Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.



Pick an apple! 
Disinfect Your Keyboard

Keyboards, particularly those shared by multiple people, harbor huge quantities of bacteria. If you want to reduce the chances of picking up your co-worker's cold, you can disinfect your keyboard with disinfecting wipes. To avoid damage to the keyboard, be sure to:

  • Unplug the keyboard before disinfecting it.
  • Squeeze out any excess liquids from the cloth to avoid liquid dripping into the keyboard.
  • Don't let any liquid from the wipe sit for long periods of time on the keyboard.
  • Don't scrub the keyboard, just lightly wipe down. Rubbing too hard leaves behind more lint.
  • Avoid cleansing cloths that contain bleach.

Visit Das Keyboard


Apple Spreads Magic to New Trackpad, Battery Charger

Send Article to a Friend

Apple introduced something new last week: the Magic Trackpad, a wireless touch-sensitive trackpad that brings Multi-Touch gestures to the company's desktop Macs.

Matching the height and depth of the Apple Wireless Keyboard, the Magic Trackpad enables gestures like swiping, pinching, and rotating items in programs that support them. Apple's Web page notes that the "entire surface is a button that clicks," and according to Dan Frakes at Macworld, the trackpad clicks via buttons in the feet.

The trackpad communicates with the Mac via Bluetooth and is powered by two AA batteries. It also reduces its power consumption when inactive, and includes an On/Off button.

The Magic Trackpad and Multi-Touch Trackpad Update 1.0 (75.09 MB) enables the Multi-Touch controls (and offers options for choosing which ones to activate) in the Trackpad preference pane. It also provides inertial scrolling and three-finger drag gesture support to a number of MacBook and MacBook Pro models.

The Magic Trackpad costs $69 and is available now.

Apple Battery Charger -- Here's something unexpected. Apple also unveiled the Apple Battery Charger, a $29 charger that includes 6 rechargeable AA batteries and powers two at a time. Apple claims the Apple-supplied NiMH batteries have up to a 10-year lifespan, with a self-discharge rate that retains 80 percent of their original charge even after sitting unused for a year. The charger works with other companies' NiMH batteries, too.


What sets Apple's charger apart is the amount of power it uses once its batteries have been charged: 30 milliwatts (mW), compared to 315 mW for other chargers. The reduction in the "vampire draw," as Apple terms it, promises to reduce your house or office's overall energy consumption. The Apple Battery Charger is available now.


PDFpen for iPad & iPhone, version 2 — it’s your mobile office.
Experience pro-level features like iCloud Drive, palm protection,
a new easy-to-use iOS 8 interface and more! Get full-featured PDF
editing power in a mobile app today! <>

Comments about Apple Spreads Magic to New Trackpad, Battery Charger
(Comments are closed.)

Kevin Lepard  2010-07-27 11:10
I would really like to see this integrated with the Bluetooth keyboard.

I find it unfortunate the charger only does 2 at a time, as the Apple Bluetooth keyboards I have take 3.
Alan Forkosh  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2010-07-29 07:59
The current version of the Bluetooth keyboard uses only 2 batteries. I don't know when the change was made.
Can you leave your mouse connected and still use either it or the Magic Trackpad? Without any hassle?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2010-07-28 04:54
I would guess so - the Mac generally has no trouble with multiple input devices.
Larry B  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2010-08-01 10:56
When I tried connecting both Magic mouse and Trackpad to my 27" iMac, the Trackpad was limited to mouse behavior, i.e., pointer only; no gestures. I had to disconnect the Magic Mouse to activate the gesture function on the Trackpad.
Dave C  2010-07-28 21:58
Can you use the trackpad with an iPad? (I use Apple's Bluetooth keyboard when I have a lot of typing to do.) I realize that it won't work for selecting things (no cursor) but it could be nice for scrolling & zooming.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2010-07-29 04:33
I'd be very surprised, since I don't think the iOS has the necessary drivers for pointing devices.
Fred L  2010-08-02 17:42
The one important bit of data missing from Apple's charger page is the capacity of its NiMh batteries. Are they 2500+ MaH? Or??
Jeff Carlson  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2010-08-03 00:07
They're 1900
Mike Clinch  2010-08-04 07:46
I do hope apple put in the drivers for a mouse in the release of OS4 for the iPad. I have asked them to do for disabled people, other wise you just have to jail break the iPod :-(
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2010-08-04 07:47
I'd be surprised if they would, since a lot of the touch-based interface doesn't really work right/easily with a mouse, but the need for accessibility is certainly the best reason I can see that they would do it.
Dennis Mouy  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2010-09-18 03:34
The manual suggests that other NiMH AA batteries can be charged in the Apple Charger, but I have not had success with other than the Apple supplied batteries.

This is the only AA battery charge I have that can work with multiple voltage input - great for travelling.

Does anyone know why there is a "magnetic" tug when inserting batteries positive end first?