Apr 27

So I get many E-Mails about momentum scrolling on older macbooks.

I still think Apple will add this to older macbooks soon. So I won’t add it to BTT for now.

Why do I think Apple will do this? The info.plist of the mbp 2010 multitouch driver has a new property “momentumScrolling” added to every trackpad capable of multitouch (http://drp.ly/TzwcN ). Why would they add this if they wouldn’t allow us to use it on older MacBooks?
Also the hardware seems to be the same. The only difference is the firmware of the trackpad. Is momentum scrolling really s.th. that could make people buy the new MacBook Pros? I don’t think so.

I already tried installing the multitouch driver of the new mbps on my old one. (copied the new MultitouchSupport.framework, installed the new multitouch kexts and installed the new trackpad preference pane) It works just fine but I couldn’t get momentum scrolling to work (there is a key in the global user preferences plist called “com.apple.trackpad.momentumScroll” but setting it to true doesn’t help).
So I guess we need to wait for a firmware update for the trackpad.

Until Apple releases this (or until someone figures out how to make it work without any firmware update) I suggest those of you who desperately want momentum scrolling should try a nice program called “Smart Scroll” which is capable of simulating momentum scrolling altough it’s not 100% perfect

written by Andreas Hegenberg

17 Responses to “Regarding Momentum Scrolling on old MacBooks”

  1. 1. Rafael Senzi Says:

    You’ve told about smart scroll, and I’ve thought about a new BTT feature called Smart Pointer Position –

    Eg: the pointer is at lower right; moving it all the way along to the upper left quarter 1,000 a day, can cause pain to your indicis, wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck (that means, using a trackpad to do this and other repetitive dumb movements that we did when there were no BTT).

    BTT should be also oriented to health purposes, because it can prevent repetitive “extensor indicis” muscle isometric contraction (mainly), as some micro-movements needed to stabilize the arm joints and the “whole” upper body only to move the pointer up and down. These micro-movents are a lot complex, precise and intense, which can be an extreme challenge to anyone who makes use of a trackpad for more than 4 hours a day, leading to musculoskeletal complications and also stress and a lot of other conditions.

    Not so long ago, some trackpads allowed performing actions just like tip-tap, but you had to tip a trackpad corner and tap the opposed, so the pointer magically travels along the screen.

    Can a feature like that be enabled with single finger tap top and bottom? Or even be improved by your knowledge and your “crowd” creativity.

    Thank you.

  2. 2. PersTechLife Says:

    Someone else has also approached this, so far also with no luck.



  3. 3. JustinP Says:

    hope 10.6.4 will will release this

  4. 4. Teo Says:

    let’s wait for 10.6.4 then :)

    Good Idea for the heath purposes
    Should look at implanting BTT in hospitals and other medical center 😉


  5. 5. Teo Says:

    Hey, by the way,
    I have always wonder how you do a 11 finger thing…
    I have only 10 finger, How do you guys do it ? ;P


  6. 6. Jamo Says:

    lol I also never got the 11-finger thing to work. – Jamo

  7. 7. Rafael Senzi Says:

    @Jamo @Teo

    I have the 11 finger gesture to sleep display. With some training, you can trigger it using both hands at the trackpad, half for left hand, half for right hand (fingers) – (FOR SURE MY HAND IS VERY BIG, AND SOME FINGERS DOESN’T FIT, BUT THE RESULT IS GOOD).

    Before discovering that, I’ve hurt my nose a lot of times trying the infamous 11 finger gesture. Didn’t work.

    Did you get it? Occupy each half of trackpad with extended fingers from both hands, starting from your index finger (join them at the half).

    Thank you.

  8. 8. Teo Says:

    still should be called 10 finger :)

    Thanks a lot,

  9. 9. Paul Says:

    It doesn’t look like Keyboard shortcuts are tied to specific apps like touchpad gestures are. Any chance of changing that?

  10. 10. Andreas Hegenberg Says:

    @paul thats correct, I’m thinking about changing that but thats a bit tricky… I have an idea how to do it but this may take a while.

  11. 11. BloodDragon Says:

    I have a feeling Apple wil not do this. Obviously people will not just buy a new Macbook for momentum scrolling, but it is still a new feature. It doesn’t happen often that Apple also includes these new features in older laptops even if it were possible. Still hope they do it though, cause it is a nicer way of scrolling in my opinion. At least when using my magic mouse, it works non the less.

  12. 12. Andreas Hegenberg Says:

    @BloodDragon they did s.th. like this before with four finger gestures (were not available for older macbooks first, later apple added them) , but we’ll see :-)

  13. 13. Jimbob Says:

    Nope, they never add these for free.

    Earlier iBooks/Powerbooks were capable of two finger taps, but they only added that feature with Leopard (half a year after the first MacBooks could do this).
    And they didn’t add four finger gesture support for older models until Snow Leopard (a year later).
    Same thing with Draft-N WiFi support which came with Leopard.

    They claim they aren’t allowed to add new features for free due to some accounting rule. That’s why we’ll have to wait till 10.7 for this feature.

    (With four-finger gestures you could install the OSX that came with the new models on the old devices to get it to work anyway. And with the next minor OS update just editing the plist was enough.)

  14. 14. Andreas Hegenberg Says:

    @Jimbob between two finger and four finger taps is a big difference. (The 2 finger touchpads can’t recognize more than 2 fingers reliably, they changed the touchpad hardware on the newer macbooks as far as I know)

    We’ll see but I think there will be a firmware update not too far away from now. If not, smart scroll works pretty well for now.

  15. 15. Rafael Senzi Says:

    Hi Andreas. After testing Smart Scroll for 2 days, there are 2 considerations I must say:

    1 – Momentum Scrolling is really useful

    2 – BTT is the best and smoothest app for Mac nowadays

    Conclusion: Please, if it’s not too difficult, implement momentum scrolling for macbook pro touchpad!


  16. 16. Rafael Senzi Says:

    Just to be “more clear”:

    The momentum scrolling is a really great feature, but SMART SCROLL app is somewhat buggy and “momentum occurs” with some delay/lag, not as “smooth” as any BTT feature.

    Thank you.

  17. 17. Andreas Hegenberg Says:

    @Rafael I think I couldn’t do it any better in BTT. Let’s hope Apple releases the firmwareupdate soon.

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