Trackpad for Mac Desktops... = the "New" mouse??

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Luke1robb, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Luke1robb macrumors 6502a

    Luke1robb

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    #1
    So earlier today I was thinking about how my glass trackpad on my macbook allows me to do so much more than a mouse and a hell of a lot easier too! So here's my thought:

    What if... Apple got rid of the mouse and recreated it as the glass trackpad for desktops? I know some out there (notably Seth W. @ 9to5Mac) have acknowledged the potential of having a multi-touch mouse, but my only concern with that is the idea of a mouse moving while you're trying to do a multi-touch gesture. Imagine trying to rotate a picture or scroll on a page and the mouse starts to slide and you lose control, pretty frustrating right?

    Now imagine if they just took the glass trackpad out of the macbook and attached a usb cord or wireless chip to it and suddenly you can do all the multi-touch gestures you can do on your macbook on your desktop mac...

    I realize a lot of people are just gonna shoot this down as being stupid or as never going to happen, but if so, explain to me where Apple could take the mouse in a way that would enable multi-touch gestures.

    Any thoughts? Mock-ups anyone?
     
  2. rth231 macrumors regular

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    #2
    Shoot it down? It's GENIUS! (not in an iTunes way lol)

    You could build it into the right side of the Apple Keyboard (where the number pad would be?)

    How sexy would a stand alone trackpad be? Aluminum casing (bottom and sides) glass on top, bluetooth (no wires)...
     
  3. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

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    #4
    I think you've forgotten about something called gaming. You can't even play CoD4 on default controls with a trackpad.
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #5
    But when has apple ever catered to gamers?;)
     
  5. TrapOx macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Trackpads are junk. I always carry a bluetooth mini-mouse to use with my laptop.
     
  6. Luke1robb thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Luke1robb

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    #7
    This could also be an optional thing. You choose: Trackpad or Mouse.... or, Apple could just say we're making this, if you want to buy a gaming mouse go right ahead. If you are a gamer, and I'll assume you are, I would be blown away if you told me you play games (like CoD4) with a mighty mouse. I mean really, no one that does serious work with a mouse, gaming or graphics probably uses a mighty mouse or any kind of Apple branded mouse...

    Am I right?
     
  7. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #8
    A trackpad would also never completely replace the mouse - it would simply be an alternative, like a trackball. And I think it's a fantastic idea! A wireless Apple keyboard with built-in trackpad would be perfect for those using Mac Minis as media centres, for example.

    I think it will happen eventually. It'd be really neat (doubt this will happen, though) if it also came with a stylus so you could scribble a note and it would save it to the desktop or something... I have piles of sticky notes around to scribble on when typing isn't practical, being able to do that right on the trackpad would be fantastic. It's also be cool in the laptops for graphic designers: having a mini-tablet would be a nice feature, imo.
     
  8. Luke1robb thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Luke1robb

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    #9
    Two mock-ups I've found so far

    Both of these look like decent ideas... I still firmly believe that if Apple were to do this, they would make it wireless. Then again, a loose wireless trackpad could be awkward, although its just like a mouse.
     

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  9. TrapOx macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Absolutely. The MM is one of the worst mouse designs I've ever used. The ball is far to small, your left finger can't be touching the mouse surface to make a right click and the side buttons are far too sensitive with no tactile feedback.
     
  10. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

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    #11
    the idea is great but..

    no offense i rather use a mouse when it comes to photoshop and other editing and production tools. a trackpad can be unaccurate and sometimes annoying
     
  11. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816

    XnavxeMiyyep

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    #12
    Well, I have a trackball, and if the top right button got replaced with a gesture-supporting multitouch button, that'd be great!
     
  12. Luke1robb thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Luke1robb

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    #13
    Just wondering, do you own or have you used a unibody macbook or macbook pro?
     
  13. m1stake macrumors 68000

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  14. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #15
    I love how the last pic has the notch for the lid.
     
  15. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

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    #16
    It'd have to be an external trackpad, not built into the keyboard (as Apple wouldn't ever make "lefty" or "righty" models). I'm thinking something like a Wacom tablet, except the input would be your fingers. Maybe it'd support styluses as well... kill two birds with one stone.

    And I'd absolutely do it. Even with a mouse plugged into my MBP, I find myself always coming back to the trackpad. Sometimes, when absolute precision is necessary, a mouse makes it a little easier. But I'd love to see an external trackpad that gives my first gen MBP the multi-touch abilities of the newer models.
     
  16. talkingfuture macrumors 65816

    talkingfuture

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    #17
    Love those mock ups, thats the kind of thing that I want. Maybe it would be better though if the trackpad was in the same position as it is on a laptop, in front of the keys. I sometimes feel like I am stretched out too far to the right when I'm using a mouse for a long time. Bringing it in front of the keys would centralize all your movements.
     
  17. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #18
    Nope, sorry, not at all.

    Yes, you are correct.

    I'd prefer Wacom to make a multitouch type graphics tablet. Where you can use your mouse, pen, or fingers. It'd be a lot better than turning a desktop into a laptop.

    The ides to integrate it into the keyboard is moronic. Especially when considering left handed users that can simply put the mouse on the other side of the keyboard.
     
  18. Jethro70 macrumors newbie

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    #19
    I agree 100%.

    I would never buy a keyboard that had a trackpad built-in -- especially if it took the place of the number pad. I think it would fly as an add-on piece, either wireless or with a USB cable; but leave it off the keyboard.
     
  19. ray648 macrumors regular

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #20
    What about if it sat at the same angle and was the same height as the keyboard with fold out usb connections on both sides of it allowing you to connect it to either the left or right side of the keyboard. A bluetooth one would also be needed as the bluetooth keyboard doesn't have the usb sockets on it. I would make a mock up but I'm rubbish at such things, maybe someone else wants to give it a go?
     
  20. nilk macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I do hope they do release some sort of combined keyboard + trackpad. I'd like it to be one unit, though not sure what the best placement would be. I was a trackpad hater; I think IBM's Trackpoint is superior (and still do at least purely for moving the mouse cursor), but the multi-touch trackpad in my Early-2008 MBP made me realize that not all trackpads suck and that multi-touch is really useful (can't wait until they release an API for it in Snow Leopard).

    I'd be happy with a keyboard + trackpad that was laid out exactly like the MBP, with the trackpad right below the keyboard, that way my hand has to travel a lot less off the keyboard (I'm a heavy keyboard user). It would have to be wireless, as I want to sit on my couch with it in front of my HDTV that I'll buy someday. I don't care about num-pad and separate buttons for PgUp, PgDn, Home, End, etc. I used to think I would miss them, but after spending enough time on my MBP I don't mind at all and kind of prefer that layout. Basically something like the current Bluetooth keyboard with a trackpad attached on somewhere would be nice.

    But someone commented somewhere that Apple wouldn't release a keyboard like this because it would take away the advantage they have over PCs as anyone with a PC can plug in their Apple keyboard into a non-Apple computer and have multi-touch. Maybe they will make an iMac that is more like machines like the TRS-80 with the keyboard completely attached :p
     
  21. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #22
    I'd rather Apple just make their own graphics tablet and fail at it since Wacom has that market locked.

    The mouse is just too user friendly to worry about replacing it with just a tool that was intended to supplement the mouse on mobile machines.
     
  22. claimed4all macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Could not have said it better.
     
  23. Theophany macrumors 6502a

    Theophany

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    #24
    Trackpads are an invention of convenience, simply because many people don't want to lug a mouse around with them. The idea of a notebook is that it's all-inclusive to a certain degree, minimising the need for extra peripherals. How can you say that a trackpad is better than a purpose-built mouse? Maybe one of those cheap £2 plastic turds from a discount store, but a trackpad better than something designed by Logitech, Razer, Microsoft or the like?

    Put down the crackpipe, mate. ;)
     
  24. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502

    mcpryon2

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    #25
    I fall into the minority on this, it appears.

    For anything other than gaming, I absolutely hate using a mouse. After years of notebook use I've gotten so used to the trackpad that I just can't use a mouse anymore for normal use. The mouse seems so slow to me now and I'd take a trackpad over it any day. Even a thimble for my Wacom would be kinda cool, but ridiculous for having to point and type.
     

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