Earlier this week, Apple announced the all-new Magic Trackpad 2 for $169 (CAD) alongside the new iMacs with 4K Retina display. Following a number of queries about whether the new Apple peripheral works over USB, or just Bluetooth and whether it also works with the older Macs, Jason Snell from SixColors, has done a bit of research to find out the answers to these questions. Here’s what he says:
“Magic Trackpad 2 comes with a Lightning-to-USB cable, for charging as well as the plug-to-pair feature that makes it easy to move it from one Mac to another. So I plugged the Magic Trackpad 2 into my iMac, and they worked just fine. Then I turned off Bluetooth on my iMac. And they worked just fine. So that’s one mystery solved—they definitely work over USB without Bluetooth”.
Now Apple claims that Magic Trackpad 2 requires OS X El Capitan and a Mac that supports Bluetooth 4.0. To find out the device’s compatibility with older Macs, he plugged the Magic Trackpad into an 2009 iMac and nothing happened. It didn’t recognize it at all, and he was unable to pair it using Bluetooth either. Here’s what happened next:
“But the iMac was running Yosemite. So I upgraded it to El Capitan and tried again—and sure enough, when I plugged the Magic Trackpad into the iMac, it worked—everything, including Force Touch, was supported. Then I unplugged the trackpad… and it still worked”.
Well, there you have it. Since the older iMacs don’t support Bluetooth 4.0, they will drain the battery of the Magic Trackpad 2 rather quickly, but it still works just fine.