Monday, January 31, 2005

Scrolling using the new PowerBook G4’s trackpad

Though Apple still hasn't been able to solve the heat sink problem involved in cramming a G5 processor into a PowerBook, it has introduced a nifty innovation to the ubiquitous laptop trackpad: double-fingered dragging for scrolling. (This is the equivalent of the scroll-wheel on a mouse.) From Apple's site:

Scrolling/panning trackpadReady to Scroll

Scrolling through web pages or large documents on a trackpad can challenge even the most nimble fingers. That’s why every PowerBook G4 features a new trackpad with scrolling capability. Just drag two fingers over the trackpad to scroll vertically and horizontally or pan around any active window. Change this feature to suit your needs: Customize your trackpad settings or turn off scrolling completely via System Preferences.

(© 2005 Apple Computer, Inc.)

What's so great about this is that, without changing the hardware (presumably), Apple has opened up a whole new dimension for an existing input device. It's simple to use, and won't get in the way if you don't want to use it. Simple and brilliant. (The animated GIF ain't too shabby, either. Nice little bit of info design.)