Apple Intros Magic Trackpad For Desktops, Battery Charger Accessory

Apple may have taken the time to officially reveal a new iMac, Mac Pro and 27" Cinema Display this morning, but two accessories that slipped under the radar are equally as interesting, if not more so. Scattered about the press releases for the new iMac and Mac Pro were mentions of a new Multi-Touch "Magic Trackpad," which is an all new input peripheral from Apple that's designed to bring some of the company's expertise in Multi-Touch to the desktop. Up until now, Multi-Touch has been reserved largely for touch panels and notebooks, but the new trackpad enables those same gestures to be translated onto the desktop.

Basically, this is a trackpad right out of a MacBook Pro, but larger and equipped with Bluetooth for use with the iMac and Mac Pro. We're sure that Apple will be keeping this compatible with Macs alone, but there's a chance that someone could hack it to work with PCs in the future. Apple isn't shelling out too many details about the pad, but you can definitely use it in place of a mouse, just as you use a trackpad in place of a mouse on a laptop. Inertial scrolling, multi-finger gestures, swiping, pinching, zooming and scrolling can now all be accomplished on your Mac desktop without a mouse. That's a pretty radical change, and we fully anticipate other companies following suit with similar options for the PC.

On a slightly smaller, less important note, Apple is evidently entering the rechargeable battery space. It's probably the strangest Apple product to be revealed in many, many years, but Apple is actually now selling an Apple Battery Charger. It's a pretty simple device. You just plug it into your wall and insert up to 2 AA rechargeable Apple batteries (shame it won't charge 4 of them), with $29 buying you the charger itself along with 6 NiMH batteries that can last up to 10 years, but they probably won't if you use them regularly. We suspect Apple created this after unveiling so many battery-needing devices (Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, etc.), but we can't see why you'd choose Apple batteries over any other rechargeable battery.