2/3/10
10:10 am

MacMost Now 353: Magic Mouse Custom Gestures

Since the Magic Mouse's surface is one big touch-sensitive area, it was only a matter of time before third-party developers came up with solutions for adding custom gestures. By installing free and inexpensive system extensions, you can assign commands to various swipes and taps.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
This is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, I will start by getting the most out of Magic Mouse. So when the Magic Mouse first came out, all you had to do with it is tap left, tap right and scroll in several directions. But people like me theorized that you should be able to write software like, why should you do all sorts of different things with the touch sensitive surface of the Magic Mouse, and sure enough a few months later, now you can. There are all sorts of downloads that you can add to your Mac that will give you extra functionality with your Magic Mouse.
Let's take a look at two of them. So the first one is called Magic Press and it is a preference pane that you download and add to your Mac. It is free and it gives you all this extra functionality. Here is what the preference pane looks like. You have got several different taps here. Click some taps, swipes, drag and pinch. You can roll over each one and on the way it shows you demonstration of what it means. So for instance, basically this is a three finger click here, here is a one finger tap left, four finger tap, things like that, even the swipes shows you with arrows exactly what it is, it means by each of these. Then you can activate one of these and set its behavior to what it does. You can do all sorts of different things by default, and you can also assign custom actions as well, say add an Apple script to it. It is a pretty powerful stuff, and all sorts of different things that you can think of your Magic Mouse for. I can't believe Apple doesn't build something like this into its own Magic Mouse system props. I mean it would demonstrate how this mouse could be completely superior to that any other mouse out in the market. The second one I want to show you is called jitouch and it was originally written for Trackpads on the Mac. So it has been around for a bit. But now it is has been adapted to work with the Magic Mouse as well. It is free to try and costs 6 bucks to license. Here is the system pane4 the jitouch. Go to the Magic Mouse tap and you can see that a whole bunch of different actions here and it shows you with a little animation as you roll over what each one really looks like and scroll down, there is a whole bunch of different things plus you can go and add your own like that. You can assign it to specific applications which is very handy,
Some of the things that includes here that I found useful right away were the ability to go to previous and next taps say in Safari by using a hold on one part of the mouse and a tap on another part of the mouse. Now I found that both of these difficult to use if you assign a lot of different short cut. And after there is very little indication for you to be able to remember what they need. On a keyboard, with keyboard shortcuts usually the letter indicates what you are doing, command S for save, command Q quit, but tapping in two different places really doesn't map immediately in your brain to perform a certain action. So it is only very useful if you assign a handful of actions to some very commonly performed tasks and it would be only assigned one additional one at a time, and know how to use it first. And these are the only two extensions to OS10 that will allow you to use the Magic Mouse in different ways. There is a whole bunch of other ones out there you can search around for them and I am sure that there will be more popping up all the time. Hope you found this useful. Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 4 Responses to “MacMost Now 353: Magic Mouse Custom Gestures”

    Crowe
    2/3/10 @ 8:48 pm

    Thanks for the info. I agree…trying to set up too many gestures can be confusing. Also…the “tap” gestures are too easy to activate in my opinion and can become annoying. Personally I’m using BetterTouchTool (which is free) and have been very happy with it. More info on BTT: http://blog.boastr.net/

    Enjoy!

    troutski
    2/4/10 @ 1:59 pm

    Your comment about Apple not building in the preference pane..
    It appears that Apple is moving from a software development strategy, to a content seller strategy. The iPad is simply a vehicle to sell apps. Many are free now, but the iTunes model will soon replace that.
    Apple does not need to develop apps, the community will do it for them, and apple will no doubt soon charge for the distribution. I would guess that iTunes provides a much higher profit margin than an iMac.

    teddy mccrea
    2/7/10 @ 10:51 am

    Hi Gary,
    Your news letter is excellent and well worth it.

    I am struggling with iweb & SEO. For a company that does such good work they really drop the ball in some places. I have had the misfortune to try and run a few websites of the same computer and now the jump to trying to SEO to make the sites workable has been and still is a total nightmare. I have flipped the server from mobile me to godaddy (another place where apple is dropping the ball) at almost half the price. Is there anything you can recommend to help with these issues (I already have RageSEO).

    Cheers
    Thanks for an amazing show – I am constantly learning new stuff from you

      2/7/10 @ 11:03 am

      If you are concerned about SEO (like I am) then you shouldn’t use iWeb. It is really meant for personal sites and quick sites and does not take into account SEO at all.
      Thanks!

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