Apple’s latest beta for developers for OS X 10.10.3 adds some new tools that will be available to third-party software developers targeting owners of the upcoming 12-inch MacBook and the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. These include support for new Force Click secondary pressure-based input, support for accelerator features that translate amount of pressure into subtle changes in the speed of functions like fast forward in media applications, and add pressure sensitivity for drawing and graphics software.
The new tools also include a new drag-and-drop mechanism, whereby developers can use a Force Click deeper press to trigger the launch of an automatic destination for a selected piece of content. Apple already showed how Force Click can be used in its own applications and across the OS to do things like open up Wikipedia articles related to words in any field of text, but it seems like developers will be able to make use of these tools to have Force Click trigger the functions that are most relevant to the app at hand, on a software-specific basis.
Apple’s support for pressure sensitivity, with specific mention of drawing and creative software, is one thing that struck me as particularly interesting in my early experience with the new Mac trackpads. Apple says in its release notes for this beta that devs can specifically use the pressure sensitive to adjust line weight depending on how hard a user is pressing, so with either a pen input or a finger it seems like this could act as a small-scale, but powerful drawing tablet in a pinch.
Other cool potential features: scrubbing video at variable speed depending on how soft or hard you tap. There’s also lots of potential for gaming, too, so it’ll be very interesting to see what kind of things third parties do with these new capabilities.