Friday, 30 July 2010

Bye bye, mousey

The imminent demise of the humble mouse has taken a step forward this week. Apple has released its latest pointing device, or more specifically, multi-pointing device. The Magic Trackpad provides for the desktop what the MacBook trackpad provides for the laptop, and the iPhone, iPod and iPad make perfect use of; multitouch.

I've used the MacBook's lovely, big, two-finger-scrolly trackpad for 4 years, and the iPhones lovely multitouch interface for 1 year, and grown quite attached to them. Using the usual PC laptop trackpads has become something of a chore. They're too small, recessed into the laptop case, and never seem to work properly with my fingers.

The Magic Trackpad (do Apple use the work magic too much? Possibly) is 80% bigger than that on the latest MacBook Pro, and the form factor matches the Apple Bluetooth keyboard. It strikes me that it would be ideal to be able to dock the two together, given that the Bluetooth keyboard lacks a numeric keypad, to give a full size keyboard with full multitouch. That is a product I would be interested in.

So the Apple strategy remains clear; multitouch everywhere. But where iPhone and iPad make full use of the capabilities, it might take a bit longer for desktop software to catch up. But when it does, the mouse, for me, can be happily retired.