Ever since the release of the MacBook Air, Apple users have been able to flaunt the multiple uses of their notebook trackpads over the majority of Windows users. Multi-finger gestures have slowly come to some other laptop manufacturers, but have stayed mainly with Apple. Synaptics, the maker of TouchPads, the most popular trackpads in non-Apple laptops is bringing some of those features to the rest of the laptop market.
There are four new features from Synaptics in its Synaptics Gesture Suite 2009: Two-Finger Scroll, Two-Finger Rotate, Two-Finger Pinch Zoom, and Three-Finger Flick. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory.
Two-Finger Scroll brings what has been present on Mac since the MacBook Pro, the ability to scroll through windows vertically and horizontally by moving two fingers on the TouchPad. Two-Finger Rotate allows users to rotate photos or documents through the rotation of two fingers on the TouchPad. Two-Finger Pinch Zoom is the same as the standard iPhone zoom by pinching or spreading two fingers on the TouchPad, though it can also be used to enlarge text or perhaps zoom in on a map in Web applications. Three-Finger Flick has a few more uses. It has the standard flick left to go back, right to go forward, but it also be used to flick up to start or play media, and down to stop all with three fingers on the TouchPad.
To some people the new TouchPad features might not seem like much, and it’s likely that most users probably won’t know they’re there at first, but to some they are a welcome addition. After using a MacBook Pro for just under three years, at least the two finger scrolling has become second nature, and its depressing when using a Windows laptop that doesn’t have the feature. Its possible that some people might stop hating their TouchPads so much with these new features, especially since the new updates also allow for larger TouchPads, up to an impressive 5.8″ diagonal. The features are said to be compatible with hundreds of Windows applications already, so there should be no issue with not being able to use them.