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April 29th, 2015

Have you ever wondered just what kinds of motion the new Force Touch trackpad is capable of? We sure did, and it inspired a bit of digging around in the latest release of Mac OS X. We discovered an interesting new function in Core Graphics (the part of your Mac that handles events and manages application windows). This function is capable of moving the trackpad in a few pre-defined ways. After a quick inspection, these presets seem to correspond to a variety of “click down” and “click up” motions you might feel when you press the trackpad. To demonstrate these capabilities and also have a little fun, we have released a new app called Finger Massage. Can you guess what it does?

The app is free to download and the source code is released to the public domain on Github. We hope this will serve as a good starting point for other developers. In fact, it is our hope that someone will devise a way to play The Imperial March using only the trackpad. Just to be clear... Finger Massage is not meant to be therapeutic in any way. Also, be careful when running it at work - the cubicle next door will either think you’ve got an electric razor or something less decorous.

Screenshot

Oh yeah - one more thing. We love the idea of using the trackpad for haptic feedback. Inklet has been updated with the ability to nudge the trackpad when inking starts and stops. It can be turned on in the Drawing Preferences tab.

Updates for this new v1.6.1 are rolling out automatically over the next few days. You can get the update immediately by selecting “Check for Updates...” from the Inklet menu.