Expose and App switching myself.

Lordillingworth
Nov 15, 2008, 04:21 PM
the only time apple will give us anything for free is if we pay them for it first.

PeterC-7
Nov 15, 2008, 04:50 PM
Prior to the arrival of the new MBP and four-finger gestures, I had already installed Multiclutch and enabled three-finger up and down swipe and attached it to Exposé: up for all windows and down for application ones.

This is a better and more intuitive gesture than the one that Apple subsequently introduced. Four fingers are simply unnecessary. And I use the downswipe more than the upswipe particularly for PhotoShop and MS Windows running under Parallels.

I also attached right and left three finger swipes to change tabs in Safari and Pathfinder.

No need for hacks.

Multiclutch is donation-ware, get it here:

http://wcrawford.org/2008/02/28/everytime-i-think-about-you-i-touch-my-cell/

Stella
Nov 15, 2008, 05:11 PM
This is a better and more intuitive gesture than the one that Apple subsequently introduced. Four fingers are simply unnecessary.

No one ever needs more than 640kb*

*yes, I know thats an urban rumour

longofest
Nov 15, 2008, 05:33 PM
Dunno what support they did have, but I do know that iScroll2 sucked. It was ok, but quite clear why Apple didn't support 2 finger scrolling on the things. Behaviour was jumpy and occasionally erratic.

Part of the problem of unofficial 3rd party drivers... they gotta reverse-engineer the system. It was more of a proof of concept I think, saying that the hardware was there.

PeterC-7
Nov 15, 2008, 07:31 PM
No one ever needs more than 640kb*

*yes, I know thats an urban rumour

I didn't mean that four fingers would not be necessary, but when three finger vertical swipes haven't been utilized it seems unnecessary to introduce four-finger ones.

ppc750fx
Nov 15, 2008, 08:39 PM
Part of the problem of unofficial 3rd party drivers... they gotta reverse-engineer the system. It was more of a proof of concept I think, saying that the hardware was there.

Nope. They didn't have to reverse-engineer anything.

iScroll2 is just a modified version of the open source driver for the trackpad [in the supported machines].

I actually used it for a couple years, and never had an issue with it -- but I will admit, it did take some fine-tuning before the settings felt "fluid".

Oh, and as to everyone complaining about Apple not giving them this feature for free: relax. Seriously.

1) You bought the hardware (you _did_ buy the hardware, right?) knowing full well what you were getting. Apple is not obligated to retroactively give you features that it never advertised for your model. They likely will (see next point), but acting as though Apple has done you some horrible injustice is just silly.

2) The build of 10.5.5 shipped on the current MacBook Airs is, as you might expect, specific to those machines. It wasn't released through the normal channels, it wasn't seeded to ADC members, and it's pretty clearly a "just-in-time" release designed to provide preliminary support for the hardware they started shipping. The reason Apple hasn't provided scrolling for the first gen machines is, most likely, because the trackpad drivers in that build of 10.5.5 are fairly new, not to mention not part of the "official" 10.5.5. They're not withholding it just to spite you -- they most likely want to violate any of the current release patterns. Synchronizing your releases and sticking to rules are good practices when it comes to software development, even if it does piss off a few people on a forum somewhere.

3) You don't want to ship hardware drivers unless you're sure they work reliably. Doubly so for storage and input drivers.

Instead of getting all wound up and decrying Apple as an evil, corrupt, moneygrubbing, etc company, why not just wait until 10.5.6 or (failing that) 10.6. If the software support isn't there, then shrug, realize they never advertised it and (if you want it) hack your drivers. If it is, then consider it a nice bonus that you're getting a feature that you didn't have (and that wasn't advertised) when you got the laptop.

puercaeli
Nov 15, 2008, 11:23 PM
Whenever I try to scroll using three fingers on pre-2008 MBP, it does not work. I think this seems to imply that even pre-2008 MBP at least has three finger gesture.

I really wish someone can come up with the hack for this.... I don't really care about four fingers-fancy three fingers more than anything cause that would make web browsing so much easier~

sgntscrawn
Nov 16, 2008, 02:34 AM
I really hope this becomes an upgrade for the February 2008 MBP and MBA, owning a MBP myself.

I don't mind if it is a paid upgrade like the iPod touch software, because I use the current gestures all the time with Multiclutch, which is great btw.

kiensoy
Nov 16, 2008, 11:25 AM
If you think about it, the 4-finger gesture for expose is almost useless if you use the active screen corners. What I would really like in my 2007 Macbook is enable the 3-finger gestures to swipe between pictures and use the zoom and rotate gestures. I'm more interested in that.

Laptop Guy
Nov 16, 2008, 07:25 PM
What I would really like in my 2007 Macbook is enable the 3-finger gestures to swipe between pictures and use the zoom and rotate gestures. I'm more interested in that.

yeah, i'd like the same thing with my early 2008 macbook. Sounds like a good idea to update the gestures for the Air though.

valvehead
Nov 16, 2008, 09:58 PM
Prior to the arrival of the new MBP and four-finger gestures, I had already installed Multiclutch and enabled three-finger up and down swipe and attached it to Exposé: up for all windows and down for application ones.

I did the same. It works great except on Carbon apps (i.e. Finder). Also, I can't seem to be able to click and drag something from one window to another while using a swipe to activate expose. It works with F3 though. Weird.

risenphoenixkai
Nov 17, 2008, 12:45 PM
Whenever I try to scroll using three fingers on pre-2008 MBP, it does not work. I think this seems to imply that even pre-2008 MBP at least has three finger gesture.

I really wish someone can come up with the hack for this.... I don't really care about four fingers-fancy three fingers more than anything cause that would make web browsing so much easier~

Your MBP's trackpad will never support anything beyond two-finger scrolling and two-finger right-clicking. It does not have the multitouch controller chip on the trackpad, so your hardware will not support the new gestures.

The only models of Apple notebooks that support multitouch gestures of any kind beyond basic two-finger scrolling and right clicking have the multitouch chip in the trackpad; this is the same multitouch controller as the iPhone. The only models of Apple notebooks that have this chip are:

MacBook Air (all models)
Early 2008 MacBook Pro
Late 2008 Unibody MacBook Pro
Late 2008 Unibody MacBook

Plastic MacBooks and MacBook Pros manufactured before Early 2008 do not and never will support pinching, rotating, or three- or four-finger gestures. They lack the hardware necessary to recognise them.