The New Trackpad

Last week I went into the local Apple store to check out the Force Touch trackpad in the new MacBook Pro 13 inch. It was a strange experience. I walked up to the Apple-specified table and looked at the laptop and confirmed it was the new machine.

Then I began clicking on the new trackpad and moving the mouse on the screen. I was disappointed to find it was not the new machine. It was clicking just like my three-year-old MacBook Pro at home. About this time, one of my Apple Store employee friends came up to me to look over my shoulder.

Apple guy: “So what you think?”

Me: “This is the old Mac. I want to see the new Mac with that fancy new trackpad.”

Apple guy: “What you mean? That is the new Mac.”

Me (somewhat condescendingly): “No. This one is clicking I want to try the new one that doesn’t have the physical clicker.”

Apple guy: “That’s it. Push harder and you’ll get a second click. That didn’t happen with the old Mac.”

Me: Click-Click. Blush.

That’s right. The new Force Touch trackpad stumped me. It turned me into that old guy that doesn’t believe something is new. We then turned off the MacBook and I clicked it. Sure enough, nothing happened. The fancy magnets and unicorn tears they put inside the new trackpad absolutely makes it feel like you’re clicking.

I remember when automatic windshields were becoming a thing in new cars and my dad told me he preferred the old crank style because those never broke. That could be the case here. Something that was a physical hinge is now something much more. However, my initial impression is that I like the new trackpad a lot better. You can click anywhere on the trackpad, including at the top where it was quite difficult to do so with the previous hinged trackpad.

Moreover, because it’s pressure sensitive, it opens up a whole new interface paradigm for application developers. I’m certain that in the near future, as these things become more prevalent, you’ll be able to force click applications to make cool things happen and get your work done faster. 

If you’re anywhere near an Apple Store, go in and check out the new trackpad and, while you’re at it, shut the machine down to realize exactly how much the new trackpad is screwing with your head.