Apple just released its Force Touch-enabled Magic Trackpad 2, which joins the Force Touch trackpads already built into many of its MacBooks. The significance of the Magic Trackpad 2 sporting Force Touch, is that it essentially brings the feature to everyone without needing to go all out and purchase a brand new machine.
Force Touch is an interesting concept that’s been a part of our vernacular for over a year with the unveiling of the Apple Watch. Since then, the pressure sensitive technology has made its way, in some way, shape, or form, to both MacBooks and the iPhone.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Force Touch is best implemented on the iPhone (as 3D Touch), but it’s an interesting feature on the MacBook as well. Now that pretty much anyone can add the ability to Force Touch via a $129 Magic Trackpad 2 purchase, I figured it was time to showcase some of the things that you can do with the nifty pressure sensitive input method.
One of the cool things that I didn’t recognize that the Magic Trackpad 2 was capable of, was providing subtle force feedback to make you aware of a situation contextually. For example, when you reach zero degrees when rotating a photo in the Photos apps, you’ll feel a “notch” to let you know you’ve hit that particular mark.
The many ways to use Force Touch
By and large, though, the majority of the Force Touch functionality is focused on pressure sensitive input from the user. Apple lists many of the basic Force Touch features on a support document on its website. In this video, I run through many of the items on the list to show you how they work with Force Touch. Here is a sample of some of the items included:
- Look up: Force click any text in a webpage or Mail message to see definitions, Wikipedia entries, and more.
- Mailing Addresses: Force click a mailing address to see a quick Maps preview of that location.
- Flight numbers: Force click a flight number to get quick details about the flight via a popover.
- Safari links: Force click a link in Safari or Mail to see a quick preview of the webpage.
- Tracking numbers: Force click a tracking number for quick shipping details via a popover.
- File icons: Force click a file/app icon to access a Quick Look preview.
- File names: Force click a file name to quickly edit the file name.
- App Exposé: Force click an app icon in the Dock to access App Exposé. This shows you all open windows for that app.
If you don’t already own a 2015 MacBook, or one of the newer MacBook Pros with Force Touch embedded in the trackpad, then as I mentioned, your only option is to purchase a Magic Trackpad 2. It’s a solid device, if not a bit on the expensive side. Watch and read our full Magic Trackpad 2 review in order to see if it’s for you.
Watch our Magic Trackpad 2 review
After seeing all that Force Touch can do, and after watching our review of the Magic Trackpad 2, what are your feelings on the technology overall? Do you think it adds true value to OS X?