Beyond this, the trackpad is capable of sensing and responding to different degrees of pressure. Again, the applications for this are currently somewhat limited. In Apple Maps, varying the pressure when you click on the zoom in/zoom out buttons varies the speed of the zoom accordingly; and you can likewise vary the speed of rewind or fast-forward in QuickTime.
We said you can tinker with the click settings to a degree. But conspicuous by its absence in these OS X settings is the three-finger drag gesture, used for moving files, folders and open windows around the screen. Like the Drag and Drag Lock options that let you click on an item and move it while still holding the click, the three-finger drag option has now been strangely relegated to a setting deep within the Accessibility options of System Preferences.
We don’t have suitable equipment to measure touch control interfaces, but subjectively there did not seem any more than the usual few hundred millisecond lag between touch and response in non-clicked gestures. However, we did note while comparing two-finger taps that when making a two-finger direct ‘click’, we had near-instantaneous response, which was a welcome improvement toward eliminating interface lag.
For example, tap lightly on the OS X desktop with two fingers, and you bring up the right-click context menu. Interface lag here is perhaps just below 500 milliseconds – half a second – between your input and the menu actually appearing. But make a taptic click with two fingers resting on the pad, and we’re back to traditional real mouse-like simultaneity.
It will take some concerted retraining of muscle memory, but one of the great advantages of the Force Trackpad is the ability to make a simple ‘click’ anywhere across the surface of the trackpad, and not simply along the closest edge as we have been trained to do since using hinged mechanical trackpads.