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Magic Trackpad or iPhone?

October 14, 2010 by  

By now most of the tech world knows of the Magic Trackpad. It was rumored to come out about 4 days before it actually did. It was launched with minimal fanfare and it really didn’t make a big splash. But if you examine it you might find some worth from it. At this point I am very intrigued by the device, I wish I knew a friend who has bought one. I’d just borrow it for a week and see how it works as a mouse right next to my keyboard. In my daily computing life I do a lot of typing, and often am either editing video, audio, or digging around in code for websites. The mouse is an important tool obviously with a lot of the way I interact with the interfaces in the apps I use. I do like the Magic Mouse a lot but I’m also interested in an enlarged trackpad. So what does this have to do with the iPhone?

The iPhone, with the right app, can perform somewhat par for par right a long side the Magic Trackpad. I’ve tried about 4 remote apps and the one that always works and has been my standby is called Rowmote Pro. So with that running I can use my iPhone as a semi trackpad on my iMac. Is this a better and cheaper route since I already own the iPhone, what am I missing out on.

Alright so there may be only one pro, like I said the cost is nothing for me since I already have the phone and app. I can set it up right next to my keyboard and start working. On the other hand these cons, in my opinion, might outweigh the cost and convenience benefit. The physical click just can’t happen on the iPhone. I would have to press really hard and probably break the glass to get a click, then nothing would be happening after that. I like having a physical click on my mouse or trackpad. The tap to click just doesn’t work with me.

How about when someone calls me? I would have to revert back to my good ol’ point and click mouse. Not truly that convienent! Also consider that the screen on the iPhone isn’t that big to move a mouse pointer across a 21.5″ iMac. That might get annoying to keep swiping around… ugh. Thankfully the iPhone 4 sits level on a flat surface, but if you had the iPhone 3G or 3GS then it would be pretty impossible to keep it still enough to use.

Alright, well dang, after looking and thinking about it it seems that the iPhone doesn’t make a very good permanent trackpad. It is really convenient though in this way. When I am hanging out with my girlfriend we sometimes watch movies from her computer. I can just whip out the phone and control it from a distance as we watch a movie on her TV. It does get points for the instant remote capabilities, but for a full blown trackpad. I’d leave that up to the Magic Trackpad only!

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