Apple‘s introduction of its oddly-named “Force Touch” technology on its new MacBook‘s touchpad might seem a bit eccentric to some, especially those that really don’t have much fine control over how hard they tap or press on a trackpad. There are some, however, who are only too happy to capitalize on the technology to improve, and sell, their own products. One of those is Inklet, whose admittedly interesting invention turns your MacBook’s touchpad into a makeshift Wacom tablet. Just on a smaller scale and with slightly less features.
Inklet actually isn’t new and has been turning touchpads into magical art devices for years now. From the creators of the Pogo stylus, the app worked by mapping an area of the screen to the MacBook touchpad. This can then be used to draw on the area as you would with a Wacom or any other drawing tablet. With the Pogo pen, users get the advantages of a pressure-sensitive pen tablet without actually having to buy one.
With the new MacBook, however, Inklet gets a new power. Since the touch pad itself is already pressure sensitive, thanks to Force Touch, the Pogo stylus now becomes optional. Any capacitive stylus will now do the trick. A very light glide on the touchpad makes the mouse cursor move. Pressing harder would start the drawing process. Press even harder and you get thicker lines.
That said, it’s not a complete Wacom replacement, of course. Inklet only works on one region of the screen at a time, instead of mapping the entire surface of the touchpad to the entire screen as how drawing tablets normally behave. That said, you can resize the area occupied by that “active area” to fit your need, giving more flexibility and allows users to work on finer details, as the whole touchpad space is dedicated to a very small screen area. It might also be a bit more confusing to those already used to a Wacom tablet.
This video from way back 2009 demonstrates Inklet with a Pogo:
Inklet is claimed to be the first third-party app to support Force Touch and we’ll concede that it definitely makes the technology sound more useful beyond having more gestures available. The software itself only costs $24.95 but, unless you already have a new MacBook, you’ll probably need the $34.90 bundle that comes with a Pogo stylus. Inklet is unlikely to satisfy the needs of a serious artist, but for the casual scribller and doodler, it’s a more affordable option.