Veering away from their recent focus on mobile devices, Apple unveiled a new line of desktop computers and related accessories earlier today. And while new iMacs and 27″ cinema displays are all well and good, one new item really got us thinking. Does Apple’s new Magic Trackpad signal the start of iPhone games invading our desktops?
According to Apple’s recent product announcement, “The Magic Trackpad brings the intuitive Multi-Touch gestures of Mac notebook trackpads to the desktop.” Sure it mimics the capabilities of a notebook trackpad, but the specifics provided by Apple also make it sound strikingly similar to the touch controls featured in their growing line of iDevices;
“With its glass surface, the wireless Magic Trackpad enables users to scroll smoothly up and down a page with inertial scrolling, pinch to zoom in and out, rotate an image with their fingertips and swipe three fingers to flip through a collection of web pages or photos. The Magic Trackpad can be configured to support single button or two button commands and supports tap-to-click as well as a physical click.”
And while Apple hasn’t revealed the actual dimensions of the item yet, it’s clearly larger than the average notebook trackpad. To give you some impression of its size, the Magic Trackpad has a vertical length that matches up to the current iMac keyboard. That’s bigger than an iPhone, and likely a tad smaller than an iPad. A very comfortable size for tackling iOS-style software.
Apple has previously stated that desktops aren’t the right venue for touch screen controls. Could the Magic Trackpad be their way around this? While not an actual touch screen, it could easily approximate the experience when combined with a computer.
With so many developers crowding the App Store, creating a larger market for the apps is a sensible way to keep struggling developers from becoming disillusioned. Also, while no figures have been revealed, the amount of money Apple draws from the App Store must be staggering. Taking a 30% cut of every app adds up. They’d be fools if they didn’t try to duplicate this on as much of their hardware as possible.
Which brings me to one last question – if this is a signal of a Mac App Store and iPhone-style gaming on the desktop, could it be little more than a way to test the waters before launching Apple gaming in the living room?
Earlier this summer, rumors began to circulate that a new AppleTV was in the works – one that would feature iOS and likely come fully-equipped with an App Store. The question everyone had at the time was “how do you play touch screen games on a TV?” If the Magic Trackpad succeeds in bringing iPhone gaming to your desktop, you’d better believe we’ll be seeing them in the living room sooner rather than later.