Original MacBook Air Capable of 4 Finger Gestures Through Software Update

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Hardmac points back to a post made in our own forums which details the experience of one user enabling four finger gestures on his 1st generation 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
  2. macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2008
    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.
  3. macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2008
    I don't think its a shock to anyone that this is possible on pre-October 2008 models. It's just apple being apple
  4. macrumors regular

    La Porta

    Dec 15, 2006
    I wonder just how much of "gesturing" is really hardware-based if this pans out.
  5. macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2008
    Bay Area
    Would a similar version of this "hack" work on previous-edition Macbooks? Or did the Macbooks ever get 4-fingered gestures?
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2007
    New York, NY
    Has Apple ever been known to backwards-enable new functionality in old products? Not that I can think of, but I'm curious.
  7. macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2008
    Bay Area
    Ipod Touch software updates, anyone? ;)
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    The pre-multitouch laptops have trackpads designed by Synaptics rather than Apple, if I recall.
  9. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    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.

  10. macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2008
    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.
  11. macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2008
    Bay Area
    Thanks, Jeff and Arn, for the reply to my question.

    LOL. That made me crack up. :D
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2005
    Red Sox Nation
    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...
  13. macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    Or perhaps they would design it to detect a single middle-finger gesture for reboots.
  14. macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2007
    I hate when apple does stuff like this.
    Just because they want to have something new and unique on the newer laptops :mad:
  15. macrumors 65816


    Apr 9, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    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.
  16. Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    Better description would be the following, actually:

    1. Regular trackpad (non Multi-Touch) does NOT offer two finger scrolling.
    2. Scrolling trackpad with two finger scrolling
    3. Multi-Touch Trackpad - came with MBA and Early 2008 MBPs
    4. "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, but G3 iBooks and TiBooks and before all are definitely "regular trackpads"
  17. macrumors G4

    Oct 14, 2005
    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".
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2004
    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?? ;)
  19. macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2006
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    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
  20. macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2008
  21. macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2006
    Do you know why the new MacBook Air still has a button on the trackpad ?
  22. macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2008
    Why is this on Page One if your not going to show us how to perform the hack?
  23. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    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.

  24. macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    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..
  25. macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2007
    Springdale, AR
    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)

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

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