Magic Trackpad + iPad = ♥

The idea

Some months ago I proposed here on The Verge's forums mouse support for the iPad. Some people said that such thing is impossible to be done properly, that touch input is much different than mouse input, etc. After that, I started thinking how Apple could properly implement indirect touch input on iOS.

How it could be done

Looking at my Galaxy Nexus's developer options, I found a switch that enabled me to see a circle where I touched the screen.


That circle gave me an idea: what if that circle appeared where the cursor would be? That would make the UI more consistent. I still had a problem, though. How to multitouch with a mouse?

After that, I realized that a mouse wouldn't be appropriate. What about a trackpad? The modern ones have multitouch! But how I could preview where my fingers were without actually clicking? The answer is simple: the Magic Trackpad. Apple's own bluetooth trackpad features two buttons underneath the rubber feet.155046-magic_trackpad_feet_medium


That feet enables the whole trackpad to work as a giant button, like the one on the MacBooks. That feature gave me an idea that resembles how trackpads work on Apple devices: you have to click for your fingers to be regarded as actual "taps". Let's see an example.

When you have your fingers over the trackpad but you're not clicking, a semi-transparent circle appears where your fingers are (the Forum layout made the image too small so I had to crop the relevant area):


When I actually click, my finger(s) start to be regarded as "taps" by the iPad, so I can throw that bird away:


That mechanism could enable us to use multitouch without fear. All sorts of apps could take benefit from trackpad support right away.

Why I need this?

Trackpad support isn't intended to work well with all apps. It must be awkward to play Fruit Ninja with it. That's an idea thought for productivity. Apple is preparing the iPad to be people's only computer. And productivity is still a relevant part of a PC usage. The Surface is betting on that. Apple needs to fight back.

I hope you enjoy my idea. If you want to discuss it, feel free to comment.