Apple Magic Trackpad Review and Lion Gestures

Apple Magic Trackpad Review and Lion Gestures

I have to admit when Apple released the Magic Trackpad it was a product that really didn’t impress me. I use a lot of keyboard shortcuts for many programs like Photoshop and Lightroom and always try to save as much time on the computer as possible. As digital photographers we can work so much on the computer its important to be efficient and hopefully save a little time so that we can spend a little more time out there taking photos.

With the OS X Lion release a few weeks ago though I started to think about the Magic Trackpad differently. Now that Apple has created many more gestures into the OS a trackpad comes in very handy. On a laptop you can use your trackpad for these gestures and after using Lion on my MacBook Pro for a few days I fell in love with some of the new multi touch gestures and was using them a lot. After that I knew I had to check out the Magic Trackpad for my desktop. Here is a quick review of the Magic Trackpad and a list of useful gestures for OS X Lion.

The Magic Trackpad is basically a large trackpad made with the same design as a Apple keyboard and meant to fit right next to your keyboard as its the same height and width. It gives you a nice large area to use and can be configured with a few different settings just like your mouse can. Its straightforward but the power is really in Lion with the new multi touch gestures that you have.

Now on to the really cool things the new multi touch gestures in OS X Lion.

Scrolling – Using 2 fingers you can scroll side to side or up and down. When you are in safari you can use 2 fingers and swipe horizontally to go back to the last page you were on.

Smart Zoom – If you have used an iPhone before then you know what smart zoom is. If you are on a website that had many columns like a new site just double tap with 2 fingers and it will zoom into just the column you are on. Double tap with 2 fingers again to zoom back out.

Magic trackpad3

Pinch to zoom – Really easy to zoom in and out by pinching your fingers. Works great while browsing the web or viewing PDF’s. Would be pretty sweet if it worked with Photoshop. It does work with iPhoto but I really mainly only use that to store my iPhone photos.

Mission Control – Mission control replaced Expose in Lion which I used to use a lot. It took me awhile to get used to Mission Control but now I think its a very valuable part of the OS. With a 3 finger swipe up you can access Mission Control. Here you will see all of your Spaces, Full screen apps and other open apps to quickly switch back and forth. Also while in Mission Control you can do a two finger swipe up while hovering over a cluster to speed it out. You can also press the spacebar to do a Quick Look on the window you are highlighting.

Swipe between full screen apps and spaces
– Another improvement with Lion is the use of full screen apps. Many of the main applications like Mail, safari, Calendar, iPhoto have the ability to be in full screen. When you are on a laptop or a smaller screen this really help to save valuable screen real estate. Once you have a few full screen apps open all you have to do is swipe left and right with 3 fingers to move between your full screen apps and your spaces.

View Launchpad – Launchpad is like an iPad view into your apps. By taking 3 fingers and your thumb and moving them in a motion from the outside in together this will bring up Lauchpad. For me it feels easier to place all 5 fingers on the Trackpad and then pinch them together instead of 3 fingers and this will work just the same.

Show desktop – Another gesture that I use a lot. With a crowded desktop there are many times when I want all app windows to disappear and show the desktop. Start with 3 fingers and your thumb all pinched together on the Trackpad, then move them outwards to move all of the windows out of the way and only show the desktop. Bring them back together to return to where you were.

ios lion gestures

Lookup – This is a pretty cool way to lookup a word. Just do a 3 finger double tap on a work you are hovering over. An overlay will appear showing you additional details about the word such as Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Wikipedia information.

iOS lion photographers gestures

Also if you don’t use keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom or Photoshop check out these 2 articles:

Keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop

A to Z Key to Keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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