Gestures May Replace Pointer

Bushy162

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 21, 2011
56
0
The trackpad may not exist as you know it on the MacBooks out this year.
Gestures will remain, but the ability to move the pointer using a finger may very well be non-existent.

The pointer is inferior to touchscreen. Those who need to draw now use an iPad.
Those who need to type and move though Documents need a Mac, but do they REALLY need a pointer?
Gestures can do it all. Imagine the scroll gesture, but for everything.
The pointer has had it's time.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
You can't get rid of the pointer. How would you know what you're selecting? Touch screen is also horrible ergonomics for a notebook computer. Also, there are many who still prefer using a mouse over a trackpad, since the mouse is far more efficient for most operations.
 

Bushy162

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 21, 2011
56
0
Yes, the mouse is definitely nicer to use than a trackpad. But there's no alternative to a trackpad on a notebook unless you abolish the pointer. Is there?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
Yes, the mouse is definitely nicer to use than a trackpad. But there's no alternative to a trackpad on a notebook unless you abolish the pointer. Is there?
Again, you can't get rid of the pointer. How would you know which item you wanted to click if there was no pointer to show you had selected it?
 
Nov 28, 2010
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located
Again, you can't get rid of the pointer. How would you know which item you wanted to click if there was no pointer to show you had selected it?
Intuition.
And as there are gestures, you could just program a gesture for every menu selection. It is quite easy, honestly, though you can probably throw your hands away after a day or two.
 

Bushy162

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 21, 2011
56
0
Say the selection were on a certain button, you would know that one next to it would require a swipe right or left or up or down.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
Say the selection were on a certain button, you would know that one next to it would require a swipe right or left or up or down.
And how would you get the selection on a certain button without a pointer to let you know you had selected it?
 

Bushy162

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 21, 2011
56
0
Well you know when you press Tab to tab through menus etc. It's just like that, but with gestures. And you would know you had selected it because it would be highlighted blue.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
Well you know when you press Tab to tab through menus etc.
Not all elements can be reached via the Tab key. And what if it was the 157th item on the page? You really think tabbing 157 times is more efficient than simply moving the pointer to the desired location?
And you would know you had selected it because it would be highlighted blue.
Not all items get highlighted when they're selected. Many have no visual feedback at all, which is why the pointer is needed.
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,668
27
located
Well you know when you press Tab to tab through menus etc. It's just like that, but with gestures. And you would know you had selected it because it would be highlighted blue.
Meaning it would get more complicated again just for the sake of gestures and not having a mouse pointer?
Not everyone just uses FacialBook and the like, some even use a bit more complicated software daily, where gestures alone will slow down the entire process of working with them.
While you may not like a mouse pointer, it is still an important tool to have.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
You can't get rid of the pointer. How would you know what you're selecting? Touch screen is also horrible ergonomics for a notebook computer. Also, there are many who still prefer using a mouse over a trackpad, since the mouse is far more efficient for most operations.
True...I'm using my Pro at the moment, and since I'm not doing anything that requires precision, I'm happy with the pad.

It has it's own MM for other work...I had to put mt MBA on charge..Kinda got out of sync today, boy this 17" is a lump on my lap...Roll on tomorrow....Back to my iPad!
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
While you may not like a mouse pointer, it is still an important tool to have.
Exactly! In fact, why have a screen at all? It takes up space, consumes energy, adds to the cost of computers, is easily broken, etc. Why not just eliminate the display altogether? The reason is you need the display to give visual feedback that the computer is doing what you want it to do. That's the same reason you need the pointer: visual feedback.
 

ritmomundo

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2011
1,814
217
Los Angeles, CA
Well you know when you press Tab to tab through menus etc. It's just like that, but with gestures. And you would know you had selected it because it would be highlighted blue.
So you would use gesture after gesture after gesture to scroll through every item in every menu to get to where you want? Gestures are slower than simply pressing Tab. And pressing Tab to get to what you want is terribly slow and inefficient compared to the pointer.

As long as you've got a trackpad and no touchscreen on these laptops, you need the pointer.
 

bogatyr

macrumors 65816
Mar 13, 2012
1,127
1
If they removed the pointer, the laptops would be a flop. End of story.

If this was something they wanted to move to, their first step would be to add this gesture function in ADDITION to the pointer. Later, if people receive it well (haha), they would remove the pointer.
 

blipmusic

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2011
239
13
This is the kind of thinking that gave us the crappy touch/stylus interfaces 10-15 (?) years ago.

Simply put, the current crop of desktop GUIs, such as the one in OS X, are designed around the characteristics of a pointer's hover state -> click type of feedback/input concept (yes it's keyboard assisted for many of us, but that's beside the point).

It also allows for relatively small designated input areas (a.k.a. 'precision'). What iOS, for example, does is to do away with most of the need for precision. That's one of the reasons its touch/gesture based UI works quite well. I.e. it is *designed* around the fact the input device (our sausage fingers) is relatively large [compared to the input area], isn't very pointy and that it at times might cover important bits of the GUI. The last point still needs some work (selection zoom-ins are sometimes off etc), but on the whole it's a world of difference to what Windows PDAs and tablet laptops of old were like.

To simply slap on touch (and gestures as the OP proposes) without a fundamental redesign is bad design, period.

Even Microsoft (who was probably the main offender back then) has realized this - compare Windows Mobile on an old PDA to the current UI of Windows Phone and even Windows 8.

EDIT: For the sake of clarity, I do realize that the input area (trackpad) and the output area (screen) could be separate in the OP's proposal. This is in general terms of what not to do when changing the input type/concept. *All* current interfaces for consumer tech are compromises. The OP slaps another even less optimized compromise on top of an already existent one.
 
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geekygeek

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2011
149
1
Lol, that would make people hell of a slow typer. Gestures would be impossible to replace the pointer. I don't think having a touchscreen on a laptop is that bad, unless you have a macbook pro. On the air, the palm rest and keyboard area is inclined. So if you pretend you're typing at the screen, it feels 'un-awkward'. The pro though, might be a different story. You can always make a laptop/tablet. Let the keyboard and palm rest fold back and use the screen has a tablet. Like Lenovo has done with their X220 tablet version. http://shop.lenovo.com/us/laptops/thinkpad/x-series-tablet
 

sexiewasd

macrumors regular
Mar 14, 2012
208
2
Back in Your Head
The multi touch gestures make these the best trackpads that I've ever used, and I love sketching on my iPod, but for real work, working with text not images, and for games, and modeling, and so many other things, I will always choose a trackball over anything else, a cursor is just so much faster and more precise for many things.

Now touch screens aren't a bad idea, I would hold my air like a book to draw, and It would be handy using DAW software I like the idea of having both.
 

roofz

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2012
154
0
Southern California
You can't get rid of the pointer. How would you know what you're selecting? Touch screen is also horrible ergonomics for a notebook computer. Also, there are many who still prefer using a mouse over a trackpad, since the mouse is far more efficient for most operations.
Apple invented the mouse. They aren't gonna get rid of it anytime soon.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
Apple invented the mouse. They aren't gonna get rid of it anytime soon.
warfed is right. Apple did not invent the mouse. Not even close.

Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute invented the first mouse prototype in 1963, with the assistance of his colleague Bill English. They christened the device the mouse as early models had a cord attached to the rear part of the device looking like a tail and generally resembling the common mouse.
If you want to know where both Apple and Microsoft got many of their ideas, look at the Xerox Star
The Star workstation, officially known as the Xerox 8010 Information System, was introduced by Xerox Corporation in 1981. It was the first commercial system to incorporate various technologies that today have become commonplace in personal computers, including a bitmapped display, a window-based graphical user interface, icons, folders, mouse, Ethernet networking, file servers, print servers and e-mail.